Adobong Hito (Stewed Catfish) Recipe

Serves/Makes: 4 servings


  • 1 (about 2 pounds) whole catfish (pantat or hito), cleaned and gutted
  • 4 - 5 calamansi, cut into halves
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns, smashed
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • Fried garlic bits
  • Spring onions, chopped
How to cook Adobong Hito (Stewed Catfish):
  • Squeeze the calamansi and drizzle juice inside the fish's cavity. Rub the calamansi and salt all over fish. Let stand for about 5 minutes. Rinse well and cut into 2-inch thickness. In a bowl, combine fish, soy sauce, pepper corns and half of the garlic. Marinate for about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain fish from marinade, reserving liquid.
  • In a pan over medium heat, heat about 1-inch deep oil. Add fish and deep-fry until lightly browned but not cooked through. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
  • In another pan over medium heat, heat about 1 tablespoon oil. Add onions, garlic and ginger and cook until limp. Add tomatoes and cook, mashing with back of spoon, until softened.
  • Add vinegar and bring to a boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 3 - 5 minutes. Add reserved soy sauce marinade and bring to a boil. Gently add fish into pan. Add sugar, bay leaves and star anise. Lower heat, cover and continue to cook for about 15 - 20 minutes or until sauce is reduced and fish is cooked through.
  • Transfer fish into serving plate and garnish with fried garlic bits and spring onions, if desired.
  • Serve Adobong Hito (Stewed Catfish) hot with steamed plain rice.
Adobong Hito (Stewed Catfish) recipe


Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour

The Filipino name for the Stewed Catfish recipe is Adobadong Hito or Adobong Pantat.


There is no need to fry the fish beforehand but I prefer a bit of crisp edges. Also, catfish (hito or pantat) is very fragile and frying it first keeps it from falling apart while simmering in the sauce. The fish will be moist and succulent and provided the perfect foil for the flavors of adobo.

This recipe for Adobong Hito (Stewed Catfish) serves/makes: 4 servings

The Adobong Hito (Stewed Catfish) recipe is adopted from The Philippine Cook Book.

Main Ingredient: Catfish (more Catfish recipes)
Preparation Method: Soup/Stew (more Soup/Stew recipes)
Cuisine: Filipino (more Filipino recipes)

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