How to Cook the Best Lagat na Hito Recipe

Catfish is a popular protein Filipinos love to work within their kitchen. But, since it is an aquaculture-raised fish, it has a muddy and musty taste, especially when you cook this recipe, the wild type of Catfish, not the farm-raised type. 

Lagat is a traditional cooking style. They put a lot of ginger bits in the fish dish to eliminate the unwanted flavor of it. It is a bit similar to a Braised Fish or Nilagang Isda. 

It has a kick of sour taste from the vinegar mixture. Then saute the fish with garlic and onion and season it with other ingredients to please your taste buds. 

Aren’t you wonder how Filipinos come up with these kinds of seafood dishes? If you are wondering, let’s keep diving in the ocean of information about the incredible dish and get its ingredients, ways to cook, variations, and tips so you could execute it very well. 

What is Lagat Hito

(Photo Credits To: Krizzyforyou)

Catfish is a type of seafood far greater than any other seafood. It has a unique taste in this fish’s flesh, the moist, mild, sweet yet firm, and has less flake fish meat. It is a fish raised from aquaculture, but it doesn’t have a muddy flavor, and its delicious taste is consistent. 

This cuisine originated in Bulacan Province. A simple and easy to cook fish stew dish that much Filipino love to eat. 

It is a fish simmered in vinegar and turmeric mixture seasoned with salt and pepper. Saute the onion, garlic, and tomatoes, then boiled the fish along with the sauteed ingredients and let it boil for about five minutes.

Ways to Cook

As a home cook, you surely know many cooking techniques you could do when cooking a dish. So, we would like to give you the two best ways to cook your all-time favorite catfish dish.

Instant pot

When you cook a fish in an instant pot, it doesn’t need more cooking time. It could cook for less than 30 minutes. 

You have to slice the fish in uniform sizes to make it easier to prepare and cook. You must also put all the ingredients you might need for the dish and then set the time how long you want to cook the Catfish. 

After that, you could saute it with garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, salt, and other ingredients you want to put in the featured dish. Let it boil for a few minutes, then serve it with your family. 

This cooking method is the easiest way to cook a classic dish. It is also a great option since catfish are easy to cook protein. 


It is a traditional way of cooking this dish. You have to put a casserole or pot at the top of the burner, then open the stove and wait until it reaches the right heat temperature. You have to cook the Catfish first. 

It is the right cooking option for the featured dish since you would cook it with a mixture. This technique helps you to saute the fish and the sauce easily. Many people recommended this way of cooking for the featured recipes. It won’t take too much time and is good for dishes that need sautéing. 

Other Delicious Variants 

(Photo Credits To: apag marangle)

There are so many delicious varieties of cooking styles you could do in fish recipes. But today, here are the three top variations of our menu that you could choose from to try and experiment within the comfort of your kitchen. 

Spicy Lagat Hito Recipes

Another variation of the featured fish dish is this spicy lagat recipe. Aside from adding Alagaw leaves to the dish, you could add chili to it. When you simmer the fish with the vinegar, turmeric juice, pepper, and salt, you could add the chili ingredient to add more hot and spicy flavor to the classic, then let it boil.

With Alagaw Leaves Kapampangan Recipe

This version, Lagat with Alagaw leaves, is a Pampanga style of the featured dish. A style of cooking our menu is simmering the catfish in vinegar, turmeric juice, pepper, and salt with the native herb, tangle leaves.  

Lagat Hito with Ampalaya Leaves Recipe

Another variant is Lagat with ampalaya leaves. You add the ampalaya leaves in substitute to the Alagaw leaves if ever you could not find Alagaw leaves in the market. Like the two variants, you could add more taste and flavor to the dish. 


Are you wondering why this fish name is Catfish? The reason why it is Catfish is that it resembles the cat’s whiskers.

And also, fish must have scales and fins to consider a Kosher. But Catfish is not considered kosher because it lacks scales. 

You could find Catfish in warm climates countries like the Philippines. But if you are in America, the largest catfish producers in the Southern United States are from Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi. 

Catfish is high in Vitamin D. The farm-raised Catfish contains a higher proportion of omega-six fatty acids and low levels of omega-three fatty acids.

And on June 25, 1987, the United States former President Ronald Reagan established the day as National Catfish Day since it became the US’s staple diet. 


Fish is a protein that has a beautiful texture and taste. Thus, you have to know what kind of fish you are working with to identify the possible methods you could use to make an outstanding dish. So, we would give you some ideas to prepare and cook the Catfish properly. 

  • Don’t buy the Catfish if it is slightly yellow or reddish. 
  • Pick the right ingredient that is perfect for the dish. 
  • Clean and wash the fish properly. 
  • Cook the fish for about five minutes, then another five minutes along with other ingredients. 


Cooking a fish without knowledge of how you cook it would give you a lot of trouble. That is why we searched for some insights for you to ensure that you would not destroy a beautiful dish like our menu. 

  • Overcooking the catfish would lead to dry and chewy fish meat. So, avoid overcooking it. 
  • Avoid using very strong seasonings and flavors because it would overpower the delicate taste of the catfish.

Best Serve With

Our menu is a lovely dish that serves the finest Filipino cuisines that complement the sweet, mild, and moist taste. Here is the list of the perfect cuisines that make the featured dish the greatest in the town!

  • Hot rice– is a staple dish that is perfect with our menu. It’s not overpowering the dish but highlighting the flavor of the featured dish. 
  • Fish Sauce– is a condiment you could use to add more taste to the dish if you would like a bit salty taste. 
  • Chopsuey is a perfect dish for serving with our menu since fish and vegetables complement each other’s taste. 
  • Tortang talong with Giniling– is another dish that would kick your taste buds when you served it with the fish dish. 
  • Minatamis na saging is a dessert that fits and works very well with fish because it eliminates the dish’s fishy taste. 
  • Pineapple juice is a common drink perfect to pair up with a fish dish because it dispenses the featured dish’s loathing taste. 


Fish lovers would surely love the featured dish. It is a popular dish with easy to find ingredients. It is a budget-friendly dish yet has an elegant aroma and flavor. 

Our menu is an extraordinary dish with extraordinary protein, which is the Catfish. It is a little bit tricky to cook because it becomes dry and chewy when you overcook the fish meat. 

But you don’t have to stress yourself out! We provided you with all the things you need to know to create this distinctive dish and elevate it using the different variations we listed for you. 

Let’s try making this dish and serve it on any occasion! 

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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Best Lagat na Hito Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Seafood Recipes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 145kcal
Cost $5-$20


  • 1 lb Catfish cut into half
  • 1 pc Onion sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup Alagao leaves sliced
  • 1/2 cup Turmeric smashed
  • 4 pcs Tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup Water
  • 4 cloves Garlic crushed


  • In a medium bowl, combine smashed turmeric and water. Filter and get the extract of the turmeric. Set aside.
  • Put the catfish in a casserole, then pour-in water and vinegar.
  • Season with salt, black pepper then add the turmeric extract. Cover and let it boil for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • In another pan, heat cooking oil. Saute garlic until brown. Then add the onion and tomatoes, cook until the tomatoes melt.
  • Then add the boiled catfish and cook for another 5 minutes.


Calories: 145kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 347mg | Potassium: 418mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 57IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
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