Paksiw na Tulingan (Tuna Cooked in Vinegar) Recipe

Paksiw na Tulingan is a must-try Filipino dish, boasting the flavor of the sea. It’s a traditional Filipino dish made of Tulingan, which translates to the English word “mackerel tuna.” The fish is very buff with dark red meat, praised for its sweet and slightly salty flavor. However, Tulingan or mackerel tuna is an oily fish with a strong flavor. Thus, cooking it in vinegar, ginger, and garlic is ideal to reduce its oily and fishy taste. You can savor this dish with steamed white rice with a side of onion and tomato salad.

Despite being oily and fishy, Tulingan contains nutrients that are good for the heart, such as omega 3 fatty acids and Coenzyme q10. On the other hand, thoroughly cleaning Tulingan is ideal before trying this recipe as it can cause poisoning due to improper preparation. Anyway, Paksiw na Tulingan is certainly worth trying for the myriad of flavors and subtle sourness it offers. There are various ways to cook this fish, such as Sinaing na Tulingan (Braised Tuna Mackerel) and Ginataang Tulingan (Tuna Mackerel in Coconut Milk).

But if you’re not a fan of oily foods, this recipe is for you. The origin of the Paksiw na Tulingan recipe can be traced back to the early days in the Philippines. Back then, Spaniards and Chinese arrived in the country and introduced to our ancestors their food ingredients. These foreigners used vinegar to cook and preserve their food, ensuring their supplies would not spoil during long voyages in the sea. Aside from increasing shelf life, cooking food in vinegar makes the dish extra tasty.

Since these voyagers were always at sea, most of their dishes commonly consisted of fish. With Filipinos’ inventiveness, the dish Paksiw na Isda was born. As an archipelago, fish has long been an essential part of Filipino cooking. While there are no specific records, it’s believed that seaside locals have invented the dish Paksiw na Tulingan. In Philippine cuisine, Paksiw is a classic yet simple cooking method usually applied to make tasty fish dishes. The Filipino term “Paksiw” was derived from the word “pait,” which directly translates to “tart” or “acrid.”

It’s easy to cook and prepare, making Paksiw na Tulingan a mealtime staple in most Filipino homes. The dish is known for its perfect combination of salty and sour flavors, pleasing Filipinos’ diverse palates. It’s so popular that you can find the dish on most family dining tables, workplace cafeterias, local eateries, and roadside food stalls. So, if you’re craving sour and salty food, Paksiw na Tulingan is the perfect dish to satisfy your hunger. But before you start, cleaning Tulingan is essential to avoid being poisoned.

According to E Medicine Health, Tulingan is the type of fish that produces scombroid poison. This toxin consists of a combination of histamine and histamine-like chemicals that cause scombroid poisoning. Although not everyone will have an allergic reaction to this toxin, it’s better to be on the safe side. Before cooking Tulingan, ensure it’s safe for consumption by removing the caudal/tail fins, which contain the toxin.

Also, always buy fresh Tulingan to avoid problems. Don’t buy Tulingan with red eyes and insides coming off from its belly. After cleaning it thoroughly, you can start cooking Paksiw na Tulingan by combining all the ingredients in a cooking pot. Simmer it for 15-20 minutes. Then, serve and enjoy it with your family!


Paksiw na Tulingan (Tuna Cooked in Vinegar) Recipe

Paksiw na Tulingan (Tuna Cooked in Vinegar) Recipe


  • 3 medium-sized tulingan skipjack tuna (cleaned & cut into pieces)
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 medium-sized onions chopped
  • 1 small ginger chopped
  • 1 tbsp peppercorn
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce optional
  • calamansi juice from 2 pieces calamansi
  • 2 pieces chili finger


  • Combine all ingredients in a cooking pot. Cut the fish in half if it won’t fit in your pot.
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes in medium heat.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!


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