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Totsong Isda (Fish with Black Beans and Fermented Soy Cake)

I'm back here in Texas from our 6-day Kansas vacation, and after all the unpacking and laundry I had to do, I'm ready to share another delicious Pinoy recipe with you. But before that, let me share with you this awesome opportunity of getting your own copy of a newly released ecookbook from Jeff Pirtle a.k.a. Chef Jeff.  Chef Jeff, who grew up and attended cullinary school in Seattle, Washington, has over 10 years of cooking experience from health-care as a certified dietary manager to cooking for the rich and famous on yachts and cruise ships. He also had a private cooking practice in Charlotte, NC where he cooked for local sports celebrities and regular busy families, using regular ingredients from the grocery store that helped them save money. This is where he came up with the idea for this cookbook.

It's called dinnerRevolution. It's an ecookbook that will help us feed our families wholesome and delicious food without spending all day in the kitchen. The good thing is, Chef Jeff will be giving my followers a free copy of this. All you have to do is leave a comment here, visit this link, sign up with your name & email address and Chef Jeff will email you the link to your free dinnerRevolution copy. It sells for $27, so getting it for free is such a good deal. :) I got my copy yesterday, and though I haven't checked all the recipes yet, I can say it's a fantastic cookbook! It has my favorite recipes like Chicken Quesadilla, Chicken Enchiladas, Lasagna Roll-Ups, Pad Thai, Shrimp Salad & many more! With over 200 dinner recipes with less than 10 ingredients and take less than 30 minutes to prepare, this ecookbook will definitely be a big help for busy moms like me. It has a wide variety of recipes from chicken, beef, pork, seafood and even vegetarian! I must say you should really grab this deal! Visit this link now! You wouldn't want to miss it!

Now back to my recipe...

In the Philippines, totso is the way of cooking fish, which is usually bangus(milkfish), in black beans and tahure (fermented soy cake). I love this dish except for the tahure in it, so since I started cooking on my own, I've always used tofu instead of tahure...and most of the time, I don't use bangus. I love bangus but it has a lot of fishbones making it quite difficult to eat. When we were still in the Philippines, I often used tilapia, but here in the US, I use pompano most of the time. 

Here is my version of Totsong Isda that is slightly different from the original version, but sure is more appealing especially to kids because of the hint of sweetness that oyster sauce adds to it.

  • 1 whole fish, cleaned and cut into serving pieces
  • 2 pcs roma tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup canned black beans
  • 2 pcs firm tofu, fried and cubed
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, julienned
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • Flour for dredging
  • Salt & pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • ½ cup water (you can add more water if you want more sauce)

1. Season fish with salt. Let sit for 15 minutes then dredge in flour. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown. Set aside.

2. Discard the oil from the pan, leaving about 2 Tbsps. Saute garlic and ginger until light brown. Add tomatoes and onions and sauté until tomatoes are soft. 

3. Add black beans and fried tofu. Saute for about a minute.

4. Add water and oyster sauce. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste. Simmer for 3 minutes.

5. Add fish. Cover with sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes.

6. Add green onions. Simmer for 3 more minutes.

7. Remove from heat. Serve with steamed rice!


  1. Hi Tina! Tks so much for sharing the ecookbook from Chef Jeff! I got mine already too! :D
    I've heard about the milkfish but don't think I've ever try it before. I love tilapia from the first day Cathy (hers and her girl's fav. fish!) recommended me to it! Love its soft tender flesh and whenever I see tilapia in the market, I'll buy two of it then me and Cathy will have the fish heads each (Cathy's not really a fish lover, only tilapia)! ^.^
    Now I can cook another different recipe for the fish bcoz we're all so bored with the repeated same old recipes and my parents just love eating fish just like me! :D
    BTW, what's tahure (fermented soy cake) and how does it look like? Is it those small rectangular pcs of fermented soy bean curds in a glass bottle? It's very light nude color and there's another type which is red in color?

  2. You're right Lyn...that's tahure you're talking about. In the Philippines, you can buy it bottled or in plastic packages like that of tofu.

  3. My parents and I love that esp with plain porridge! lol :D
    The red color ones we used it for marinading meats over-night before deep-frying or braising and it's very delicious! ^.^

  4. Oh my, I haven't tried using tahure that way!

  5. You should try it! It's very delicious esp when you marinaded for about 2 days and deep fried them! We always use chicken thighs when fried, pork belly when braised. :)
    Just add other seasonings like light soy sauce, white/black pepper & some sesame oil will do. Put more of the red tahure+liquid, mashed & mixed well. :)

  6. Well, I guess I should! :) I love tofu...but I really don't like it fermented.

  7. I don't like it too initially but after some time of keep seeing my parents eating it with plain porridge, I tried again and slowly I'm beginning to love it till now! :D
    The taste and smell of it won't be so strong after you cook it. :)

  8. Tina, grazie mille per la tua visita e voglio anche io questo libro. Sei come sempre bravissima.
    Un bacio

  9. You're welcome, Lu! Hope you'll enjoy your copy!

  10. Oh I love this dish! This reminds me of Ongpin in Manila. Fish with tausi and the tokwa is a dish I will never pass up. Thank you for sharing this recipe and welcome back Tina!


  11. I glanced first, and went back twice to check this unusual fish dish out with the tofu.
    At first I thought it's too much preparation, but then I carefully checked your step-by-step directions, and really likig it. (not loving) since I rarely prepare tofu. So sad, because tofu has so many nutritional benefits, and you don't have to be a vegeterian to like it. It picks up the flavor.
    Tina, thanks for sharing this wonderful did a great job on it, for sure!

  12. yummy! am a new visitor and I love your blog!

  13. @Ray: Thanks! It's so nice to be back! :)
    @Elisabeth: You should try using tofu more often! Combined with the right ingredients, it could be more appealing to your palate! :)
    @Jinky: Thanks! Welcome to Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner!

  14. I prepare this dish today and so delicious. Didn't alter anything. Thank you for sharing your recipe. This is a winner.