Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lasang Pinoy 7: Tuyo


This month's theme for Lasang Pinoy is almusal, which is what we call breakfast, and just so happens to be my favorite meal of the day (yes, big surprise, I know). As this was my first ever time to host a food blogging event (and one so near to my heart at that), you can imagine I was very excited. This month we are honoring a very important, yet oft neglected, meal. The meal that starts our day and gets us going during the tough work week. The meal that we linger over with a good book and pj's on lazy weekends. Breakfast: We love you!

Breakfast in the Philippines is a whole wonderful affair unto itself. It is much larger and more filling than breakfasts elsewhere, consisting many times of a meat/fish dish plus rice, and eggs even. The term Pinoy Breakfast brings happy memories and tummy rumblings to many Filipinos all around the globe. Each Filipino will have his/her own favorite although there are some "classics" that stand out in everyone's mind. This is one of them.

Tuyo is a dried salted fish (tuyo actually meaning dried). The process of salting and drying preserves the fish and you can actually safely store this for some time. This is done to a number of kinds of fish so you can have different variants of tuyo. Tuyo has been touted as a poor man's kind of dish as can be procured quite cheaply (and as it is "preserved" can be stored cheaply too!). Poor man or no, tuyo has legions of fans from all walks of life, so I like to instead think of it as an everyman's kind of dish. And as far as tuyo lovers go, I am right there heading the pack!

For this post I used four different kinds to come up with a little tuyo sampler breakfast. You can see them in the picture below. From the front is tonsoy, which is one of the more typical types. Then it is followed by sapsap, which is shorter, thinner, but wider. Then the one behind that is lapad, which is much like tonsoy. The last fish all the way at the back is espada, which is long and thin, and super crunchy when fried right. It is also less salty.


I suppose for the uninitiated tuyo can be quite a shock. It's saltiness is so palate cleaving that your entire troup of tastebuds stand at attention. For me, there is nothing that quite compares. It is very simple to prepare, just fry in very hot oil and serve. I have presented it here in the most traditional way...with sinangag, which is garlic fried rice, and a fried egg. However, I used quail eggs instead of chicken eggs, and smaller portions of rice, to give it a feel of small tasting portions. A tuyo degustation menu if you will. Of course, anyone who eats tuyo would know that it is consumed with vast amounts of rice! I eat this with native vinegar flavored with a crushed sili labuyo (chili pictured above...very spicy!). My favorite part of the tuyo is the head (as with any fish). It is such an intense concentration of flavors that it almost brings tears to my eyes. If fried right to the perfect crisp point you can eat the entire head. Yes, just dip it in some of the aforementioned vinegar, pop the whole thing in your mount, but chew carefully. It's a salted fish flavor explosion.

Well, I have come to the end of this breakfast, but there is still more to explore. Come see the round up, which I will be posting in a couple of days, to see more Pinoy Breakfasts!

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sosy naman ng tuyo mo! Hehehehehehehehe These little babies are my fave while growing up. Lalo na with garlic fried rice. Sarap! My mom's friend eats it with champorado, I've tried it but I DID not like the combi. Biased lang siguro ako. Unfortunately I have not been able to indulge on tuyo lately. I live in a condo and the smell of dried fish is quite strong. It'll take days before the smell would dissipate. I think H would not like the smell as well, tinapa he can stomach though. haay..

Zita said...

That previous comment was from me chichajo.

Kai said...

My mommy always ate fish heads, dried or not, and I thought she was just reserving the flesh for us her kids. Now I think I know why....

Marketmanila said...

I was so excited by the topic, I couldn't fit my entry in one post so I am doing a two-post LP7 entry! Tuyo marinated in olive oil with chillies and garlic is one of my top 10 foods I think! Yum!

Fiber said...

These actually look really good. I wonder if there is a way to get any of these in the states....

ChichaJo said...

Hi Zita! Yes, aren't they great? :) I love tuyo, although I don't think I would really enjoy it with champorado either, hehe! I have been eating a lot of it lately because we will be moving into a flat and I won't be able to cook it anymore (for the same reason as your's)...although C likes it too, I don't know if my neighbors will! :)

Hi Kai! Hahaha! The heads have the best tasting meat :) Wise mommy! :)

Hi Marketman! Hooray! Two posts! Marinated tuyo...I am going over there right now :)

Hi Fiber! A Filipino store would probably have them (but then again I really wouldn't know)... :)

mg said...

Hi Joey,

You really had everyone excited with this theme. Your tuyo sampler is quite a dish. mmmmm with vinegar, chillies... you've just officially made my belly rumble - you're right, tuyo is an everyman's food.

(now let me have a quick peek at that dish again!)

ces said...

the glorified tuyo! great plating and sarap! i still have a bottle of gourmet tuyo in the fridge but personally, nothing beats this type! there's definitely tuyo, tinapa, itlog na maalat etc. in the filipino stores here...:)

JMom said...

omg, is there an obsession worse than tuyo obsession? My daughter commented once, why is it that all your favorite foods stink? hehe! mas masarap eh :-D I solved the odor inside the house problem by cooking outside. Now the neighbors can also enjoy the aroma.

You really did a fantastic job of making this lowly fare look mahvelous, dahling :-)

sha said...

gee Joey what you ve done to this tuyo... it looks so fab!!!

eh that sap sap seems what we call putput in cebu

me i can eat tuyo with champorado.......

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mae! I'm glad people are excited about this theme...I know I am :)

Hi Ces! Thanks!!! :) Now, who was it again that said that Filipino food cannot be plated? ;)

Thanks Jmom! :) I like stinky food too...lots of good stinky food out there, from tuyo to strong French cheeses. We are in good company ;)

Hi Sha! Thanks! :) I like the name putput...reminds me of a car chugging up a hill, heehee :)

Anonymous said...

have u guys tried eating tuyo with rice(with gatas ng kalabaw).... superb!!!

how about tuyo dipped in .. sauted garlic, onion, tomatoes and egg...
divine!!! =)

or.. with munggo.. hay kakagutom..=)

Typical INgredients said...

Hi Joey,

Thank you for hosting Lasang Pinoy and take note "Pinoy talaga ang dating ng Tuyo mo-lol!" Baka pwedeng padalhan mo ako dito -hehehehe! Iba pa rin ang galing sa atin though I can buy in any Oriental store here in my place but the taste quite a little bit different -parang binugbog...Great almusal with all these Filipino food breakfast haayyy I can't wait to go back in the Phils. very soon!

Thanks again...

Tin

mira said...

thank you for hosting lasang pinoy, can i still join? i'm super late already

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anonymous! Karen of Pilgrim's Pots and Pans just posted about that! :) Haven't tried it muself but it sounds interesting...must find myself some kalabaws... :)

Hi Tin! Thanks for joining! :) Yes, tuyo is really a filipino fave no? It's addicting I tell you!!!

Hi Mira! As it happens...I am running late with the round up myself! So please, send your entry over...we'd love to see what you've cooked up :)

Mona said...

Wow..that looks amazing, though I'm not used to eating fish for breakfast. Judging from those pix I think I could get used to it fairly easily :)

a said...

link this recipe for my carnival

relly said...

Joey, i like the classy style you've done with your Tuyo Photograhy,i love it! Nalala ko ang series ng "Home along the riles". Dolphy had tied up the one and only tuyo they got for the ulam.... and told his family "isang tingin sa tuyo at isang subo ng kanin".
I was able to bring bottled tuyo in oil, but still the freshly fried is best.

Paz said...

I love breakfast, too!

I'd love to taste this tuyo, just the way you've prepared it with the rice and quail eggs. Yum! Looks really good.

Best,
Paz

Reshma said...

wow! this looks so exotic!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mona! Fish for breakfast is quite common here...interesting huh? This one's dried/salted, but there is also smoked ones. And sardines :)

Hi A! Thanks for the link! And for stopping by :)

Hi Relly! Thanks! Missed that episode of Home Along the Riles but you sure had me laughing! :)

Hi Paz! Thanks! The quail eggs are rumored to be higher in cholesterol...I hope not! I ate all three!!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Reshma! Thanks for dropping in a leaving me a nice note :)

christine said...

Heehee I love your tuyo pics! The first one reminds me of that singing bass you mount on walls. I half expect it to bend forward and belt out "Take me to the river". But in a pinoy accent.

Another dried fish lover here! I never knew about those different kids of tuyo, interesting...

By the way, fair warning to all who decide to fry up some tuyo for the first time: make sure to have all your windows open. For a first timer, the smell might be overwhelming. I remember my cousin's British husband freaking out when he first smelled it in their kitchen, and worse, the smell lingered for days! :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Nens! Hahahaha! I does look like that fish on the wall no? Even with open windows and candles and novenas, I don't think I will be able to cook tuyo in the new place. Don't want my neighbors to freak out :)

ooishigal said...

gorgeous plate!

ChichaJo said...

Hi ooishigal! Thanks for stopping by :) The plate is local and made from the ashes of Mt. Pinatubo, a volcano here that erupted some years ago...glad you like it :)

Anonymous said...

Hello there masarap talaga ang tuyo tuwing umaga !!!tanung ko lang saan lugar ang pinaka masarap na tuyo sa Pinas.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anon! Sinabi mo :) Sobrang sarap talaga! Finding the best tuyo though...now that would be a challenge! There is just so many good ones and great vendors :)

Anonymous said...

i came across this site while searching for a recipe of gourmet tuyo. Right, tuyo glorified. ... really good. Americans can't really take the smell of this breakfast fave.

Anonymous said...

Let me share this anecdote with you. I was so happy to have tuyo as "pasalubong" from the Phil. Is. I got Filipino guests who would love to have tuyo included in a meal. So, there, tinipid pa. I thought it would not affect people in the neighborhood as we were staying on the second floor and the yard was spacious enough. Houses in around us were bungalows. Of course I used an exhaust fan to minimize odor. Lo and behold, I forgot about my American brother-in-law who was right there in the living room. I did not even notice that he left. I was just told that he was fuming mad and scolded my sister instead of me. On the other hand, my Filipino guests savored the lowly tuyo con gusto.. It was also about that time that I really enjoyed gourmet tuyo. Now, I will try to prepare it since tuyo abounds in my province. Indeed, the lowly tuyo is now glorified and has inched its way to fine dining.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anon! Haha! You're right, and not just Americans I'm sure :) Its aroma always makes me hungry though...heehee :)

Hi Anon! Tuyo is so under-appreciated don't you think? I love it! But I never cook it in our flat for the same reason...I live in an apartment and the whole floor will smell it, and I don't want any uprisings! Hehe :) Funny story!

wildheart said...

To those who live in a condo and prefer not to cook tuyo..I would like to inform you that I make and sell " To- die- for" gourmet tuyo...yung sauce, to the last drop, sisimutin mo..ayyyy sarappp!!!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Wildheart! Where do you sell your products? :)

wildheart said...

Tnx Chichajo..after reading some comments amd making one I went to the kitchen and ate tuyo to satisfy my craving...nothing beats tuyo...not even T-bone steak! hahaha...I sell them at home..u may contact me at 09279119117 ;P

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Wildheart! Will let you know if I run out...

duskstaar said...

have you tried tuyo in olive oil?! that's really the best one!. You can't help but eat it with a lot of rice. My mom sent me this one from manila called "millionaire's tuyo". It had a lot of garlic and olive oil. i have a couple of bottels sent to me everytime my mom comes over. You guys should try it.

ChichaJo said...

Hi duskstaar! Yes I have :) I agree, it is very good! There are some with chilis added too...then watch your rice consumption skyrocket! Heehee :)

Anonymous said...

I read that Herring is loaded with nutrients found in salmon hence I bought lots of tuyo which is labeled dried herring....and that is how I ended up in your site. I googled tuyo to check for sure if its really herring. Is it ?

I'm craving for your breakfast now. Love your site !!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anon! Yes, tuyo is herring :) I don’t know however if it packs the same amount of nutrients as the fattier herrings you would find in the northern parts of the world...I sure hope so though!

peter said...

i read this before i got to work in my rss reader and had to come look again as soon as i got to my desk. yum, this looks so good!

Anonymous said...

` i Love TUYO :))

.. pLzz give me some information about tuyo !!

thankz ...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anon! What kind of tuyo info do you need? You can email me (please see my email addy on the sidebar) for any specific questions :)

Anonymous said...

Bongga naman ng mga taong nakabasa ng "tuyong" blog na ito, hehe. Pro english, kanosebleed nhilo 2loy aq, buti nakita q ung tuyo na bonggang bongga. Nice 2yo! Este blog.

Hyouten said...

I haven't eaten tuyo in a long time! This post made me crave it even more. And I'm also drooling for it. Haha.

chris lubuguin said...

My experience of tuyo and sinangag wont be complete without the mood. As my fondest memories of eating tuyo was during the rainy days and with our hands. My dad cooks it better than my mom. Coz he would fry the rice on the left over oil from the tuyo. Yummmy!

Rod Cantiveros said...

you're right when you identified the dried fish as "tonsoy"...
which is being described as "tawilis". when i had a resto in blumentritt, sta. cruz, we did "pinanggat or sinaing na tawilis", wrapped in a fresh young banana leaf...
i got a gift from someone who came from manila: "smoked and dried tawilis" WRONG! the fish not tawilis but "tonsoy" or sardinella"...buyers are duped by fake fish being sold as "tawilis" but in reality, it is "tonsoy" from the sea! not from taal lake or laguna de bay!