How to cook: Catfish and miso sour soup

How to cook: Catfish and miso sour soup

This recipe would have been posted a lot sooner had I been able to find more information about kanduli. I never really thought it was just another variety of catfish. In fact, I didn’t realize there was more than one catfish. The only catfish I know is called hito and it’s dark gray to black in color, not silver to light gray. But after several days of on-and-off searching for the English name of kanduli — I got the same thing. Catfish. So, I’m done with the searching. The recipe is more important than the name of the fish anyway. Just remember, this dish does not use the black catfish Filipinos call hito. Kanduli is silver to light gray and, like the hito, it has cat-like whiskers too.

Serves 4 to 6.


1-1/2 k. of kanduli (about two whole fish), sliced into serving size pieces
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 c. of yellow miso (available in vegetable stalls in wet markets and in the chilled section of most supermarkets)
about 250 g. of fresh tamarind
about 200 g. of mustard leaves
patis (fish sauce), to taste
about 3 tbsps. of vegetable cooking oil

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

You can have the kanduli cleaned and gutted by the fish monger and do the cutting at home or you can ask the fish monger to save you all the trouble by doing a complete job on the fish. I had mine cut in the market. If you’re lucky like me and your kanduli has fish roe, the soup will be even more wonderful. Just wash the kanduli and drain.

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

If the mustard leaves are rather large you can cut them into halves after trimming the root ends. Otherwise, just cut off the root ends and use the leaves whole.

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

That’s what yellow miso looks like. You may want to read about different kinds of miso before deciding whether yellow miso is absolutely essential for cooking this soup or whether you can substitute another variety.

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

Wash and boil the tamarind in about two cups of water and extract the juice (see related entry on how to extract tamarind juice).

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

Heat the cooking oil in a pot and saute the garlic, onion and tomatoes.

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

When the garlic, onion and tomatoes start to soften, add the miso. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables liquefy some more and the mixture turns a bit pasty.

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

Pour in the tamarind juice. Season with patis to balance the sourness. If you think you don’t have enough liquid, or if the broth is much too sour, dilute with water.

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

Add the fish. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat cover and simmer for about ten minutes.

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

Add the mustard leaves and simmer for another three minutes.

Sinigang na kanduli sa miso (Catfish and miso sour soup)

Ladle the soup into your favorite soup tureen or serving bowl and serve at once.

More in Feast Asia!

  • phynkee

    Oh! This is my Father’s favorite fish dish, Sinigang na Kanduli sa Miso. Namiss ko tuloy sya. We usually add sigarilyas or winged beans, yummy! thanks for posting!

    • Connie

      If only fresh kanduli were easier to find… Most kanduli in the market are frozen. Too risky, I think.

  • Nhing

    Hi! Thank you for sharing your recipes, i now have variations when serving food to my family. Nga pala, hindi kasi ko marunong masyado pag dating sa fish, if I dont have kanduli, ano pwedeng substitute na fish na malasa din? Takot din ako bumili ng frozen fish sa mga Asian stores dito sa Melbourne.

    • claudine charie

      i love catfish! though i’m the only one who will eat it. my american hubby said you’re going to eat that ewwwwwwwwww!!! these american are missing half of their life lol!

    • flor

      Hi, am not sure what fish is available in Melbourne, but salmon with miso tastes really good, esp. if you include the head in the soup. Even milkfish (bangus) or tilapia would be good substitutes, you’ll be surprised. Try any fish that you like and cook based on the recipe provided.

  • peterb

    I’m not really a fish person due to the fact that i majorly suck at picking the bones. It’s more of fear, i guess. I just stick to fillets. :)

    That’s just me. But for my audience, my customers here at home, I’d gladly do this for them and I’m sure they would love this! You’re lucky to get find fish with roe, i haven’t seen any for a long time. I really like the aroma of sinigang sa miso. Great for cold weather and perfect for my cold. Love the photos!

    • lara

      here in Rizal, there is an abundance of Kanduli in our wet market. We call their kinds as “isdang tabang” unlike the lapulapu and mayamaya kinds. It”?s more affordable than bangus and tilapia but when cooked, almost always, may malansang after taste. Kaya my mom used to remove the head kasi sabi nang matatanda sa barrio, yun ang nagpapalansa sa lasa nia. And my mom adds ginger to minimize/ or completely remove the lansa. My parents love sinigang sa miso na kanduli! Thank you, ms connie for making this simple dish looks so sumptuous and tempting. By the way, i love the way kanduli is cooked the “daing”-style.=)

  • anna

    hi miss connie,
    this is also our fave dish! we cook it the same way you too! we always use misong dilaw. in sta rosa laguna, my aunts also cook adobong kanduli sa gata (the sauce is yellow though, and i have yet to find out how to cook that). yeah, nakaka-miss ang kanduli, sa laguna lang ako nakakain ng ganun pag nauwi kami dun! nakakagutom! :)

  • Connie

    Anna, adobong dilaw (popular in Taal) uses turmeric.

    • misao

      my parents and parents-in-law, both, love this dish and my dad loves dinilawang adobo sa gata.

      i prefer lapu-lapu or maya-maya (steak cuts) in sinigang sa miso. but i love fish roe (of any fish) in sinigang. gives another depth to the dish.

      and our whole family loves any sinigang with finger chillis.

    • Susan Cruz

      Hi Connie,
      My parents love kanduli very much esp. sinigang sa miso. I also love sinigang sa miso, but i use bangus, wow ang sarap, esp. yung may matabang tiyan.

    • flor

      Hi, Connie -

      Do you have the recipe for dinilawang kanduli? I miss my mom’s cooking and unfortunately, I did not learn how to cook this when she was still around. This one also had garlic, onion and tomatoes. Plus sili leaves. I know she adds turmeric, but I am not sure how and how much. plus maybe a bit of sugar. I remember it tastes a bit sweet. It would be wonderful if you have this recipe and can share with me. Thank you.

      • Connie Veneracion

        It sounds interesting but it’s the first time I came across the term “dinilawang kanduli”. If I had a peg, I’d love to experiment. :D

  • Lani

    hi connie, do you have recipes for grilled fish? i loooove seafood, where do you usually get fresh seafood? love your site!thanks :)

  • Connie

    Neposter, ooohh I see. So American catfish is not hito? Great that they are sold live over there. Hito is sold live here but kanduli, rather rarely.

  • Melacane

    Hi Ms. Connie,

    Is it okay if I share a recipe and maybe (only if you want to) you can try doing it at home and giving me a comment (good or bad)? i was told numerous times that it tasted really good 9I made up ther ecipe after an uninspiring New Year’s celebration)…
    If yes…tell me so, thank you.


  • mareza

    this is the same Batangas style of cooking fish minus the
    miso and minus the oil. i buy the dressed catfish para hindi
    malansa, if not and you have gout that is a killer.

  • maila

    i just made this tonight and my friends loved it. thanks connie!!!!!!! :)

    • Connie

      Eny M, creamy. :)

      • Melacane

        Dear Connie,

        Hi, here’s the recipe…
        1 (small) pack Eden cheese, grated
        1 tetra pack Nestle all porpuse cream
        1 to 1/2 cup red wine (I use Maria Clara Sangria)
        1-2 white onion, finely chopped
        2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
        1 450g spaghetti
        2 cans Century Tuna Hot and Spicy
        2 spoons butter or 2 tbsp olive oil (you may use oil from the tuna)

        cook pasta as directed
        in another pan, prepare sauce. heat butter (or oil) then sautee white onions until translucent
        (you may use oil form the tuna…)
        add garlic, then add tuna cook for about 10 minutes
        add red wine leave it for about 10 minutes (brisk boil)
        add cheese until frothy or until sauce thickens
        lastly add cream
        (you may add salt and pepper if you want to)

        pour into prepared pasta then enjoy!


        PS you may share this with your readers…if you can cook it (or if your family will like it) I’d appreciate a comment..hehehe..
        happy week end

    • Pritong Kandule

      There is also Dalag which is also a catfish

      • rheiz

        Ms Connie, this site is making my mouth watery (as in literally) and i just ate my dinner!

        Anyways, just want to say, thanks much for sharing your recipes through net! i have known people who also use your site as their source of recipe for a new dish they want to cook..

        and may i add, that i have been wanting to try and cook this miso soup for God knows how long. May I ask if there is no alternative for the tamarind extract? my mama used calamansi extract as well.. will that do? or will it have a different taste?

        thank you for replying :)

        and Ms Melacane, i am so gonna try ur recipe. I hope i could get my hubby taste that pasta dish (he is not a very good fan of pasta dishes)

        • lloyd

          this is famous in our town angono, rizal..

          sinigang na kunduli sa miso..

  • Connie

    Pritong Kandule, dalag is mudfish.

    • j3poii

      I love sinigang sa miso but not with kanduli. Kandulis sold in the wet market are smelly I don’t think I can’t eat those.

  • annncash

    Thanks for the recipe, I will be following it later. I just bought Kanduli in the market.

  • Paula F

    I live in the US as well, and indeed, the catfish sold here is a bit different from hito, but it does have some similar flavor qualities. I am not sure if it is kanduli though (I’d have to try kanduli the next time I’m in Manila to be sure). In any event, it depends on the store or area that you’re in as to whether you can buy catfish live or frozen. It’s a popular fish in certain states, esp in the Southern states, but not everywhere in the US.

    Connie, one question about the sampalok, however. Was it ripe or unripe tamarind that you used? I recall reading somewhere that unripe tamarind is what one should use to make sinigang broth in order for the sabaw to be more maasim. Is this your experience?

    • Connie Veneracion

      Unripe. The small immature ones are really best.

  • Neposter

    I love this dish, but where I come from in Navotas, we have renamed it ginisang sinigang na kanduli sa miso, the only differences i remember was the the tomato, onion and garlic are sauteed first then the miso sauteed also when the onion is translucent and my Nanay uses the pickled mustasa instead of the fresh one, so the tart taste comes from the sampaloc and the mustasa preserve. also we added, labanos and small egg plants. wow ang sarap talaga! I live in boston now, and never recognized kanduli until my brother visited me from Florida and we were a at chinatown grocery and he spotted some live kanduli in the aquatium, they were being sold live, it looks like most american catfish are the kanduli type, there was also the ocean catfish,(Huge sea or ocean catfish) which they call alimusang in the southern Negros regions. They cook a mean sinigang na alimusang over there too, i used to live there too.

  • Connie

    Melacane, I love learning new recipes and I’d love to see yours. But I can only cook it if looks like something that my family will enjoy. :)

  • emy M

    it’s easy to get the catfish…i have a thai friend who will give me tamarind…there’s a japanese market where i can buy miso…the other ingredients
    are in my fridge…one more camera!!!
    excellent detailed instructions with photos…i’ve
    never seen catfish roe…cool…how does it taste?
    thanks again

  • Pritong Kandule

    You can also fry the kanduli first so it wont have the malansang lasa.