Rellenong Bangus is an iconic Filipino dish that is sure to impress, but impressive food doesn’t have to be complicated! With the help of this easy recipe, cooks of all levels can make an eye-catching and delicious rendition of Rellenong Bangus!
What is Rellenong Bangus?
Rellenong Bangus is a classic Filipino treat with so much flavor! It is made from a fresh bangus or milkfish stuffed with a tasty filling. The milk fish’s skin is marinated with an irresistible blend of Filipino flavors and then stuffed with a rich potato filling.
Rellenong Bangus is a show-stopping dish that will impress at dinner parties, holidays, or even just weekend dinners, but the key is perfectly handled fish. To nail the process of preparing and deboning a milkfish for this dish, check out my simple instructions on deboning bangus.
- Deboned Bangus – The star of this dish is the bangus or milkfish. It is a succulent type of sole that is very popular in Filipino cooking. For this dish, you will need the whole fish carefully cleaned. Check out how to debone the fish; see my related post on deboning. For this recipe, you will want the meat of the milkfish to be pre-cooked, so you can complete this process while the skin marinates.
- Soy Sauce – is the base of the marinade in this recipe, and it is used again to season the filling. Swap this ingredient for low-sodium soy sauce if you are watching your sodium.
- Lemon Juice – Lemon juice adds a little citrus and brightness to the marinade. You can swap it for lime juice if desired.
- Oil – You can use canola to help cook the filling for this recipe.
- Onion – Fresh yellow or white onion is perfect for this wonderfully stuffed fish.
- Garlic – Choose fresh garlic cloves or jarred minced garlic for this recipe.
- Carrots – Beautiful carrots add color and texture to the filling. If desired, use multi-colored carrots to add some vibrance to the dish.
- Potato – You need a potato to make the filling nice and hearty. Choose red-skinned potatoes and dice them into small, even pieces to make the cooking process go smoothly.
- Raisins – Raisins add a nice touch of sweet grape flavor to balance this fish’s savory elements. Choose red, golden, or both for this recipe.
- Celery – Celery adds a nice leafy crunch to the recipe.
- Pickle Relish – The pickle relish in this recipe adds a tangy vinegar flavor. Use homemade or store-bought relish for this dish.
- Tomato Paste is a great way to add a nice umami flavor to the filling. In a jam, tomato puree or tomato sauce are good substitutes for this ingredient.
- Salt – To season the filling. Use your favorite style of fine-grain salt.
- Flour – Flour helps create a little structure in the filling so it holds together nicely. All-purpose or gluten-free all-purpose flour will work in this recipe.
- Egg – The egg binds all the filling ingredients together.
- Non-Stick Oil – Choose a neutral cooking oil like canola or vegetable oil for this recipe.
- Spatula and Spoon – A thin fish spatula is very handy for this recipe, and a large spoon is a perfect tool to help fill the fish.
- Fish Cutting Board – To prepare the fish for filling, you will need a large seafood cutting board and boning knife.
- Large Pan or Skillet – You will need a large saute pan or skillet to cook the filling.
- Sheet Tray or Baking Pan – This wonderful filled fish dish is finished in the oven, so have a baking sheet that is large enough for the whole fish and line it with aluminum foil for this recipe.
How to Make Stuffed Milkfish
I think the hard part of cooking stuffed milkfish is the deboning. Once you get past that, there’s the boiling of the fish meat and cooking the filling with its ingredients.
- Remove the fish scale and Debone the Bangus – I showed you the step-by-step instruction here —- Deboning Bangus Step By Step Instruction.
- Marinate the skin– when the meat has been taken out, marinate the skin with soy sauce and lemon.
- Boil the meat– to prepare the heart for the filling, boil the meat so it’s easy to remove the bone in the meat crevices.
- Remove the bone – after boiling the fish, remove the tiny bones from the meat. It would help if you looked for bones in the meat’s angles since there are many of them.
- Cook the filling– Heat the cooking oil in the small pan and saute’ the onion and garlic. Add the potato and carrots and cook until wilted. Add the cooked meat, raisins, celery, and relish. Season with the soy sauce, add the tomato paste, and add the flour. Let the filling cool and the egg.
- Stuff the fish – stuff the Bangus with the filling through the hole and push the filling towards the tail. Fill the head too.
- Brush the skin – with oil and bake for 20 minutes.
- Bake – place the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake the fish for 20 minutes.
Where to buy Bangus
In the Philippines, you can buy it in the wet market groceries. I buy it in the US in the Asian market in the frozen and fresh seafood section. You can have it cleaned and gutted too.
What is Rellenong Bangus Best Paired With?
One of the reasons Rellenong Bangus is so beloved is that it is a one-stop meal. It has starch, vegetables, and protein all in one delicious dish, but you can make it even more extravagant by serving it just right.
Serve the fish on a large platter to present the whole fish beautifully, and garnish it with lemon or tomato slices. Pair the fish with a fresh green salad, your favorite type of rice, and a refreshing lemonade for a beautiful summer party dish!
If you like a little sauce with your bangus, try drizzling the finished fish pieces with a simple sweet and sour sauce or homemade teriyaki sauce.
Can Rellenong Bangus be Stored?
Yes, the leftovers of this delicious fish dish can be saved for tasty lunches or dinners in the future!
Here’s how to store this fishy dish:
● Allow the fish to cool completely.
● Transfer to an airtight container.
● Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat the fish, try baking it. Preheat the oven to 400°F and place the fish on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until warm in the middle.
● Timing matters! Remember that this recipe requires you to marinate the fish skin overnight, so be ready to debone the fish on day one and cook on day two.
● When seasoning the filling with soy sauce, the recipe mentions using about one tablespoon. Start with less and add more, one teaspoon at a time as needed, until you reach the desired flavor.
● Be sure to allow the filling to cool well before adding the egg so you don’t have scrambled eggs in your filling!
● When filling the fish, press the filling toward the head and tail so every nook and cranny is stuffy with a luscious flavor!
For More Seafood Recipe you can check out these other delicious meals:
Rellenong Bangus Baked
- chopping board
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 2 inch carrots, finely chopped
- 1 piece small potato, small cube
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons pickle relish
- 1 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon water (if needed)
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 large egg
- nonstick oil for spraying
Please see notes on how to Debone the Fish
Marinate the Skin
- After taking out the meat, marinate the skin with soy sauce and lemon juice. Marinate overnight.
Cook the Filling
- Heat cooking oil in a pan and saute' onion and garlic
- Add in the potato and carrots and cook until wilted and soft.
- Add in the cooked fish meat and celery, raisins, and pickle relish.
- Season with soy sauce and add the tomato paste. I mentioned one tablespoon of soy sauce, but start with 1/2 tablespoon and add accordingly.
- Add the flour and let cool.
- When the filling is excellent, add egg and mix until the egg is incorporated into the filling.
Fill the Fish
- When the filling is cold, fill the fish using a spoon.
- Push filling to the end of the tail and fill towards the head.
Bake the Bangus
- Preheat oven to 400 F. When the fish is filled, brush the skin with nonstick oil and spray the tin foil with nonstick oil then bake the bangus for 20 minutes.