How to Make Tinabal (Visayan Salted/Fermented Fish)

Tinabal is a type of fish processing which popular in the Visayas particularly Leyte.  The fish retains its original shape.  The most commonly used species for this product are parrot fish and frigate tuna. Tinabal is consumed as a main dish added to vegetables, or fried and sauteed with tomatoes after freshening for three to four hours with constant changing of water.

Tinabal is a good viand and appetizer for everybody’s meals. It’s so easy to make Tinabal and this recipe can be a good source of income too.  For the enterprising individual, this is a good money making idea to venture.

How to Make Tinabal (Visayan Salted/Fermented Fish):



  • Parrot fish
  • Salt
  • Plastic pail or basin

Procedure in making Tinabal (Visayan Salted/Fermented Fish)

  1. Remove adhering material from the fish and wash with fresh water. Scale, eviscerate, split and wash thoroughly.
  2. Soak the cleaned fish in 10% brine solution for 1-2 hours. Drain for few minutes. Mix salt with fish. Set aside 1/4 of the salt for re-salting the fish.
  3. Pack the salted fish in plastic pail or basin. After 24 hours, drain the fish and repack in the remaining salt.
  4. Store at room temperature for one to two weeks.

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