How to make smoked fish (Tinapa)

Ingredients and Equipment :

4 cups salt
Knife and chopping board
2 kilos fresh milkfish


1. Wash and clean the fish thoroughly. Place in strainer to drain.

2. Cut and open the stomach. Remove the inwards. Wash and clean the insides
thoroughly. Set aside.

3. In a bowl, mix two cups of water to make the brine solution. For every two (2) kilos of fish, use one (1) cup salt with every three (3) cups of water. Soak fish in the brine solution.

4. Strain the brine solution through a piece of cloth to remove any solid particles.

5. Place the clean fish in the washbasin and pour the brine solution over it.

6. Cover the washbasin with a plate, press down plate for thirty (30) minutes.

7. Transfer the fish into the strainer to drain.

8. Prepare more brine solution. In a bowl, mix two 92) cups of salt with twelve(12) cups of water. Use one (1) cup of salt per six (6) cups of water for every kilo of fish.

9. Mix the brine solution well, strain contents into a saucepan through a cloth to remove any solid particles.

10. Bring the brine solution to a boil. Place the milkfish in a saucepan when solution starts to boil.

11. Boil the fish until its eyes turn white. Remove fish from saucepan. Drain until dry.

12. When dry, transfer the fish to a bamboo sieve (bistay). Cover with fishnet to protect against dirt, then sundry for thirty 30 to 45 minutes.

13. Fire charcoal, then place the coal embers in a smokehouse.

14. Cover the coals with sawdust. Sawdust will ensure proper smoking of the fish.

15. Place the bamboo sieve containing the fish inside the smokehouse. Cover the smokehouse to trap the smoke. Make sure that there are no holes or openings in the smokehouse.

16. Smoke the fish for 30 to 45 minutes.

Source:, photo courtesy of

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