Tuyo: Smelly but Lovely

It has been more than a week since I last posted an article for our What’s Cooking section so I decided to write something about what I had for breakfast this morning. After taking a shower and brushing my teeth twice, I’m now inspired to write something about one of my favorite breakfast foods: Tuyo.

Tuyo refers to salted dried fish (usually herring); this is also known as stockfish in some countries. In the Philippines, tuyo is considered as a poor mans food because of its cheap price – however, this connotation has been expunged over the years since people of different social status learned to love and enjoy it. This can be justified by the different recipes involving tuyo; these ranges from fried tuyo to gourmet pasta with tuyo.

Since I’m not in the Philippines, I always try to cook tuyo discreetly. Although most of us might agree that this food really taste good, the aroma is quite offending to some – especially to non-Filipinos. After reading a news article last year about a Filipino couple that was sued in New York for cooking this fish, I tried my best to resist the temptation of having it on a regular basis.


One effective way to cook tuyo without exposing the smell is to bake it- sounds weird but it works for me. Most ovens have openings directly installed below the exhaust vent, this helps suck the foul smell leaving you with a little less fishy odor.

Since I woke-up early, I had the chance to cook Garlic Fried Rice to go along with my tuyo. I also made some over easy eggs to boost my appetite – sarap! Are you familiar with sinamak? This is what my dad used to call vinegar with lots of chillies, garlic, and peppercorn. Well, I used it as a dip (if you also define dipping as soaking the fish in vinegar for 5 minutes); there is nothing more that I can ask except for more rice. It was fantastic.

I also love eating tuyo with sinigang. Although, most of my friends choose to pair champorado with it. They say that a delightful unique taste is formed when the sweet taste of the porridge mixes with the salty taste of the fish.

Do you also like tuyo? In your opinion, what’s the best food to pair it with?

Published by

Vanjo Merano

I blog about Filipino and Asian food and recipes.

6 thoughts on “Tuyo: Smelly but Lovely”

  1. tuyo with kamatis is my favorite breakfast, nagutom tuloy ako..more power to you Chef Vanjo^_^

  2. hello to panlasang pinoy, i rily lyk tuyo a lot, so, im amaze how u made tuyo a very special dish like this one, have to try this one @ home, i assure u my husband surely like this one…. thanks for sharing it w/ us….

  3. Tip: when you cook tuyo, boil water in a pan with fabric softener so that would smell more than the tuyo itself 😉

    pair it with champorado! yummmeee!!!

    1. I think that is a splendid idea! Tuyo with fried rice and piping hot brewed coffee is heaven but I can only cook it when I am alone in my apartment which I am sharing with other nationalities. I have the same problem when I am tenderizing goto since the smell of boiling tripe is also quite offensive. Mirage, thanks for the tip.

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