How to make spice-cured smoked fish (Tinapa)

Smoked fish locally known as tinapa is very popular in the Philippines. In fact, it has become part of the Filipino meal, especially during breakfast or even lunch and dinner. However, the traditional smoked fish or tinapa is relatively smoky and has a short shelf life.

What we have here is a different method of making smoked fish. It is through spice-curing technology developed by the Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) in Lucban, Quezon headed by Prof. Delia Babilonia. This method increases the shelf life of tinapa and at the same time improve the earnings of the processors by providing consumers better smoked fish product.

How is this made?

1. Medium-size Indian sardines or "Tamban" with intact scales and belly are washed with clean water and drained.
2. Spice-curing solution is prepared by dissolving 250 grams of table salt and 100 g of powdered spices (onion, garlic, chili, and black pepper) in 1 gallon of water.
3. This is divided into two equivalent portions, for soaking and cooking of fish.
4. Fish are then soaked in the solution for 5 hours with occasional agitation.
5. Cured fish are removed from the solution and arranged in bamboo trays and allowed to drain for 30 minutes.
6. The fish are then cooked in boiling solution by dipping the tray for 10-15 minutes under low fire.
7. The cooked fish are maintained in the tray and air-dried for 1-2 hours."This is necessary for pellicle formation, which is essential for better color development," Ms. Babilonia explained.
8. After air-drying, fish are arranged in the smoking trays and loaded in the pre-heated smokehouse and smoked for 2 hours or when the fish turn golden brown.
9. To make the product more attractive to consumers, a new packaging style that is more hygienic should be adapted such as the use of plastic cover as shown in our photo. You may come up your own method of packaging.


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