Blissful Bangus Belly

A lot of people say that the big, fat belly of the bangus or milkfish is the best part of the fish. Whether you agree or not, this well-seasoned fried bangus belly makes a delicious addition on family dining table on weekends.

Chef Vicky Rose Pacheco gives this ordinary fish a delicious upgrade with a simple drizzling of sukang tuba (coconut floral sap vinegar) and oyster sauce. Bangus has a nice firm texture with mild and sweet taste. It’s also rich in vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids.

“Bangus is so versatile,” she says. “You can do so many things to it — fry, steam, smoked, stuffed, bake or grill. The bangus belly, which is actually the best part of the fish, is elevated further with a homemade marinade and slightly thickened with butter for a richer flavor.”

The easy-to-follow recipe only requires a few ingredients. It’s also best eaten with fried rice and scrambled eggs, and veggies on the side.

“Go fish at least once a week to encourage families to eat fish and be healthy,” says Pacheco, executive chef and chief operating officer of 1771 Group of Restaurants.


Blissful Bangus Belly

Whole bangus 500g size, trimmed at sides, cut into 3 crosswise

100 ml bangus marinade

3 tbsp Palm oil

1 tsp Butter


For garnish:

40 g Pickled green mango, strips

3 g Red onions, sliced

3 g Native tomatoes, strips

Spring onions, chopped

Chopped brown garlic


For Marinade:

4 tbsp Mama Sita Sukang Tuba

4 tbsp Yamasa Soy Sauce (Japanese soy sauce)

3 tbsp Oyster Sauce


Make the marinade: Combine sukang tuba, soy sauce and oyster sauce in a bowl. Set aside. Pat dry bangus belly with paper towels. Drizzle marinade on the fish before cooking.

In a pan with oil, fry the bangus

— fat side down first. Turn and brown the skin side. Turn down the heat and pour a little marinade, swirling the pan. Turn the fat side down to coat with the sauce. Take out the fish and arrange on plate.

Add butter to the pan and boil once only. The sauce should become a little thick. Do not overboil. Pour over fish.

Top cooked fish with chopped browned garlic. Serve with pickled green mango, red onions, tomatoes and spring onions on the side.