Home-based Food Business Idea: Recipe for Tinapa (Smoked Fish)

Usually served during breakfast along with rice, egg and slices of tomato, tinapa or smoked fish has become a Filipino favorite because of its unique taste and flavor.

Created to extend the shelf-life of fish, tinapa is made by washing the fish, putting it in a brine solution and finally smoking.  While bangus, galunggong and tamban are some of the commonly used varieties of fish used in making tinapa, other species like lapad, banak, kabasi, tunsoy, and hasa-hasa can also be used.

PHOTO CREDIT: Angsarap.net

Tinapa or smoked fish is commonly sold in public markets, supermarkets, sari-sari stores, fish ports and even streets.

Here’s a simple tinapa recipe using galunggong or tamban.


  • 15 to 16 pieces whole galunggong (scad) or tamban (sardinella)
  • 4 cups salt
  • 12 cups water
  • 2 pounds hickory wood chunks for smoking (wood chunks must be soaked in water for two days prior to use)


The Brining Process

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the salt in warm water.
  2. After cleaning the fish and removing all its internal organs and blood, add brine onto it.
  3. Allow it to brine for 1 hour. Stir the brine every 20 minutes. Keep in mind to brine the fish for every 30 minutes for every half inch of thickness of fish.
  4. Remove the fish from the brine after one hour.
  5. Rinse the fish well then set aside.

The Smoking Process

  1. While the smoking process depends on the type of smoker you use, it is best to keep your fish away from the heat source as much as possible.
  2. Put your fish on the rack and place your wood chunks to the heat source.
  3. Cover the smoker then allow it to smoke for 1 1/2 hour.
  4. Add wood chunks every 20 minutes in order to keep the smoke going.
  5. After weighing, wrap in plastic bags, then seal.

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