Tinabal refers to a Visayan salted/fermented fish; one of the fermented fish products that is popular in the Visayan Island of the Philippines, specifically a traditional fish product of Leyte Province. It is like a Bagoong (fish paste) but with a minor variation. Tinabal is said to have a peculiar flavor and Aroma different from other Bagoong or fermented fish products from the Philippines. Tinabal is eaten as a main dish added to vegetables, or fried and sauteed with tomatoes or as an appetizer.

There are two (2) kinds of Tinabal according to the kind of fish used in its preparation:

(1) Tinabal Molmol is popular in the Municipality of Bato which is made from Molmol or parrot fish (Scarus albipunctatus). Tinabal Molmol is prepared the whole year since Molmol is available all year round. Molmol is also known as Aliyak-Yak, Loro, Mulmul, or Bontogon.

(2) Tinabal Manko is popular in the coastal towns of Sagod, Bontoc, and Cariaga which is made from a fish called locally as "Tulingan or frigate fish (Auxis thazard).

Leyte Province is located in the Visayas Island of the Philippines.


I have been to Leyte, and nobody offered me Tinabal. I miss the opportunity to eat a local delicacy from my own country. Making this glossary is an eye opener for me, I get to know more about other countries through their food and also my own. It is just a pity that I am so far away from my country to try out some of these delicious foods now. The more I read about the foods of other countries, the more I miss the Philippines. I am missing my mom's cooking, her Tortang Patatas and Tapang Baka. My Tiya Monique' Escabeche, my Auntie Mayang's Baradibud, Tata Milio's Papaitan, my sister Agnes' Callos. I wish I am a child again enjoying all these dishes.

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