Fish Tinapa Recipe (Smoked Fish)

Fish Tinapa Recipe Smoked Fish

Tinapa refers to a method of preserving or cooking a fish through smoking. Any kind of fish can be made into a smoked fish, but it is bangus (milkfish) and galunggong (mackerel scad) that are usually made into fish tinapa. This delicacy is often sold in the market or specialty stores along with other dried seafood products including daing, danggit, and pusit.

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Tinapa Recipe

Fish tinapa makes a good breakfast food like silog. But basically, in the Philippines, breakfast dishes can also be served for lunch or dinner meal with tomatoes on the side and kalamansi (Philipine lime/Calamondin) juice or coconut vinegar (sukang tuba) as your dipping sauce.

Before the fish goes through the smoking process, it is first cleaned then soaked in a salty water for about 5 to 6 hours for the fish to absorb the salt and make it moist. After air-drying the fish, it is now ready for cooking through smoking.

In case you can’t find any store near you that sell fish tinapa, you can make your own at home. If you cook more than you can consume, don’t worry as the smoked fish has a long shelf life. Just place it in the fridge to further extend its expiry date. Here’s a fish tinapa recipe you can follow.

Fish Tinapa Making Process


  • 1 kg scad
  • 3 cups of water
  • ¾ cup rock salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 whole garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 handful of water soaked wood chips


  1. Clean fish thoroughly, remove the scales and innards.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl, then soak the fish for at least 6 hours.
  3. Remove the fish from the bowl and drain it. Air-dry for at least an hour, then use paper towel to dry the excess moist.
  4. Place water-soaked wood chips into a roasting pan.
  5. Put the pan on top of the barbecue grill, then turn the gas on, wait until it smokes.
  6. Place the roasting rack lined with foil on top of the roasting pan, arrange the fish on top.
  7. Adjust the heat to medium, then cover your barbecue grill, cook until there is no more smoke coming out of the barbecue. Turn heat off and leave for 10 more minutes.
  8. Your smoked fish is now done.

Watch the video below


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