This month marks the first year anniversary of Kulinarya Cooking Club. Thanks to Kath, Trish and Trissa, all the way across the globe in Australia, for starting a group that highlights our colorful Filipino cuisine. To mark this special occasion, Anna and Dahlia chose a festive theme to celebrate: Relleno, a term for stuffed food like chicken, fish, crab or vegetables.
I made Rellenong Bangus (Stuffed Milkfish), one of my favorite dishes growing up. This type of fish is perfect for stuffing due to the thicker skin (just like salmon skin) but the drawback is that milkfish has more bones. Besides the vertebral spine, there are teeny tiny bones along the lateral and ventral sides. This is the reason Rellenong Bangus is a dish considered by many as a "special occasion" dish due to the laborious preparation that goes into the dish. When I say laborious, I only meant one thing: picking out the fish bones! I know this from experience because I was always the one who had to help pick them out. I didn't mind because my Mom would reward me with the best slice: the one with the fish belly, yum! :)
Then it is just a matter of scraping out the meat. Setting aside the fish bodies to marinate in some soy sauce and kalamansi (or lemon). Saute the fish meat with onions, garlic, carrots, red bell pepper, raisins and seasoned with some soy sauce. Remove from heat and let it cool. (The cooling process is usually when you would go over the mixture to pick out the bones which can take hours.) I put the mixture in the freezer for about half an hour to speed the process. Once cool, mix in eggs and bread crumbs to help bind together when you put it back in the fish cavity.
|Look no fish bones! :)|
2 milkfish, preferably deboned, thawed
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP freshly-squeezed kalamansi juice (or lemon)
1 medium onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely minced
1/2 cup green peas, thawed
1/3 cup raisins
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
oil, for frying
Prepare fish. Scale and rinse, pat dry. With a spoon, scrape meat off the skin, leaving belly intact. Put fish meat in a bowl, season with salt and set aside.
Place fish bodies in bowl along with soy sauce and kalamansi juice. Place in refrigerator to chill while you cook the fish meat.
Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, saute until translucent, do not let it brown. Add carrots and cook for about 2 minutes until soft. Add the fish meat and saute until meat become opaque, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add bell pepper, peas and raisins until heated though (the raisins would have soak some of the liquid the fish gave out). Take from heat, transfer to a bowl and let mixture cool.
Spoon the fish mixture into the fish and close it back. The seams were sewn together by using a regular needle and cotton thread. Lightly dredge the whole fish in cornstarch before frying it in a wok-ful of hot oil (350F). Fry until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes on each side.
Alternatively, you may bake the rellenong bangus in a 350F degree oven. Wrap the fish with a greased tinfoil, for about 40-45 minutes. Unwrap and broil to get some color in the skin. Though you won't get the crunchy skin when fried.
Please visit my fellow Kulinarya members for their Relleno creations:
Kath - http://www.acupcakeortwo.com/
Trisha - http://sugarlace.com/
Trissa - http://trissalicious.com/
Olive - http://www.latestrecipes.net/
Ninette - http://bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com/
Asha - http://forkspoonnknife.blogspot.com/
Malou - http://www.skiptomalou.net/
Cherrie - http://sweetcherriepie.blogspot.com/
Acdee - http://acdee.blogspot.com/
Valerie - http://www.acanadianfoodie.com/
Sheryl - http://crispywaffle.com/
Divina - http://www.sense-serendipity.com/
Anna - http://www.anniesfoodjournal.blogspot.com/
Dahlia - http://www.energychef.blogspot.com/
Joy - http://joyjoycreativeoutlet.blogspot.com/
Maribel - http://www.foodgeek.webs.com/
Jen - http://www.jen-at-work.blogspot.com/
Pia - http://bisayajudkaayo.blogspot.com/
Malaka - http://thegrandinternational.com/.
Mimi - http://lapinchecocinera.blogspot.com/
Erika - http://ivoryhut.com/
Kat - http://www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk/default.aspx
Lala - http://thislittlepiggywenttothemarket.blogspot.com/
Selfie - http://eats.sefiebee.com/
Connie Veneracion - http://homecookingrocks.com/
Oggi - http://oggi-icandothat.blogspot.com/
Katrina Kostik - http://lardonmyfrench.blogspot.com/
Rochelle Ryan - http://www.whydiss.blogspot.com/
Marica - http://cuppycreme.blogspot.com/
Diona - http://titaflips.blogspot.com/
Rowena - http://saraplicious.blogspot.com/