Paksing Demonyu or Devil’s stew is a Kapampangan dish made with vegetables stewed in vinegar. Now you might be asking why it is named like such? Well there is an old story that this dish originated one daw when the farmer brought home fish for dinner, the wife then prepared and made paksiw (fish in vinegar stew) out of it. The wife then sets the table waiting for the husband to get ready but for some reason the devil sneaks in and stole the fish replacing it vegetables including a bitter melon. He then seasoned it with a bit of sugar and hot chillies. The husband did not realize what had happened, sat down and started eating the dish, he then liked it and told the wife that was the best dish she cooked for him.
Paksing is a Kapampangan word meaning “stewed” while Demonyu means “devil”, the name already gives a lot of clue on what this dish offers but to make things worse look at its ingredients you will think this is a crazy dish! Sour vinegar, hot chillies, very bitter bitter-melon and tropical vegetables who would like a dish like this? Well I like it and a lot of Filipinos do too, its and acquired taste and it is very strong but once you learn how to eat them you will definitely crave for it.
- 1-2 bitter melon/ampalaya, prepared and sliced
- 2-3 pcs Asian eggplant, sliced
- 1 bunch string beans, sliced into two inch sections
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb sized ginger, minced
- 2 pcs scotch bonnet chillies or birds eye chillies, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¾ cup cane vinegar
- ¾ cup water
- fish sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
- Coat the ampalaya slices generously with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes. Rinse ampalaya with cold running water and get rid of all the salt. Drain well.
- In a wok add oil then sauté garlic, onion, ginger and chillies.
- Combine vinegar, water and= sugar, bring to a boil then add the vegetables.
- Simmer for 12-15 minutes or until vegetables are cooked.
- Season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper then serve.