Burong Isda, Mommy’s Version

Layers of fresh fish and cooked rice

We have lots of kapampangan fare that we eat at home simply because mom and my inang has taught us well in appreciating their cuisine. One of things I have learned to like is buro. Though it comes in different forms, like burong hipon, isda, and others, we make burong isda and use tilapia. I remember that mom never really made this until after my inang passed away. And the recipe was actually more of an inquiry more than anything else from my mom. She then had to resort to trial and error until she finally had it down. Now, she’s the only one in her family who makes it.

Cleaned fish
Sliced open, but the bones still intact
Ready for layering

Buro is fermented rice along with another ingredient, like fish. This is fresh fish that is salted, layered with cooked rice, which is also salted. This is placed in one container and not touched until after ten days. This allows some fermentation time, The fish bones soften, the rice ferments, the salt preserves it all. After ten days, we saute it in ginger and onions, some use tomatoes too. The final product is a sour salty mixture, that is good for dipping fried fish. Some of my family are happy to eat this alone with rice, and I on the other hand, can eat it on its own.

Admittedly, this is an unfamiliar taste for most people. The stench it gives off (not like the durian though) is enough to turn some people away. But people who have tried and love it have always come to look for it in our household. ๐Ÿ™‚

For a more detailed recipe, please message me. I have to interviewย mom for the actual step by step ๐Ÿ™‚ I have actually posted the recipe in the site because of the numerous requests. Please follow link here and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel free to message me about it still. My mom enjoys hearing stories about how her buro recipe has become famous all over the world ๐Ÿ™‚

Fish still whole but broken down ๐Ÿ™‚ being cooked
Cooked ๐Ÿ™‚

62 thoughts on “Burong Isda, Mommy’s Version

      1. hello can u send pls the recipe and cooking instructions on how to make burong isda?my email ive tried dis one b4 masarap w/ tomatoes..tanx GOD bless

    1. dear mom,
      how i wish i could also have your recipe. thanking you in advance and god bless you for not being selfish to share what you know to others. again THANK YOU SO MUCH

  1. Hi,

    My mom is Kapampangan (in General Santos), and everytime I visit my lola, she always servede buro with every meal…I hated it at first, until I already look for it every meal…it has been years since I had buro, but the taste is still very vivid in my mind….I wish I can make them myself.

    Please send me the detailed recipe at ken@pinkbombils.com

    I really really appreciate it!

    P.S. The container with the layered fish and rice, reminds me of my lola’s cupboard that had many jars of it because her son and daughters would just go to her house and snatch one whenever they ran out of buro at their house,.

    1. Hi ๐Ÿ™‚ I actually posted it here already, since a lot are asking for it, but I’ll email it to you also ๐Ÿ™‚

      My sentiments are the same, the smell turned me off before, but now, fried fish equates to buro ๐Ÿ™‚ and since my mom is the only one in her family to make this, she has to make tons at a time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. can you send me the recipe of buro. i really wanted to learn how to cook it, i miss buro and im here in Us now. thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. IS makin gburong tilapia the same as making burong hipon. I love them both. I am from Tarlac and I missed buro so much. could you pls send me the recipe for burong hipon and burong tilapia. THX

    1. Hi Julie. You found my other recipe already. I hope it will turn out better this time. I am not sure if it’s the same as burong hipon though, since I have never made or tasted that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hi. I am a Kapampangan from Tarlac who is now based in Canada with my family. I have not eaten Burong Isda or Burong Hipon since we came over in 2008.

    I was wondering if I can make the dish and was searching the internet when I came across your website.

    I would really appreciate if you would be so gracious as to share your recipe with me.

    Thank you.


  5. Haven’t had Buro since I came over in the U.S. in 1981. I am glad I came across your website. Please send me a detailed recipe on how to make this delicious dish, Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. 1981? wasn’t even born then yet! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Glad you came across the site. Hope you’ll try making it. A lot of readers that have been asking for the recipe are people who have gone abroad like you, and have had some success with the recipe. It’s not exact, but it works. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Sent it already. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

    1. ๐Ÿ™‚ a lot of people have been eager to try this one out actually. especially those now living abroad. I’m beginning to think that this would be a good item to sell ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. hello, i live here in Qatar and i will apreciate it so much if you email me the procedures in making a burong isda or hipon… I love this food very much. Thanks and God bless..

  7. Hello can I also request your moms recipe of burong isda?,It really brings back good memories. It’s been years since I ate buro, this is what I always ask my Inang whenever we come and visit her ( bulacan).Thank you very much: )
    God Bless,

    1. Sent it already ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t even know that this kind of food spans provinces. All this time, I though buro was only eaten in Tarlac, then Pampanga, and now your place of Bulacan! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Roberto, I’ve already emailed the recipe to you. For the burong isda, the only thing that makes it red could be the addition of tomatoes, and that’s about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hi,

    Your mom’s buro looks really good.i want to try it but how much salt should i put on the rice?..if possible can i get an exact measurement of your mom’s recipe.?..thanks in advance…God bless..

    1. I’m sorry, but like almost all recipes from our kitchen, we don’t have exact measurements for this. But the rice tastes like salted rice, it’s more than you would put in a batch of sinangag. Offhand, I’m estimating that two heaping tablespoon for a 9 by 13 tray of an inch of rice. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Hi! I need your help! May I ask how much tilapia do you think would be needed for a 150ml jar of burong isda?:) hope you can reply! Thanks!!!

  10. Can I have this recipe pls. My grandma used to do this and watched it when I was young but not really sure of how much ingredients are in coz I was young then and my memories are a little hazy. Thanks in advance.

  11. Pls use a plastic food serving glove when you mix you ingredients. I guarantee you there will be no bad smell. I do this everytime. No matter how much you wash your hands there are still germs. I

    make buro tilapia or bangus. I live in Southern Calif. and so I only make buro around Summer time. Josie

  12. Hello can you teach me how to make the BURO? i live here in Finland and i really love to eat that at na miss ko na po siya ๐Ÿ™‚ please write me email about the recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ Salamat and God Bless you!!!

  13. Don’t you put angkak or food coloring just to look it better? I love buro as dipping sauce for vegie and inihaw na fish. I used to buy it and brought it in LA, but I always ran out and now I decided to learn how to make it my own.

  14. Hello, can you please send me the recipe for burong isda. I’m kapampangan from Angeles City. I longed to eat buro.

  15. I like buro very much this is i miss badly in the philippines i hope you can rmail me how to make buro step by step thanks a lot

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