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Monday, March 23, 2009

Bangus (Milkfish) & How to pick fresh fish

Probably one of my favorite fishes. It comes second to tilapia. Then there's also my love for ahi tuna and catfish. Bangus is the named used in the Philippines, which is also the unofficial national symbol of the country. Here in the US it's called Milkfish. But like many fishes the taste can be a bit bland. Usually I like mine baked with chopped red onions and tomato with cilantro and seasonings stuffed into the belly. (Renellong Bangus in Tagalog) Wrapped tight in foil and baked for 20min on 350˚. The flavors combine into a tasty meal. Squeeze a little lemon on the meat and you're good to go. I also like it pan fried as seen in the picture above. But drained really well of any oil. If it's a whole fish, I always like to save the belly for last. There's just something about the belly fat of the fish that just makes it good.

It's always best to get the fish fresh from the fishmonger. Here's some tips in choosing the freshest fish:

-If you're going to buy whole fish make sure the eyes are clear and bright, not sunken or cloudy. The skin should be shiny, moist, and have a firm appearance.

-For fillets, look for neat and trim and should have a white translucent appearance

-Flesh should be firm to the touch

-No brown spots, which is an indication of decay.

-The appearance should look like the fish could still be alive.

-if you find no desirable fresh fish and need to go the frozen route, make sure the frozen fish in question has no signs of partial thawing, in an undamaged package and no sign of freezer burn.

Happy Fishing!!

Picture From The Daily Mail Online


Anonymous said...

I love to cook all kinds of seafood but I have not seen milkfish yet - I will have to look for it in my seafood department.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips. I took a one-day sushi-making class a few years ago, but they didn't really explain how to pick the best fish. And that's got to be the most important part. I don't really trust myself and haven't made sushi at home since the class.

Jenn said...

5 Star Foodie: I know in a lot for asian markets sell milkfish. Or if you know of a place that secialized in seafoods and fish, they may have it or know where to get it.

Grubtrotters: Now you can make sushi again. Just follow the tips and you're good to go.=)

Anonymous said...

I should also look for milkfish in our fish market.

Tangled Noodle said...

My mom serves it fried for breakfast, topped with tomato, onion and salted egg. I'm drooling as I speak! Unfortunately, I don't have much hope of finding it whole and fresh here but I have seen it frozen at the Asian markets. Time for bangus!

Jenn said...

zerrin: any or most asian markets should have them

Tangled noodle: Frozen is still good. But, of course, fresh would be best.

Anonymous said...

I've seen some whole and fresh at the International Farmer's Market in Atlanta, so some of the larger cities in other areas might carry it as well. Very pretty, shiny fish. My sister, who is filipino, sometimes use to make a soup with milkfish. I can't remember the name, but it used bamboo shoots, milkfish, coconut milk, some kind of green leaves, and the juice of tiny fermented fish. Very tasty but it has a lot of bones to pick out.

Jenn said...

Sandy: Ya, but once you get all the bone out of the way. The meat of it is just delish. Some place sell a boneless variety in the freezer section. I think the dish your sister makes is ginataang na labong. Very tasty, indeed. said...

It can't have effect in fact, that is exactly what I suppose.

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