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Milkfish Bangus as a Part of Philippines National Fish

Monday 4 September 2017

Milkfish Bangus as a Part of Philippines National Fish

Milkfish bangus is the national’s fish of the Philippines with its scientific name called Chanos chanos. Bangus belongs to the family of Chanidae, the fish has bright silvery body with toothless mount and averagely small in shape with single dorsal fin. Milkfish can grow up to more than 1 m, although most of bangus that you likely found it the market is relatively smaller. Bangus in the Philippines is an important commercial fish species and their farming has been conducted since 800 years ago to supply bangus stock in the seafood industry. Both Philippines and Indonesia are two major producers of milkfish.

Milkfish Bangus as a part of Philippines’s National Fish
Philippines contribute a lot in milkfish bangus industry; even in 2009 the country provides 14.03 percents of Philippines aquaculture production before tilapia and after seaweed. Milk fish bangus has successfully captured most of Filipinos heart and this is why bangus has become a part of Philippines dishes and culture, the fish has a role in everyday life of many Filipinos. Unlike other fishes that mostly served in fancy restaurants such as lapu-lapu or the grouper, milkfish bangus is a nice dish to be part of home cooking thus milkfish unonficially called Philippines’s National fish.
The taste of bangus milkfish
Milkfish bangus taste is a distinct one and it is not just a bland white fish although the flavor is not that strong. Bangus has mild taste to be honest and in fact it can be an advantage for people who do not like to eat stronger fish flavor. The natural flavor of milk fish bangus can be cooked in the way of neutral white fish, however the taste will be better if the fish cooked with selective cooking methods and complementary ingredients. Meanwhile, many said that smaller size of milk fish bangus somehow taste better.
The preparation of bangus milkfish
Cleaning and preparing bangus milkfish is quality challenging because the fish is known to have numerous bones. Before cooking milkfish bangus recipe it is optional to remove the bones or just simply removing them later when eating. But of course the guts and the scales need to be cleaned earlier, but still deboning process is an optional for some recipes. Good that usually the small bones are clustered together during their removal so it makes thing easier. The skins are often left behind because it can be removed later on the dining table or simply eat them along with the meats. There is a dark color meat between the skin and the meat to separate them. The most flavorful taste is the belly part of the milk fish and you can find boneless belly cuts sold in the grocery market and they are considered to be premium product.
The cooking of bangus milkfish
There are many popular recipes in Philippines that using bangus as the ingredient like bangus escabeche, sinigang na bangus, bangus sa tausi, bangus sisig, pinaputok na bangus, and rellenong bangus. However, the qualities of bangus milkfish will be shown better if the fish is fried in oil until brown rather than baked or steamed the fish since somehow the taste become limp but it can be served with other ingredients to overcome the flavor and to provide contrast textures and flavors.
When cooking milkfish bangus recipes, you can marinate the fish with garlic, salt, vinegar, and pepper for few minutes. After that fry the fish in oil until it turns golden brown. Of course this cooking method can be applied to other types of fish, but it will be especially good if you use milk fish bangus. Both the garlic and vinegar blend perfectly with bangus flavor especially the belly fat part without overwhelm it. The crispy sensation when you eat the fish offers wonderful taste to have and the soft meats is even better in your mouth. Milkfish can also be served with sliced tomato as the condiment or side dish. Or you can find other recipes, for example cooking milk fish bangus as sinigang or paksiw can help to retain its nutritional value.
Milkfish bangus is also popular in other countries such as Indonesia and it is called bandeng known to be a national fish on there as well.


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