Tinapang Bangus Spread

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We had houseguests for the last few days, who had once lived in Manila some 50+ years ago, and were returning on a nostalgic trip to visit their old homes, school and other places. After a several full days of sightseeing, the early evenings were always a time to decompress, relax and succumb to trans-pacific jet lag. I sometimes struggle with pica-pica’s to offer at the cocktail hour, that are both local yet familiar. This one is always a slam dunk. It’s so incredibly easy to do, it is local in flavor yet very much familiar to anyone who is used to smoked fish such as kippers or such, so it has broad appeal.


To make, fry up a whole medium sized tinapang bangus and flake the meat, you will end up with roughly 1.5 cups worth or so. Place that into a food processor. Add 1.5-2.0 bricks of cream cheese, some light cream (or yoghurt) to loosen things up, some chopped green onions, salt, pepper, a few dashes of worcestershire sauce and tabasco and a final spritz of fresh dayap juice (or kalamansi or lemon will do). Blitz this until well blended and serve with some toast points, bagel chips, etc. Delicious. I find that it’s terrific in hot pan de sal as well. If you store this in the fridge, make sure to take it out 30-40 minutes before you serve it so it warms up a bit and is easier to spread. Garnish with chives or green onions if you like.


7 Responses

  1. Try smoked mullets if you ever come across a seller because they are firm fleshed, oily and flavourful in a light-fishy way and practically boneless. They are plentiful too as juveniles called kapak down our way and banag as adults. Though easy to avoid, only downside is with the young ones, they have silty viscera.

    Reunions, I delight in them. I mistakenly thought at first that Facebook would take their place but am still left wondering about a lot of people who have once populated my early life; whatever happened to a classmate, former colleagues from various jobs, old flames, distant cousins, etc. Reunions usually settle concerns about them and what’s more, invite reminiscing. Like to Aeneas, reminiscing allows me to laugh at embarrassing or dangerous moments that I was pretty sure was going to kill me while it was happening.

  2. Substitute tuyo for tinapa for another variation. Toasted kesong puti in mini pandesal will be another good pica pica option.



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