Pesa (Fish in Miso Soup)

Pesa (Fish in Miso Soup)

Pesa might have originated from a Chinese cuisine as Pesa is Hokkien word meaning ?plain boiled? and it used in define a method of cooking fish meat and not any other meat.  But the Philippine version of Pesa is not plain boiled but usually this soup dish which is made out of fish is mixed with different leafy vegetables, tomatoes and miso.  Pesa is not common in the Philippines so don?t go looking for one if you ever visited our country and very few people know this type of dish, the ones who usually know it are the ones with Chinese origin, I learned this from my Auntie (she?s not Chinese) who likes to cook and she usually uses stingray meat.

This dish is a very simple fish soup which is really tasty soup without the fishy smell once done right, I remember cooking this for the first time for my wife and thought that she would not like it but to my surprise she did like it so up until now it is a mainstay in our dinner table once in a while.


1 1/2 kg fish (white and fleshy type, bone and head in)

1/2 small cabbage, chopped

3 bunches pak choy

1 stem leeks

4 large tomatoes, chopped

1 large red onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 thumb sized ginger, sliced thinly

1/4 cup yellow miso

1 tsp peppercorns

fish sauce

6 cups water from rice washing

8 pcs 1×1 inch nori squares



1. Fillet the fish and keep the bones.  Once fish is filleted cut them into 3 inch squares.

2. Wrap the bones in mesclun cloth then set aside.

2. In a pot sauté garlic and red onion in oil, stir fry until onions are translucent then add ginger and tomatoes.  Continue to stir fry until tomatoes are cooked.

3. Add 6 cups of water, miso, peppercorns and fish bones in mesclun cloth bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Remove the fish bones then add the fish fillets then gently bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes.

5. Add Pak choy, cabbage, leeks and nori and continue to simmer for additional 4 minutes.

6. Add fish sauce according to your taste.

Filed under: Chinese, Filipino Tagged: Fish, Soup

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