Filipino dried fish – An authentic Filipino recipe

Filipino dried fish is often referred to as “daing na isda” or “tuyo”. Dried fish is one of Filipinos most favorite dishes and it’s also added in some recipes as condiment. Through the process of drying, the fish can be stored for many months while maintaining most of the nutrients. Now, without further ado, let’s check out the step by step instructions below on how to make this simple yet tasty dish.

Filipino dried fish Introduction

Tuyo, Daing or bulad (means “sun-baked” or “sun-dried”) are the words used to refer to dried fish from the Philippines. Dried fish is commonly called “tuyo” in Luzon island or the North. On the other hand, the popular name to call dried fish in the Visayas is “buwad” or “bulad”.

The fish are usually split open, salted with guts removed then undergo sun and air-drying process. There are some “daing” boneless versions which they fillet the fish before drying. Originally, it was a preservation technique, as the use of salt prevents bacteria from growing, which extends the fish storage time significantly. In the Philippines, you can find a wide variety of dried fish and some provinces also boast of their own specialty.

Before consumption, dried fish will be grilled, fried or covered in tin foil and baked in an oven. The fish is commonly dipped into vinegar as sauce and served with steamed rice for breakfast. Traditionally, Filipinos pair Daing with their traditional chocolate rice gruel. Fried fish can also be added to other dishes as an ingredient.

Filipino dried fish Recipe

“Daing na isda” stands for “dried split fish” in English. This is the kind of fish whose moisture level is reduced significantly under the use of heat. With this technique, although the fish loses its fresh state, the acceptability is still maintained over an extended period of time.

Ingredients

  • Fresh Galunggong (60 kilos)
  • Salt (6.5 kilos for every 60 kilos of fish)
  • Water (5 gallons)

Materials

  • Brining container
  • Big basins
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Strainer bowl
  • 12 meters Wire screen mesh (cut in half)

Prepare the fish

Step 1: Use fresh water to wash and clean the Galunggong fish thoroughly.

Step 2: Butterfly fillet the fish and remove all the internal organs and gills. Wash it again thoroughly.

Step 3: Drain the fish thoroughly using a strainer.

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Soak the fish in brine solution

Step 1: Mix water and salt to create a brine solution. The ideal proportion is 5 gallons of water and 6.5 kilos of salt for 60 kilos of fresh fish.

Step 2: To make the Filipino dried fish, submerge the fish for 1 hour in the brine solution.

Step 3: Drain the fish. Then under running water, rinse the salted fish thoroughly to clean off all the excess salt.

Dry the fish

Step 1

Place the fish on a 6-meter wire screen mesh. Make sure that the fish is evenly arranged but not on top of each other. Use the other 6-meter half of wire screen to cover the fish. This will help to prevent contamination during the drying process.

Make sure that the fish is evenly arranged but not on top of each other
Make sure that the fish is evenly arranged but not on top of each other

Step 2: Let the fish dry under direct sunlight for at least 2 – 3 days.

Step 3: After drying, let the dried fish cool down at room temperature for at least 6 hours.

Step 4: Pack and seal the dried fish. It can be stored at room temperature. It’s estimated that you can produce 40-kilo dried fish out of 60-kilo fresh one.

Filipino dried fish (Tuyo na isda) Recipe

In Filipino, “Tuyo” means “dried”. After being salted and dried, the fish can be stored for up to months. The process of salting and drying is done in the summer season, when there’s lots of sun and only a little amount of rain. This time of the year you’ll have ample time to preserve and dry the fish.

Ingredients

  • Fresh Tunsoy fish (60 kilos)
  • Salt (6.5 kilos for every 60 kilos of fish)
  • Water (5 gallons)

Materials

  • Brining container
  • Big basins
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Strainer bowl
  • 12 meters Wire screen mesh (cut in half)

Wash and soak the fish in brine solution

Step 1: Wash the fish with fresh and clean water then drain with a strainer for about 20 minutes.

Wash the Tunsoy fish carefully with fresh water before making Filipino dried fish
Wash the Tunsoy fish carefully with fresh water before making Filipino dried fish

Step 2: Prepare a mixture of salt and water (brine solution). 5 gallons of water and 6.5 kilos of salt should be enough for 60 kilos of fresh fish.

Step 3: Submerge the fresh Tunsoy fish for about 3 hours in brine solution. Transfer the salted fish into a strainer for a thorough drain.

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Step 4: Under running water, wash the fish thoroughly to remove all the excess salt.

Dry the fish

Step 1: Lay the brined fish on the 6-meter screen mesh. Use the other 6-meter half of the wire screen to cover the fish. This will protect the Filipino dried fish from contamination factors such as flies or dust.

Step 2: Depending on the fish size, the drying process can take 2 – 3 days. To prevent the fish from drying at a rapid rate, it’s recommended to dry it for 3 – 4 hours under the morning sun then air dry at room temperature.

Dry the fish under morning sun for 3 – 4 hours then air-dry at room temperature
Dry the fish under morning sun for 3 – 4 hours then air-dry at room temperature

Step 3: Flip the fish to the other side every 1 – 2 hours to guarantee even drying. A fish is considered well-dried when it has tender meat and is lightweight.

Step 4: After drying, the fish can be packed and stored at room temperature. 60-kilo fresh fish will likely give you 40-kilo salted dried fish.

The Filipino dried fish can be preserved for up to a year without getting spoiled. You may think dried fish gives off a bad smell, especially when it’s cooked. Yet, when pairing it with vinegar and hot rice, you can’t deny that the dish tastes delicious and flavorful. Try to make this authentic dish by yourself and let us know what you think by leaving a review in the comment section below. See you in the next Bourbon O’s articles for more useful recipes and instructions!

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