How to Cook Cebu Linarang (Sour & Spicy Fish Soup)

Linarang is a flavorful Cebuano dish, boasting an array of spices cooked in delectable coconut milk. Commonly made with Parrotfish (Molmol), Stingrays (Pagi), Marlin (Malasugui), Snakehead (Tasik) and Pufferfish (Tagontongan). A truly unique culinary experience, the recipe also requires garlic, shallots, tomatoes and fermented black beans – all spiced up with chilies and sour fruits like tamarinds or unripe mangoes for extra zing. The sour and spicy soup is awesome, especially this rainy season.

To prepare the dish, firstly cut all the ingredients into small pieces – it’s best to use fresh produce for a more flavorful soup. In a pot, heat coconut milk over medium-high heat and add garlic, shallots, tomatoes and fermented black beans. Simmer until fragrant then add in your seafood of choice. Cook until the fish is almost cooked then reduce the heat and add in chillies and tamarinds or unripe mangoes. Cook for another 5 minutes or until all flavors are well blended. Serve the Linarang hot with steaming white rice.

Also Read: How to Cook Homemade Filipino Beef Tapa

There are two popular methods to prepare this dish – some opt for a mix of coconut milk and sour fruits, while others favor cooking it without the coconut milk which makes it more akin to sinigang. To get the most flavor out of this dish, it is important to choose fresh ingredients and cook them over low heat.

Begin by preparing the fish: clean it thoroughly and cut it into bite-sized cubes. For an extra touch, lightly coat the pieces in cornstarch or flour before sautéing them in hot oil until golden.

Next, dice the tomatoes, garlic and shallots and fry them in oil until softened. Add your choice of vegetables or proteins to the mix before adding a tablespoon of black bean paste and stirring everything together. Once everything is coated with the paste, pour in enough coconut milk to cover the ingredients. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finally, add the sour fruits or tamarinds for a tangy finish. Simmer for about 5 more minutes before removing from the heat. Serve hot over steamed rice and enjoy! With its tasty combination of spices and coconut milk, Linarang is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.

how to cook cebuano linarang fish stew


  • 1 kg Malasugi or Marlin, cut into cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream or kakang gata
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp salted black beans, lightly mashed
  • 2 pcs tomatoes, chopped
  • Slice a piece of ginger that is half as thick as your thumb.
  • 1 whole garlic, minced
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 pcs birds eye chillies, finely chopped
  • juice of a single lemon.
  • sea salt
  • fish sauce
  • oil
  • To add a vibrant finishing touch, garnish with freshly chopped spring onions.

Steps to Make Filipino Cebu Linarang Fish Stew

  1. Enhance the flavor of your fish by liberally sprinkling salt.
  2. Begin by heating oil in a wok. Then, pan-fry the fish until its exterior is lightly browned on both sides and set aside once it’s finished cooking.
  3. With three tablespoons of oil left in the wok, sauté garlic, shallots and ginger until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, chillies and black beans then simmer until the tomatoes have softened.
  5. Start by pouring the coconut milk into a pot then add in capsicum, and set it to boil over high heat. Once boiling, add your fish and reduce the heat to simmer for five minutes.
  6. Carefully pour the water and coconut cream into your pot, reduce the heat, and then let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until your fish is cooked to perfection.
  7. To prepare the dish, combine lemon juice and season with fish sauce and freshly cracked black pepper. Top it off beautifully by garnishing it with fresh spring onions for a tantalizing burst of flavor.

Larang or Linarang will surely be a hit in any Cebuano table. Deliciously aromatic and savory, it is the perfect accompaniment to steamed rice or served as a main dish. With its unique blend of ingredients, this flavorful feast can be enjoyed alone or shared with friends and family.

Linarang is an undeniably delicious dish that is sure to be a hit in any household. With its unique blend of flavors, it is the perfect way to enjoy fresh catch Malasugi or Marlin. Preparing this mouth-watering feast does not have to be time-consuming, however – with just the right ingredients, you can create a simply delicious meal within minutes.

cebu linarang fish stew


Linarang is cooked with a souring agent. Iba or Kamias or in English called bilimbi or cucumber tree. Or you can use tamarinds or grated green mangoes as an alternative. To save time and energy, prepare your ingredients in advance. This will make the process of cooking faster and easier when it’s time to prepare the dish.

Using fresh fish helps ensure that the finished product will be flavorful. Cleaning the fish and removing the scales beforehand also make a difference in the results. An alternative way to season your dish is to use patis or fish sauce, which gives it a salty taste. It is best used sparingly, however.

For added texture and flavor, you can add some vegetables like green beans, white radish, or carrots. Garnish with freshly chopped spring onions to give it a vibrant, colorful finish.

The next time you crave for a uniquely delicious dish, try making Cebuano’s Linarang! With its savory blend of flavors and spices, this delightful feast will surely satisfy your cravings.

Things to Remember When Cooking Cebu Linarang

Scum or impurities should be removed. Get rid of the foam to prevent a bitter taste and an unpleasant smell. Doing so will allow you to achieve a more refined flavor.

Also, it is best to keep the oil temperature low when cooking. If the oil is too hot, you will find that your fish will be overcooked and lose its beautiful texture. We insist on having our protein perfectly cooked – not too little and not too much!

Finally, do not forget to serve Linarang with lots of steamed rice! Enjoy this Filipino dish today!

filipino cebu linarang fish soup

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I make sure the fish is cooked properly?

Start by heating oil in a wok. Pan-fry the fish until its exterior is lightly browned on both sides and set aside once it’s finished cooking. To ensure that your fish is cooked perfectly, reduce the heat to simmer for five minutes with coconut milk and add your chosen seasonings to the dish.

2. How can I adjust the level of spiciness?

You can adjust the amount of chillies you use depending on how spicy you want the dish to be. To make it milder, simply reduce or omit them. If you prefer a more intense flavor, you can add more chillies to the recipe.

3. What are other vegetables I can add?

Other vegetables that work well in this dish include green beans, white radish, and carrots. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients until you find a combination that works for you!

4. How do I store Linarang?

Linarang can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat the dish before serving by adding a little bit of oil or coconut milk to moisten it up.

5. What is the best way to serve Linarang?

The most common way to serve Linarang is with steamed rice. You can also enjoy it as a main dish or even add it to salads for extra flavor! Make sure you garnish your dish with freshly chopped spring onions for added vibrancy and flavor. Enjoy!


Linarang is a delicious Filipino dish that can be prepared in minutes using the right ingredients. To ensure a flavorful and satisfying meal, use fresh fish, prepare your ingredients beforehand, season with patis or fish sauce sparingly, and add vegetables for texture and flavor. When cooking this dish remember to remove scum before heating oil at low temperature so as not to overcook the protein. Lastly do not forget to serve it with plenty of steamed rice! With these tips you are sure to enjoy an amazing culinary experience every time you make Cebuano’s Linarang!