I have been dying to make this for the longest time, but I can’t find that much time to make it until now. Making Rellenong Bangus is quite labour intensive specially if you live outside the Philippines where you cannot tell your fishmonger to prepare your bangus relleno style. Back home in Philippines this can easily be done in the palenke where you can tell your fishmonger to separate the skin and flesh when you buy a bangus, in other countries you will have to do it yourself.
This is the first time I am trying this, and it was not that bad, actually it was quite easy as the milkfish skin is quite tough, ripping the skin is one less of your worries. Initially I thought of using a knife but that might pierce through, so I used a plastic spatula instead which did the job, and it was surprisingly not that hard. Using a spatula will also leave the fat intact in the belly as that part is quite hard to separate from the skin compared to the fleshy bits which made it even better, we all love this bit of that fish. What is hard though is deboning the fish as we all know this type if fish is very bony, so bony its everywhere not just in the spine section, what even makes it harder is that this fish has small bones embedded in its flesh. But after all of that laborious process then its easy ride from there, just add the other ingredients, mix them all together and stuff it.
Rellenong Bangus is one of the most popular dishes in the Philippines, it is very popular dish to serve during special occasions like fiestas, birthdays, Christmas eve and New Year’s Eve. It’s quite rare to see this served on a normal day due to its long preparation but nowadays you can easily order this in restaurants and there are ready made ones you can buy in supermarkets.
Like I said, I have a bit of time last weekend hence I gave it a go, fair to say for a first timer just with one try I think I did a really good job, what do you think?
- 1 big milkfish (bangus)
- 1 small carrot, chopped into small cubes
- 1 small potato, chopped into small cubes
- 1 small red capsicum, chopped into small cubes
- ¼ cup raisins
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp pickle relish
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp juice
- 1 tbsp oil
- Prepare your milkfish, make sure it is scaled and uncut before starting. Cut an opening on the fish head on the bottom of the gill section retaining the top bit so the head is still connected to the body. Using a spatula first remove the organs gently making sure the bile does not pop open as this will impart a bitter taste. Once that is removed gently run through the spatula to separate the skin from the flesh. Once you can feel the flesh is free push it out of the cavity or get a thong or plier to pull it out, you might need to secure the skin while doing this.
- Once the flesh is out, clean and rinse it with running tap water, drain then marinate it with the marinade ingredients, set it aside.
- Discard organs, cut the fish meat in smaller pieces then place it in a steamer. Steam until fish meat is cooked.
- Debone and flake the fish meat then set it aside.
- In a pan heat oil then sauté garlic and shallots.
- Add carrots and potatoes then cook for 5 minutes in medium low heat.
- Add capsicum then cook for 2 minutes.
- Add fish meat, raisins, pickle relish, soy sauce and tomato paste then cook for 2 more minutes.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then remove from the pan and place in a large bowl.
- Mix in the flour and egg, make sure it’s well blended.
- Fill the prepared milkfish skin with this mixture then place it in a baking paper. Brush both side with oil then bake in a 180C preheated oven for 12-15 minutes on each side or until skin is crisp and golden brown.
- Remove from oven, let is cool down for 5 minutes, cut into sections then serve.