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Paksing Demonyu - A Devil's Vegetable Vinegar Stew

The Filipino Paksing Demonyu translates to a Devil’s Vegetable Vinegar Stew. “Paksi” is the Pampango term for ‘paksiw’ (say 'pak-seew') which means a sour soup with fish, meat or vegetables in a vinegar-based broth. This is one of the most simple yet devilishly delightful ways to cook an entrée – by boiling it in vinegar with garlic, ginger and bird’s eye chilies. The generous amount of broth is meant to be poured on steamed rice. Meals cooked in a vinegar stew taste better a day or two after because the tangy flavor has set so strong thus one’s face puckers up in a tight grimace from the scorching superb taste. This recipe was adapted from my previous blog post and ‘Atching Lillian’s Heirloom Recipes’ by Lillian Borromeo. Serves 2 or up to 4 if served with rice.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Paksiw Vegetables Vinegar Stew
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 452kcal
Author: Asian in America


  • Medium-sized Stock Pot: 8 or 10 quarts


  • 1 cup cubed kabocha squash peeled, seeded
  • 1 whole ampalaya (bitter melon) sliced or about 3/4 cup, seeded, white membrane removed
  • 2 Tablespoons salt to soak the bitter melon
  • 1 cup water for stew; or use vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 pieces siling labuyo (bird's eye chilies)
  • 1 whole large red onion sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon thinly-sliced fresh ginger peeled, sliced in 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 whole large tomato sliced
  • 2 whole Asian eggplants sliced ; or use aubergines, sliced to yield 2 cups
  • 2 cups sliced sitaw (long green beans) cut in 2-inch pieces
  • for serving: steamed rice


  • In a small stockpot, boil the cubed kabocha squash in water for about 15 to 20 minutes till it is soft when pierced with a fork. Drain water and set aside.
  • Prepare the bitter melon or ‘ampalaya’ in a small bowl by adding 2 tablespoons of sea salt and rubbing it well by hand to coat the slices. Let this mixture rest for about 10 minutes. Then wash off the salt and drain vegetables on paper towels. This process helps to remove the bitterness of the ‘ampalaya’. Set aside.
  • In a medium stockpot, over medium high heat, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, siling labuyo or bird’s eye chilies, red onions, fresh ginger, garlic, salt, peppercorns and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a slow simmer.
  • Add the eggplants, ampalaya, sitaw, tomatoes and the boiled kabocha squash. Let this simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes till vegetables are cooked.
  • Serve with steamed rice.
  • Cook’s comments : The original recipe of ‘Paksing Demonyu’ did not have the kabocha squash nor does a regular ‘paksiw’ dish do. I added the squash because I had it in my vegetable bin and decided it would add color and a new flavor to the vegetable stew.
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Serving: 1g | Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8180mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 107g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 1mg