How to Make Spicy Smoked Fish, Tinapa

A smoked fish with a twist! Spicy smoked fish. It’s delicious and can be sold for money. Get the ingredients you need and start.

5 kg fish of uniform sizes
1 gallon water
250 g salt
2.5 tbsp powdered salt
2.5 tbsp powdered garlic
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp black pepper, powder
1 tbsp vinegar


1. Wash fish in running water.
2. Make soaking solution by mixing water and other ingredients. Then soak the fish in solution for five hours. Drain for 30 minutes.
3. Cook fish in soaking solution. Drain on bamboo trays for two hours. Place inside smoke house and smoke for two hours or more depending on sizes of fish.
4. Cool and packed neatly in air tight plastic or container.

Here is another method courtesy by Food and Agriculture Organization.

1. The fish are thoroughly cleaned. If fresh, the fish entrails are left intact. If not, the entrails are removed.
2. The fish are soaked in a brine solution (1 part salt + 2 parts water) until the eyes of the fish become white. This takes approximately 30 minutes.
3. The fish are then arranged in a bigger basket used for cooking. Weights are put on top of the basket so the fish won’t float during cooking.
4. Bring the water to boil. Put fish in the pot and boil for 5 minutes. For every 100 kg, add 4 liters of water and 2 liters of salt to brine cooking solution.
5. A smaller basket is used to hold 10 to12 pieces of fish for the smoking process.
6. The baskets loaded with fish go to the smoking area. The smoking vat is filled with burning charcoal from the stove boiler topped with sugar cane bagasse and sawdust to generate smoke. The baskets are then loaded over smoking vat and covered with plywood.
After smoking for about 30 minutes, the smoked fish is sprayed with yellow food coloring, depending on preference of customers. If  customer does not like food coloring then this step is skipped.
8. The smoked fish is air to cooled before packing. Important: if the fish is packed while still hot, fungus will be produced.

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.

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