Filipino Milkfish Recipe – Fried Bangus

Filipino Milkfish Recipe – A milkfish is one of many fishes you’ll find features in Filipino cuisine. Not only this, but the milkfish is the Philippines’ national fish. There are several ways to cook and enjoy milkfish. A popular dish that features milkfish in Filipino cuisine is fried bangus. A bangus dish generally means a milkfish that’s been cut open to form a circular shape and is packed full of flavor. It is usually deep fried to achieve a deep golden color and pairs well with soy sauce and pickled vegetables. It’s a simple dish but its marinade gives it a sour spicy flavor. While the dish is usually enjoyed nearly whole, the fish can also be sliced up in small portions. Never had milkfish before? Then this is one Filipino Milkfish Recipe you need to try:

filipino milkfish recipe

Fried Bangus

A pan-fried milkfish with a golden and crisp top and layers of flavors.
Prep Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Cleaning Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino


  • 3 medium milkfish milkfish can be substituted with Tilapia, Blue Mackerel Scad, Indian Mackerel
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground pepper


Preparing the fish

  • With a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, prepare the fish by trimming the fins and tail of the milkfish.
  • Split milkfish on the top side starting from the tail to the head by running the edge of the knife along the belly.
  • Lay fish open, then remove gills and innards. Wash the fish in running water to remove blood.
  • Remove backbone by laying fish flat on the cutting board with the skin down. Hold the knife in a slanted position the cut in with the tip of the blade along the backbone from the head to tail.

Marinating the Fish

  • Add 2 cups of vinegar, sliced garlic, and onion into a bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients well then season with 2 tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground pepper and stir until the ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Dip the milkfish until all the parts are soaked, then marinate for about an hour.

Cooking the Fish

  • Heat olive oil on medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, pan-fry the fish skin side down for about 10 minutes.
  • Turn the fish over using a wide spatula to cook the opposite side until golden brown for about another 10 minutes.
  • When the fish is ready, transfer it to a plate and serve it fresh.

Other Options with a Filipino Milkfish Recipe

Fried bangus is one of the more popular milkfish recipes you can try in Filipino cuisine. If you want to know other ways to cook and enjoy the fish, you can try out dishes like bistek bangus. Bistek Bangus is another pan-fried milkfish recipe but alternatively features a sauce that involves. Do you want a completely different way to enjoy milkfish? Then you should try Rellenong Bangus. It is a stuffed fish dish. The stuffing features the meat of the fish, vegetables, and plenty of spices. It is the ideal dish if you don’t want to deal with fish bones.

Other Filipino dishes you can try include our “Beef Adobo Recipe” and “Bicol Express Recipe.”

filipino milkfish recipe

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