Milkfish, also called bangus, is a long-bodied fish that almost resembles a yellowfin tuna. In the Philippines, the milkfish is an important source of food. In the town of Dagupan, Pangasinan, milkfish are cultivated and caught in nets and sold all over the Philippines and even exported to the United States. Preparing this delicious fish is easy to do. Here are some ideas that will make the milkfish become one of your favorites!
1. Milkfish adobo-style
Filipino adobo consists of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, a little bit of white vinegar, white onions, salt, and peppercorns. You can adobo almost anything, include milkfish. First, prepare your milkfish by washing it thoroughly and scaling it. You can easily scale this fish by using the back end of your knife and running it against the grain of the scales. Doing this outside can facilitate cleanup.
Make an incision in the stomach and you can easily take out the insides. Leave the grayish part of the belly; this is the best part of the fish!
Once you have taken out the fish guts, you can then wash the fish again. On a chopping board, cut the milkfish into fifths or quarters.
In a large pot, add a little bit of canola oil. When the oil is hot, add chopped garlic, ginger, and finally onions. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Add the milkfish. Allow the fish to cook for a few minutes by putting the lid on to the pot. After several minutes, add about 1/4-1/3 cup soy sauce, depending on how salty you like your food.
Add the peppercorns and a pinch of salt.
Replace the lid and allow to simmer until the fish is cooked, about ten to fifteen minutes.
2. Fish soup
Milkfish is delicious in fish soup, and Filipino fish soup is easy to make.
You will need garlic, onions, tomatoes, ginger, and cleaned milkfish (follow the instructions above for cleaning and scaling).
In a large pot, add a little bit of canola oil. When the oil is hot, add garlic, onions, and ginger. Once all of those are aromatic, add diced tomatoes (using cherry tomatoes is best). Allow to cook until tomatoes are getting a bit soft. Then, add about four cups of hot water. Allow the water to boil. In the meanwhile, add a few pinches of salt to the fish, and massage the salt in. When your soup starts to boil, add the milkfish. Cover the pot for ten minutes, or until the milkfish is cooked.
You can add greens to this soup just before you turn off the heat. The excess heat will cook the greens sufficiently.
And there you have it – delicious milkfish cooked the Filipino way.