Milkfish, or bangus as it is locally called here in the Philippines is our national fish. This fish is one of the many staple diets by filipinos although milkfish is wide spread in south east asia. Countries like Indonesia and Taiwan have milkfish also in their diet. To describe this fish, the scales are bright silver. Slender body and the largest I’ve seen is about two feet. They thrive either in fresh water lakes, brackish water and salt water. When cooked, the flesh is white as milk ( that is why it called milkfish ) and lots of needle like fish bone on it’s flesh. Wide spread throughout the islands but the most tasty ones comes from Dagupan ( northern part of Luzon, Philippines ).
There are many milkfish recipes available and stuffed milkfish or rellenong bangus is one of the best. You can also find other aquatic filipino recipes here: http://www.aquaticfilipinorecipes.filipinovegetarianrecipe.com/
If you are now ready, here is the recipe:
Stuffed Milkfish ( Rellenong Bangus ) Recipe
1 large sized bangus ( milkfish )
1 onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small sized carrot, small cubes
1 box raisins ( optional )
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 raw egg, large
1 tsp. Vetsin ( monosodium glutamate )
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
2 tbsp. Flour
cooking oil for frying
* Scrape fish scales. Clean. 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 fish with soy sauce and calamansi ( lime ) 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 in aluminum foil. Fry. Cool before slicing.
* Garnish with sliced fresh tomato, spring onions or parsley. Serve with catsup.