Sinabawang Isda

This is Sinabawang Isda. This down home fish soup recipe is as simple as it is delicious. It’s white fish simmered with a mixture of ginger, onions, and tomatoes. Then seasoned only with salt, pepper and fish sauce. It really doesn’t get much more simple than that. The addition of the malunggay leaves gives this dish a soothing, holistic quality best eaten during cold weather or when sick. Enjoy this recipe from all of us at Filipino Chow.


  • 1 pound of king fish, sliced into steaks
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 medium sized tomato, quartered.
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled then sliced into thin strips
  • fish sauce (patis) or salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of malunggay leaves
  • 4 cups of water


  1. Place a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Now add the cooking oil to the pot.
  3. Add the garlic to the pot and saute the garlic until lightly brown.
  4. Next add the onions to the pot and cook the onions until translucent.
  5. Then add the ginger and tomatoes to the pot.
  6. Add water to the pot and bring this to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, then add fish and cover the pot.
  8. Let the soup simmer until fish is almost fully cooked.
  9. Season the soup broth with fish sauce or salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Add the malunggay leaves to the pot then cook for another 2 minutes.
  11. Remove the pot from heat.
  12. Transfer the soup to bowls and serve while it's still hot.

For an additional hint of flavor, you can add some fresh lemongrass leaves to the soup broth. You can also substitute other white fish steaks in place of the king fish. You can substitute baby bok choy for the malunggay leaves if those are unavailable.


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