Tuyo fish is the Filipino term for salted dried fish or herring that is cooked fried or grilled till crisp. Another way to cook tuyo is to wrap the dried fish in foil and bake it in the oven. On the label it is called “tunsoy” but I grew up calling it tuyo. In my vocabulary tunsoy or tuyo fish are interchangeable.
Non-Asians wonder how to cook dried fish or seafood. More and more people are visiting Asian stores and I often see them browsing at all the varieties of dried fish and squid. One time I was at the Asian frozen section and I was asked how I eat it. Also, a co-worker asked me how I cook dried fish and dried shrimp. In the old days, I remember my aunt used dried shrimp a lot with her cooking. I don’t use dried shrimp at all. I always use fresh shrimp.
Many Asian ingredients, food or fruits are introduced on TV or in the internet and non-Asians have no clue what they are. One example is the Jackfruit. It is so popular right now that I even see it in the news. I was watching “The List TV” and they featured the jackfruit. They showed how to eat it and they were eating everything inside except the seeds. I could be wrong but we only eat the fruit but not the fiber surrounding the yellow fruit (jackfruit). The seeds are also edible if you boil it. I’ve been meaning to email “The List TV” but I have been busy lately.
When frying dried herring (tuyo fish or tunsoy) make sure that you have a very good exhaust fan or ventilation in your house. It will smell throughout the house. When I had my house built one of the upgrades I requested was a vent exhaust fan through the roof for this reason. For Asians the aroma smells good but it could be offending to others. To them it smells nasty and pungent.
Eating dried fish is an acquired taste. There are days when I have a real craving for dried stuff. I don’t always have it since it is salty. But there are times that I don’t want any meat instead dried fish or squid sounds good. It is Lent and it is a good time to cook this.
Tunsoy or tuyo fish is fried to almost crisp. It is cook once the scales are crispy and separating from each other. Some varieties are very tiny and all of it is edible. The ones I buy don’t have heads anymore. It is salty so you end up eating a lot of rice with it. Tuyo fish is usually paired with diced tomatoes, pickled veggies (atchara), mango salsa or spiced vinegar dip. It is usually served for breakfast with garlic fried rice called sinangag or plain rice.
How to Cook Tuyo Fish (Dried Fish)
Watch my short video “How to cook tuyo fish (dried fish)”.
Tuyo fish is a popular Filipino salted dried fish that is fried, grilled or cooked in the oven. Dried fish is popular among Asians but the smell can be offending to non-Asians.
Heat oil over medium-low.
Fry the dried herring. If heat is still high switch to low.
When the scales are crisp and separating from each other, remove it from heat and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Serve with any of these sides: diced tomatoes, mango salsa, atchara or spiced vinegar dip. Of course with any fried dried fish, rice is always served. Enjoy!
1. When frying indoors make sure your house is well ventilated or it will smell throughout your house.
2. Tuyo fish is good crisp but not overcook.
3. If you get the very tiny dried fish - all of it is edible.