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Tuyo with Pasta

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A friend asked “What are you looking forward to this coming week?” I replied, “Staying healthy, home-cooked meals and my tuyo order delivered.” My Filipino tuyo (bottled salty herring in oil) arrived in time, so I cooked Tuyo with Pasta.

If you’ve never had tuyo before, these bottled herring are as salty as anchovies. I order jars of tuyo from an online source who makes it for me with no spice. Personally, I prefer bottled tuyo and canned sardines which don’t have any fire or heat in them. Here in America, I have limited choices to bottled tuyo. What I find in Filipino stores here in the States, are imported from the Philippines. All are preserved in oil, with huge amounts of siling labuyo (bird’s eye chilies). If you like spicy tuyo, then that’s fine. It’s not the case for me.

Now that I can purchase a regular supply of non-spicy tuyo from a vendor based here in the States, I often cook our favorite Filipino Tuyo with Pasta. I add spinach, sweet Jersey tomatoes, olives and sometimes capers, to the mix, to extend the dish and make it an all-in-one pasta meal.  

As I mixed the long spaghetti noodles together with the savory tuyo-vegetable mix, I reflected on what my friend asked. Looking forward to the next day, or the next week has been difficult for many of us, during the pandemic crisis. The normal situations we enjoyed this time last year, are suddenly present day uncertainties. True, the pandemic, the economic recession and political unrest makes everything look scary right now. But for as long as we crave for change, then there is hope. Stay hopeful and keep the faith, friends. We’ll be alright. Meanwhile, why not look forward to cooking this Tuyo with Pasta for the family. It’s the simplest dishes that bring much pleasure and comfort.

Tuyo with Pasta

Tuyo with Pasta consists of spaghetti mixed with Filipino bottled tuyo (salty herring in oil) which are sold in Asian markets or online sources here in America. Tuyo in the Philippines are herrings, tiny fish salted and sun-dried for preservation. In recent years, enterprising Filipinos found a way to preserve what is referred to as "the poor man's fish" in the Philippines by cooking and bottling them in oil with spices and seasonings. I often have a few jars in my pantry for emergency days or quick meals. One of my favorite ways with bottled tuyo is transforming it into a pasta meal like this one. This is an Asian in America recipe by Elizabeth Ann Quirino. Serves 2 to 4.
Cook Time18 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Tuyo with Pasta
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 14kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • large skillet or wok


  • 16 ounces (1 pound) spaghetti pasta, cooked according to directions, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water
  • ½ cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons extra vigin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1 whole medium-sized white or yellow onion, sliced
  • 220 gm. (1 bottle) bottled Filipino tuyo (dried herring in olive oil), flaked, reserve 2 Tablespoons of the oil from the bottle
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in halves, or 2 cups chopped large tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup pitted green Spanish olives, drained
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 whole lemon, for sprinkling juice before serving

For serving:

  • 4 to 6 slices garlic bread


To cook and prepare Pasta:

  • Cook the spaghetti pasta noodles in boiling water according to package directions. After about 11 minutes, when the pasta is al dente, drain the liquid, but reserve 1/2 cup of the water for the saute.
    Run the pasta through warm running water to prevent from sticking. Shake the water off by placing pasta in a colander.
    Arrange the pasta in a large bowl. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese all over the pasta and mix well till it coats most of the noodles. Cover to keep warm. Set aside.

To cook the Tuyo with Pasta:

  • In a large skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, add the oil. After 1 to 2 minutes, when oil is hot enough, saute the minced garlic and onions till translucent.
    Add the flaked tuyo, plus 2 tablespoons of the bottled oil, tomatoes, spinach, olives and capers.
    Pour the wine and pasta water. Cook for 2 minutes for flavors to blend. Do not cook longer than this time or spinach will wilt and disintegrate.
    Add the cooked pasta to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Blend ingredients together till they coat the noodles. Sprinkle the juice of a lemon all over the pasta just before serving.
    Serve warm with garlic bread.

Cook's comments:

  • If bottled Filipino tuyo is not available, use canned sardines in olive oil for this recipe, in about the same amount (220 g. of tuyo). Feel free to use other types of pasta preferred.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 14kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

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