Tinapa smoked fish also known as smoked herring is a popular way to prepare this fish. Tinapa together with rice and veggies is a hearty meal to most Filipinos. The imported frozen Tinapa smoked fish is already cook, but I prefer to fry it before consuming. It is tastier plus safer to eat. In the Philippines, it is available in both wet markets and groceries.
Smoke fish comes to mind after a week long of meat, sandwiches or after the holidays like Christmas and New Year. All I crave for is a plain, simple and not saucy dish like smoke or dried fish. Tinapa smoked fish and a side dish of mango salsa or jicama Asian salad will satisfy my taste buds. When I fry tinapa I separate the head to be used with other dishes like Monggo Guisado. When making monggo guisado I place the tinapa head in a cheese cloth bag and simmered with the soup. It makes the dish very tasty.
Tinapa smoked fish complements some of the popular Filipino dishes like Monggo Guisado, Ginataang Monggo, Pancit Palabok, Pancit Malabon, Pancit Luglug, Tinapa Fried Rice, Sinangag (garlic fried rice) and many more.
I keep a stock of dried and smoke fish in my freezer so when nothing else taste good – I fall back to my comfort food. For some reason I also like it during cloudy or rainy day. I don’t know why.
This whole week I was lazy to cook. I asked my mom what she would like to have – she uttered tuyo or tinapa. Thank God that was easy. So it is an emergency food too!
Tips When Cooking Tinapa
- Remove the head if you like to use it for another dish. Just fry the body of the fish.
- If using the head of the tinapa to flavor a dish place it in a cheese cloth bag.
- No need to deep fry it. Just a few tablespoons of oil will do.
- Just two pieces of tinapa in a soup makes it very tasty.
How to Fry Tinapa Smoked Fish
In a pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Place four tinapa. Fry both sides until golden brown. Remove from pan. Serve with rice and veggies.
If you are non-Filipino and you love smoked fish try it. Go to your nearest Asian store and explore the frozen food section. Just make sure that you have a well ventilated kitchen when you cook dried or smoke fish. I can’t believe that I could write almost a page about tinapa. It is delicious. That’s why. Enjoy!