How to Cook the Best Pesang Bangus Recipes (Isda in Ginger Soup)

The Philippines is a country surrounded by water bodies rich in resources of fishes and kinds of seafood. One of the fishes you could find in water bodies in the Philippines is the Milkfish or Bangus.

Milkfish is a kind of protein applicable to use to create varieties of recipes, including our menu for today. It is a very simple dish that could capture your taste buds because of its choice of ingredients to use that did not have an overpowering taste, which makes the featured dish stand out. 

Now, do you want more information about this featured dish? If that is so, we would love to give you everything and all the pieces of data you need to cook the Best Pesang Bangus that you could serve confidently because of the succulent, bold, and amazing taste of the dish.  

What is Best Pesang Bangus

(Photo Credits To: Casa Baluarte Filipino Recipes)

Pesa is a Chinese word that means plain boiled fish in Filipino terms. It is a Filipino cuisine that has the least popular because of its plain and bland flavor. 

On the other hand, milkfish is a great ingredient that many people would love to work within their kitchen and serve their families. It has a fresh, sweet, and rich taste. It is a notorious fish, but many people love to cook this fish as the main ingredient in many fish recipes. 

Pesang isda or Milkfish Fish in Ginger Soup (Stew) is a quick and easy to make dish that would not take less than half an hour making this dish. It is a fish soup stewed with vegetables like pechay and cabbage and ginger. 

It has a very light taste and healthy fish stew. You could also use other vegetables like carrots, potato, okra, and many more. You could season it with salt or fish sauce and a pinch of monosodium glutamate for better tasting.

It is a comforting food that you could serve on every occasion, even in cold and hot weather. This dish would kick your taste buds.

Ways to Cook

There are certain ways of cooking this featured dish, so here are the two techniques you could create to create a superb pesang isda. 

Instant pot

It is the easiest way to cook this beautiful dish like our menu. Using a multi-cooker appliance in your kitchen, you would place all the ingredients inside the appliance, then set the cooking time and let it cook. 

This technique would not consume so much time when you use this as a cooking method. Both the process and ingredients are all the same as the traditional way of cooking it.  


However, this cooking method is another technique that is a little bit different from instant pot cooking. You have to carefully watch your dish when cooking in this kind of method. It requires more time and effort to cook this dish because you need to watch out not to overcook the fish and vegetables you put in the featured dish. 

Other Delicious Variants and Recipes 

(Photo Credits To: tasteful)

The variation of different cuisines is always present. We would give you some of the featured dish versions that you would love to try and make in your kitchen. 

With Pechay and Potato Recipe

One thing that makes this dish’s version special is the vegetables you put in it. Aside from commonly used cabbage, you could also add pechay and potato, making this fish stew healthier. 

Though both pechay and potato have a bland flavor, you could add more seasoning to make the dish incredibly delicious. The way of cooking this fish stew, although you added some vegetables, have the same cooking method, and the cooking time is a bit longer since you have to make sure that you cook the potatoes to perfection. 

With Saba Banana

Here is another variant of this pesang dish that would incorporate and add a sweet taste to the dish. This variation allows you to add saba banana along with other vegetables. You know that the dish has a plain and bland taste, so adding saba banana on it would change the dish’s flavor palette, which makes it elevated and amazing. 

With Miso

This version of this recipe incorporates a very unique, delicate, and succulent taste than the original. You could add Miso to the recipe to make it more flavorful and tasty. 

Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting the soybeans with kōji and salt or sometimes using seaweed, barley, or other ingredients. It is a thick paste used to give a bold flavor to a savory recipe. 

In this version, cooking time, preparing the ingredients, and cooking ways are all the same. The only difference in incorporating the recipe is you use Miso as the flavoring agent to it. 

Bangus With Tomato Sauce

Another great variation of Milkfish in Ginger Broth is adding Tomato Sauce in the recipe when cooking it. Instead of using just a fish sauce or salt in seasoning, you could add tomato sauce to give salt and sour taste to the recipe. 

Tomato sauce is another superb condiment made from tomato with high water content, soft flesh, rich flavor, and right composition that thickens the sauce. It is very common to use vegetables and meat, as well as in fish dishes.

This variation makes the dish stand out because of the flavor, taste, and smell when you cook your fish stew in it. All the process of cooking, preparing, and cooking time is the same as the traditional way. 

Trivia about this recipe

Did you know that Pesang isda is a heart-healthy dish? Yes, you read it right!

This fish stew dish is heart-healthy because the fish is simmered in water only, not fried. That is why there’s no fat added to it. Flavoring of this dish comes with the spices and herbs instead of sauces as flavoring agents that are all high in sodium, which is not good for your health. 

Each serving of this fish stew dish contains 160 calories, 2 grams of total fat, and 0.5 grams of saturated fat. In terms of cholesterol, it contains 80 milligrams, sodium 340 milligrams, protein 30 grams, total fiber 2 grams, carbohydrates 6 grams, and potassium 630 milligrams. 

Tips for these recipes

Of course, cooking a fish dish is much easier than other meat like pork, chicken, and beef. But you have to know the proper ways and tips on how you could make this recipe without errors. 

  • Ensure that all your ingredients are complete before starting cooking. 
  • Clean your milkfish properly. Remove all the scales and the internal organs, especially the gallbladder of the fish. 
  • Cut it in the fish in the right sizes to uniform the cook when you start making the dish. 
  • Wash the vegetables and cut it also in uniform. So, when you boil the vegetables, it is easy to cook. 
  • You could add other flavoring agents like tomato sauce and Miso if you want bold flavors. 
  • You could cook the dish in less than 30 minutes. 

Troubleshooting when cooking these recipes

In cooking, you might get a higher chance of errors. But don’t stress out yourself because we would help you. Here are some possible solutions or troubleshooting ideas for this humble dish. 

  • When dealing with the milkfish, make sure that you don’t overcook it because the flavor would not come out. 
  • Do not over-season the fish, especially in this dish. 
  • If you love salty taste food, you could add more salt or fish sauce. 
  • If you overpower your dish with a salty flavor, adding water is a great option. But you could also add saba banana to absorb the salty flavor of the dish. 

Best Serve With

This fish stew dish could not be perfect for serving alone. So, here are some cuisines that perfectly fit with the taste of the dish. 

  • Hot steamed-rice – is a perfect partner with any dish, especially this dish. 
  • Sweetened Saba Banana – is a sweet dish commonly served with fish dishes like a fish stew.
  • Alpahor na Kamote – is another sweet dish on the menu that perfectly matches the flavor of the featured dish.
  • Mixed Vegetables – is a dish perfect for our menu. 
  • Ginisang Repolyo – is another vegetable dish that you would love to eat with fish stew. It complements the taste of the dish.
  • Chopsuey is another classic vegetable dish that perfectly works well with the featured dish.
  • Pineapple juice – is a liquid drink that compliments the taste of our menu. It helps to eliminate the slimy taste of the fish dish. 


Our menu has a plain flavor; it is a great advantage for the dish. Why? It is because you could add some seasonings like Miso, tomato sauce, and many more to add more bold flavors that you think would give a delicate taste to this fish stew. 

It is a healthy dish that everybody would love when you level it up. You could serve it with other dishes, and it would complement those cuisines perfectly since it has no other flavor. It could serve as a side dish, appetizer, soup, and main course, depending upon you. 

It may not stand out like other fish dishes, but it could be a knockout dish once you master the proper cooking technique, the variations, and the perfect seasoning to the dish. 

So, give it a try to do this very simple and elegant dish! Start making and sharing it with your friends and family. 

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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Best Pesang Bangus Recipe

This delightful dish involves cooking medium to large sized fish in a broth that are mainly composed of rice washing and ginger; vegetables such as bok choy or pechay are also included for added flavor and nutrition.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Seafood Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 35kcal
Cost 5-$20


  • 1 pc Bangus (Milkfish) medium to large size, sliced and cleaned
  • 1 tbsp Ginger sliced and pounded
  • 1 pc Onion quartered
  • 1/2 tsp Whole Black Pepper
  • 7 cups Water
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 6 pcs Baguio Beans sliced
  • 8 pcs Pechay Tagalog
  • 1/2 Cabbage sliced


  • Rub fish with salt. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onions.
  • Add the water and ginger. Put the black pepper and fish sauce. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
    Note: You can add more fish sauce depending on your desired saltiness.
  • Then, add the milkfish. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the Baguio beans, pechay and cabbage. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve while hot!


Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 751mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 201IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg
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