When I was a child, I used to look forward to my mother making this dish. My favorite part of the Dalag is the fish roe (puga); the taste and the tiny crackling sound, just sent me to seventh heaven. Many a time I would get into a fight with my siblings over it. I think this dish is as Filipino as can be.


  • 1 big mudfish (1kilo plus) – to clean, thoroughly remove scales and then rub with coarse salt, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Keep doing this till the slime goes away. Rinse with water and cut the fish diagonally into 1-inch thick pieces, except towards the tail and head; leave about 4 inches towards tail end and about 1 inch from head.
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1 tablespoon sliced ginger – jullienne
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (patis)
  • 4 cups rice water washing
  • 1 potato – peel and cut into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 bunch Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage), (petchay Baguio) – remove stem part and segregate into leaves


  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons salted bean curd (tajure) – mashed
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil


  1. There are two ways to treat the mudfish.
    One is to quickly pan fry the fish before mixing in with the soup.
    The other way is to let the fish cook in the soup.
    The choice is yours.
  2. In a medium sized cooking pot, over medium low fire, pour in the cooking oil and warm up oil.
  3. Saute the garlic, onion and ginger till the onions are wilted looking.
  4. Add the fish sauce and continue to saute for another minute.
  5. Pour in the rice washing water and bring to a slow boil.
  6. Add the potato and cook till the potato is almost tender.
  7. Add the mudfish, and salt and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the cabbage and cook for another 2 minutes.
  9. Taste the soup and adjust to your liking, adding fish sauce or salt.
  10. Remove from fire.
  11. Serve with hot rice and sauce.

Make sauce:

  1. In a small frying pan, over low fire, pour in cooking oil and saute garlic and onion till the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomato and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the salted bean curd and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes; stirring frequently.