Bangus, or milkfish, is the Philippines’ national fish and a quintessential ingredient in Philippine cuisine. Whatever occassion and whatever season, Filipinos can never get enough of bangus—fried, stewed, dried, fermented, roasted, grilled, and many more.
Flavors of the Philippines, organized by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the Department of Tourism (DOT), now on its third year of promoting regional cuisine through activities held simultaneously across the country. Bangus events that are part of Flavors of the Philippines include Dagupan’s “Bangus Rodeo” on April 22, “Bangusine” on April 23, “Bangusan Street Party” on April 24, and “The Search for Ms. Tisang Bangus” on May 1. For more details, log on to http://www.madridfusionmanila.com/flavors-of-the-philippines.
Here is a list the top ten bangus dishes:
- Daing na bangus – A perennial favorite from breakfast to dinner, this dish involves a butterflied milkfish marinated in vinegar, and fried to a golden crisp.
- Sinigang na bangus – Sinigang na bangus, or milkfish in sour broth, is a popular comfort food. The bangus is sliced in serving pieces, and cooked with vegetables in the broth, with tamarind as the popular souring agent. Miso may also be added to enrich the taste of the broth.
- Rellenong Bangus – This is a stuff milkfish, a popular offering at festive gatherings and celebrations. The fish is deboned and flaked, then the skin is marinated while flakes are mixed with seasonings and other foodstuff, like garlic, carrots, raisins, tomatoes, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. The fish is then stuffed with the bangus flake mixture before it is deep fried.
- Inihaw na Bangus – Large milkfish are often selected for roasting, and stuffed with onions and tomatoes. The fish is wrapped with banana leaves or aluminium foil before it is roasted over hot coals.
- Paksiw na Bangus – Paksiw involves stewing the milkfish in vinegar, garlic, onions, and ginger. Traditionally cooked in a clay pot, the dish often needs no refrigeration because its vinegar content prevents against quick spoilage.
- Bangus Sisig – A modern and healthier adaptation of the popular sisig, bangus sisig is made with flaked milkfish, minced onions and chilli peppers, drizzled with calamansi juice and topped with a fried egg.
- Sarsyadong Bangus – This inventive recipe involves deep frying the fish separately. Tomatoes and beaten eggs are stewed before the fried fish is added.
- Dinengdeng – Dinengdeng is an Ilocano vegetable stew, usually made with malunggay, squash, okra, sitaw, ampalaya, tomato and ginger. It is flavoured with bagoong isda (fish paste) and topped with a grilled or fried fish, usually bangus.
- Bangus Lumpia – Bangus has also emerged as a popular substitute for ground meat in the ever-popular lumpia or spring roll. The bangus is boiled before it is flaked, then mixed with garlic, onions, chives, and carrots to make the lumpia filling. It is then enclosed in lumpia wrapper before frying, and served with a sweet chilli sauce.
- Bangus sa Tausi – This is milkfish cooked in black bean (tausi) sauce, showcasing the Chinese influence on Filipino cuisine. The fish is fried separately, while the black beans and tofu are stewed in oyster sauce before the fried fish is added.