Pan-fried Marinated Milkfish

Milkfish or “Bangus” is a popular fish in the Philippines. Very much so that it earned the title of the Philippine’s National Fish. It is an integral part of the Filipino seafood cuisine as it is very abundant and can be found anywhere in the country. Milkfish farming in the Philippines is also a huge industry that contributes greatly to the country’s economy and growth as well as provide jobs. It is even a good starting business for budding entrepreneurs. From farming, canning, import as well as it being a big part of the major seafood being consumed in the country itself. It is no doubt any newcomer to Filipino food must get to know this fish well.

There are numerous ways to prepare Milkfish. It can be grilled with some aromatic stuffing in a banana leaf, cooked in a clear soup or stuffed with meat and deep fried. My favorite way is to debone it (Milkfish is extremely bony) and smoke it.

But sometimes (okay most of the time) I’m too lazy to fire up the smoker. So, this recipe is a quick, no fuss version of one of my favorite seafood..

Pan- Fried Marinated Milkfish


1 whole Milkfish butterflied and deboned

Salt and Pepper

1 lemon (Squeezed)

2 cloves garlic (sliced)

Smoked Paprika

Cooking oil


  1. BangusTo marinate place fish in a shallow dish. Squeeze lemon juice first then season with salt and pepper and smoked paprika. Be generous on the salt specially on the skin side. Scatter garlic slivers on top of the fish then cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.


2.Heat a large skillet with cooking oil enough for shallow frying. I have a 10 inch pan and I used about 1/4 cup. I have a thermometer and I heated up my oil to up to 350ºF.

IMG_58213. Lay the fish skin-side down first, (To avoid spatter you can dredge with a small amount of flour and lay the fish away from you instead of towards you when you set it down the hot oil.)


Cooking Tips:

This can be marinated overnight wrapped in plastic and placed in the fridge.

When using paprika be careful not to put too much. Paprika has a strong woodsy taste. You can use any kind you like but I prefer smoked. I recommend using La Chinata.







I cooked my fish for about 8 minutes on the skin side and 5 minutes on the flesh side. Your cooking time may be different depending on the size and thickness of your fish. I recommend cooking the fish on it’s skin longer so that the skin crisps up. You will be able to see the translucent flesh turn white from the side. When the flesh is white about 2/3 of the way, you can flip your fish using a fish turner.

Here is the finished product:


Of course you have to eat it with white rice!

My favorite part is the fatty belly and the crispy, smokey skin!


Take a bite!

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