Tinapa fried rice

28 06 2010

I’VE BEEN making tinapa fried rice long before I first came across it on the menu at Kanin Club.  On Christmas morning 2008, I made lots of it, as if penance for all the grease and the indulgence of the night before.

Meat from tinapa (smoked fish), the key ingredient to this fried rice!

The key to making really good tinapa fried rice is – of course! – the tinapa.  “Tinapa” translates to smoked fish, usually some type of herring.  And as I was told by the friendly talipapa (wet market) vendor, the male fish is more flavorful.  The 250 grams I bought the last time was enough to flavor a really huge batch that I was able to both leave behind enough for my family’s breakfast and bring a portion good for five people at the office.

For my recipe, I use steamed white rice from five cups of uncooked rice; one whole head of garlic, finely minced; one large white onion, finely chopped; four large whole eggs, scrambled and then sliced into strips; and the meat from eight to ten whole tinapa.

I take pride in my knife skills so when I say “finely,” I do mean as fine as you can go.  I do scramble the eggs and they’re what I cook first.  But sometimes, I’d opt to make a well in the middle of the fried rice and let the eggs slightly cook before giving everything a quick toss.  And as for the tinapa, I’m quite finicky about ensuring that all the bones and scales are picked out.  Nothing puts a meal to a screeching halt other than a stray piece of fish bone.

Over low heat, coat the bottom of a heavy bottom pan with a thin film of vegetable oil like canola.  Start with the garlic, allowing it to sauté slowly.  The goal is to really infuse the oil with its flavor, just until about the time the garlic starts to get brown on the edges.  That’s when the onions are added.  Make sure the fire is really kept low as the onions need time to sweat and become translucent without any browning.

Garlic and onion sauteing over really low fire. Notice that the garlic are brown... but not TOO brown.


The star of the dish is finally added!


Scrambled eggs cut into strips!


All this needs at this point is one more quick toss and breakfast – or any meal – is ready!

Once the onions have become really soft, add the tinapa.  Stir the mixture and let everything settle into one layer on the pan.  Give it a few more minutes until the minced fish meat breaks down and becomes a nutty hint in the background.  Then add the rice – little by little, mixing well after each addition.  Season with a little salt.  It is key to sprinkle the salt all over the pan and not just on one spot.  Especially when using iodized salt, start with just a little amount, mix well and taste.  One can always add more salt – but never take it out from a dish like this.  Once the seasoning is to your liking and the rice has been allowed to really saute, add the scrambled eggs.

Really good tinapa fried rice is now ready to hit the table.

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.




2 responses

28 06 2010

in fairness, restaurant-quality!
it looks yummy!


11 07 2010
Agnes DeWeese

Yup, this really looks yummy! Will try this one for sure!


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