Starting a Business in Smoked Boneless Bangus

Smoked fish or Tinapa, a native Filipino delicacy, is a fish cooked/preserved through the process of smoking, it has a two-stage processes: (1) the brining part, which gives the fish a good salty taste and also makes it moist, and (2) the smoking part, which cooks the fish and gives it the smoky flavor.

Smoked fish can be produced anytime because a wide variety of fish species like Lapad, Tunsoy, Banak, Kabasi, Hasa-Hasa, Galunggong and Tamban is available throughout the year and can be processed using the same technology. Except for Tunsoy, Galunggong and Tamban all other species command higher pace.

Estimated Investment Costs (in Php based on 2009 prices)

A. Cost of Utensils

  • Cutting board – 60.00
  • Strainer bowl, 8 pcs @P155/pc – 1,240.00
  • Knife – 110.00
  • Wooden spoon – 50.00
  • Measuring cup – 45.00
  • Big basins, 5 pcs @ P150/pc – 750.00
  • Cooking tongs – 70.00
  • Trays (12″ x 8″), 8 pcs @P75/pc – 600.00
  • Fire charcoal, 20 packs @P10/pack – 200.00
  • Sawdust/wood shavings, 2 sacks @P30/sack – 60.00
  • Brining container, 5 pcs @P275/pc –  1,375.00
  • Fishnet, 5 meters @P17/meter – 85.00
  • Polyethylene plastic ( 0.002″ thick) @P20/pack of 100’s – 20.00
  • Subtotal – P4,665.00

B.   Cost of Equipment

  • Weighing scale for fish – 900.00
  • Plastic sealer (for sealing of plastic bags) – 800.00
  • Smokehouse (made to order), 2 pcs @P2,500/pc – 5,000.00
  • Electric stove or gas stove – 900.00
  • Bamboo sieves, 8 pcs @P200/pc – 1,600.00
  • Subtotal – P9,200.00

C. Cost of Raw Materials and Ingredients

  • Fresh milkfish, 20 kg @P110/kg – 2,200.00
  • Salt 1.5 kg for every 20 kg of fish @P10/kg – 15.00
  • Water – 8.00
  • Subtotal – P2,223.00

Estimated investment cost – P16,088.00


A.   Deboning (video):

  1. Clean and rinse the fish thoroughly. The fish needs to be   gutted and rinsed in cold running tap water.
  2. Place the fish on its side on a dean cutting surface. Using a sharp knife, cut straight down into the fish, just behind the gills until the blade touches the backbone.
  3. Rotate the knife so that the blade is laying flat against the backbone, parallel to the culling surface. The sharp edge should be toward the tail.
  4. Using a gentle back-and-forth sawing motion, cut along the backbone all the way down the fist to the tail under the fillet.
  5. Repeat the same for the other side after turning the fish over. Now the backbone has been removed end the ribs and pin bones need to be removed next.
  6. Cut the rib cage bones away from the fillet by slicing between them and the meat of the fillet.
  7. Remove the tiny pin bones by pulling them out with a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers. If they are not visible, feel for the tips of the bones with your fingers.

B. Brining Process

  1. Prepare brine solution i.e., mixture of water and salt. For 20-kilograms fresh fish, use 4 gallons of water and 1.5 kilos of salt.
  2. Place the fish in the brine solution for 30 minutes. Be sure that the fish is submerged completely.
  3. Boil the brine solution for at least 5 minutes. Boiling the brine solution aids in maintaining the firmness of the fish.

C. Smoking Process

  1. Strain the cooked fish and arrange in bamboo sieves. Be sure that excess water is drained completely.
  2. Partially sundry fish for 30-45 minutes. Make sure to cover fish with fishnet to avoid contamination.
  3. Prepare smokehouse using charcoals and sawdust kusot as fuel.
  4. Put fish in bamboo sieves inside the smokehouse and cover. Smoking time varies according to fish size or dryness of fish. Longer smoking time makes storage longer,
  5. Remove fish from bamboo sieves and let them cool in room temperature.
  6. Weigh and wrap in plastic bags, then seal.


  • Fish smoking is done for 22 days/month
  • Daily production is 20 kgs

Estimated Costing and Pricing (for 1 kg tinapa)

  • A. Direct cost (raw materials, ingredients, packaging, labor) – 130.30
  • B. Indirect cost (water, electricity, contingency) – 15.13
  • C. Production cost (A+B) – 145.53
  • D. Product pricing (C+25% markup) – 181.91
  • Market price/kilo – P180.00 to P250.00

The higher the volume of production per day (more than 20 kg), the lower the production cost, thus further increasing the mark-up to more than 25%. The higher the mark-up, the higher the profit margin.

If price per kilo is lower compared with the existing market price, increase mark-up to 25% or more.

Registration Requirements

  • Business name registration (
  • Mayor’s/Business Permit (check your local municipality/city)
  • BIR TIN (
  • BFAD Certificate (

Financing Facility

  • People’s Credit and Finance Corp (
  • National Livelihood Development Corp. ([02] 914-7290 to 97)

Technical Assistance (Training and Seminar)

  • DOST-ITDI ([02] 837-2071 to 82)
  • BFAR (


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