I always associate Relyeno na Bangus with Semana Santa or Holy Week for we observe abstinence for pork and other meat dishes especially during Good Friday. That's where relyenong bangus comes in - not "meaty" but still as delicious as it can be. Before, it was my duty to be the one who takes care of the fishbones (sikag / tinik) of the flaked bangus before it is seasoned and made into one delicious relleno.
Here's a basic recipe for Bangus Relyeno
- 2 big bangus (milkfish)
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 onion chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup calamansi juice
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 potatoes
- 1/2 cup pickle relish
- 1/4 cup bell peppers, chopped
- 3 small boxes raisins
- 1/2 cup cooked peas
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking oil
How to make Rellenong Bangus
- Remove the scales and innards of the bangus. Wash thoroughly.
- Carefully remove the meat of the fish from the skin by making an opening below the head. Insert a spatula in the opening to separate the meat from the skin. Break the part of the spine that connects it to the tail. Check out this video. Or you can also request it from your suki fish vendor to make this for you.
- Marinate the head and skin in calamansi juice, soy sauce and pepper. Set aside
- In a cup of water, boil the the bangus meat with salt for 5 minutes. Flake the cooked bangus. Thoroughly remove all the fishbones. Set aside
- Sauté the garlic and onions.
- Add potatoes, peas, bellpeppers and the bangus meat to the mixture. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a 1-2 tablespoons of calamansi juice.
- Add raisins and pickle relish and cooked for another 1-2 minutes
- Finally add a beaten egg to the sauté and mix well.
- Stuff the mixture inside the bangus skin and head. Make sure it it is fully filled but not too tight. Sew the opening (using thread and needle). Set aside.
- Before frying, dab the bangus on all sides with flour.
- Deep fry the bangus in oil until golden brown.
- Slice and serve with chili sauce.