Paksing Demonyu or Devil’s stew is a Kapampangan dish made with vegetables stewed in vinegar.
Taking vegetables to an extreme level, I am not sure how many of you have tried or even heard of this Kapampangan dish called PaksingDemonyu or Devil’s stew. I know its not for everyone as the taste is quite strong on the bitter, sour and spicy side, thanks to the bitter melon, vinegar and chillies. Anyways for me, I love it specially with adobo on the side.
Now you might be asking why it is named like such? Well there is an old tale about a farmer bringing home some fish for dinner. The wife then started to prepare paksiw (fish in vinegar stew) out of it and when she was done she started to set the table while waiting for the husband to get ready Now, for some reason the devil sneaks in and stole the fish replacing it with vegetables including a bitter melon. She was surprised to see that what she had prepared changed, so to mask the bitter taste, she seasoned the dish 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.
Very interesting. That tricky devil.
I’m kapampangan and paksi is probably closer to ‘pickled’ than stew. The combination of vinegar, salt, sugar and ginger is similar to what you would add to green papaya in atchara.
Thanks for this info. 🙂
This bowl seems delicious, Ray! I would love to give it a try!