I used to hate tinapa (smoked fish) for two reasons. First is the numerous bones in middle and on sides. I was not sure why. I think I was born with very poor fish deboning talent. Pointed bone often got stuck inside my mouth and throat. Mouth area was bad and throat was worst. Removal was often hard that mom was forcing me to swallow rice ball or large banana slice. The stuck fishbone was supposed to be carried down by either of the two.
The second was the off taste. It was often bitter. Especially the part toward the head. Later, I realized. The thing is caused by broken gall bladder. The maker had the bad habit of not thoroughly cleaning the entrails.
I have never encountered badly cleaned tinapa as of the present date. Many makers, nowadays, learned to raise the quality of their product. They need it to be on par with the competition.
Yet another fish I hate is bangus. It is no doubt delicious but the quantity of bones is ridiculous. Thanks to our skilled deboners, I can enjoy it without the miniature arrows. Of course, I can debone it for myself if I want too. However, there are many sellers offering it as free service. Why bother?
This bangus variant is impressive. Delicious bangus flavor combined with a delicious fish. I might try setting up a mini smoke house but not learn the art of removing fish bones.
Bangus is approximately twice to thrice bigger than original tinapa. The smoke and heat which make the skin golden brown to dark brown is enough to cook the internal but not significantly change its color. The texture is also softer as compared. I think the smoking time and temperature for galunggong tinapa can be adjusted to reduce the toughening effect. It might not be as good as this bangus but it might be better.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.