Milkfish or bangus as it is locally called here in the Philippines is our national fish. Bangus is one of the many staple fish diets by Filipinos although milkfish is widespread in Southeast Asia. Countries like Indonesia and Taiwan have milkfish also in their diet. There are many ways to cook the milkfish or bangus. Preparation of the bangus for relleno is equally tedious. After selecting the right size of bangus, it is then scaled, gutted, and the intestines removed. Enjoy!
1 large size bangus
1 onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small size carrot, small cubes
1 box raisins (optional)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 raw egg, large
1 teaspoon vetsin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
2 tablespoon flour
2 pieces lemon
cooking oil for frying
- Remove and clean fish scales. Gently pound fish to loosen meat from the skin. Use flat side of a knife in pounding. Break the big bone at the nape and on the tail. Insert the end of the handle of an aluminum kitchen turner (sandok) through the fish neck. Gently scrape down the handle between the meat and the skin. Scrape down to the tail, going around and on the other side of the fish. If you feel the meat is entirely separated from the skin, remove the handle, squeeze and push out meat (with the big bone), starting from the tail going out through the head. This way, you will be able to push out the whole meat without cutting an opening on the skin.
- Marinate skin and head of the fish with soy sauce and lemon juice. Set aside. Boil fish meat in a little water. Drain. Pick out bones. Flake meat.
- Saute garlic until brown. Add onion and tomatoes. Stir in fish meat, carrot, and pepper. Season with salt, vetsin, ground pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Add raisins.
- Transfer cooked mixture to a plate. Cook, then, add raw egg and flour. Fill in mixture in bangus skin. Wrap bangus in wilted banana leaves or aluminum foil. Fry. Cool before slicing.
- Garnish with sliced fresh tomato, spring onions or parsley. Serve with catsup.