The best thing that ever happened to the tuyo or dried herring industry in the Philippines is when they started selling them already pre-cooked, preserved in olive oil and bottled. All ready to be eaten. You will understand why because when you are in the country and you are woken up by an insistent smoky pungent odor wafting from the kitchen, you will want to run for cover.
This dried fish is synonymous to odorific when being cooked and deliciousness. And this is one of the ways of starting the day in the Philippines. There are other kinds of savory breakfasts and they are comprised of 3 types of food in one plate. Tuyo (dried herring) -si (sinangag or garlic fried rice) -log (itlog or egg). Other variants are tapsilog (beef), hotsilog (hotdogs), longsilog (sausages) and tocilog (slightly sweet cured pork), all served with eggs and garlic fried rice.
- si (sinangag or fried rice) - log (itlog or egg) - See more at: http://www.apronandsneakers.com/2012/01/tapsilog-philippine-breakfast.html#sthash.XsB2QTrE.dpuf
Sweet Italian breakfasts have changed my morning habits. They're simpler, usually fresh croissants from the bakery, cookies, simple cakes or toasts with jam. They're also quicker to prepare and odor-free. Not everyone likes to wake up with a strong smell of cooking permeating the house first thing in the morning. So I learned to eat my Philippine breakfasts for lunch or dinner. I enjoy them anyway whatever time of the day. And I also found an enthusiastic company in my son when I eat the dried herring. It's a mother and son "should-have-been-breakfast" lunch or dinner engagement that my husband and daughter never got themselves into.
Tuyo is best enjoyed with a dipping sauce of vinegar mixed with salt, garlic & chili if you like it on the spicy side. Since it's normally salty, the vinegar tones it down. The best garlic fried rice, or any fried rice for that matter, can be attained if you use old cooked rice like what remained from the dinner before because it is already slightly dry. Tomatoes are optional but in my plate, it is a must.
You can get these dried herring in Asian stores. Outside the Philippines, it is more common to find the dried herring that still need to be cooked. If your neighbors are a kilometer away and you want to brave the smell, then grab a saucepan with oil and warm it up over medium heat. When the oil is already hot, drop the dried herring and cook both sides. The scales should come out crispy (that you will scrape away when you are about to eat). This takes only about 5 - 8 minutes but you will have to open your windows the whole day to send the last of the dried herring smell. Don't say I didn't tell you to just get the bottled ones! I'm lucky because my friends who come from the Philippines make sure that I am stocked well with my favorite Philippine souvenir.
It's a Sunday. What better reason is there to empty that bottle of dried herring for brunch? Buon appetito!
More Philippine Breakfasts:
Dried Herring, Eggs and Fried Rice (Tuyosilog)Ingredients:
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 cups cooked rice (better if it has been cooked much ahead)
- bottled dried herring or tuyo
- 2 eggs
- chili (optional)
- tomatoes, sliced (optional)
- In a small dipping sauce bowl, mix the vinegar, salt, 1 clove of garlic and chili, if using. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté the garlic. When it turns golden, add the rice. Cook until the rice is well-coated with oil. Sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan with a little extra virgin olive oil, over medium heat, fry the eggs. Set aside.
- Serve the rice, dried herring and eggs together with the vinegar dipping sauce and tomatoes.