One of my all-time favorites, Bangus Belly Steak or “Bangus Bistek” is probably the most versatile dish in my recipe list. I love having it for breakfast with fried eggs (sunny side of course!) and garlic fried rice.
Bangus Bistek is a variation of the Tagalog dish “Bistek” (Beef Steak) which features beef as the main ingredient. The procedure is basically the same. Here’s how to make Bangus Belly Steak:
Pat the fish dry: Wash the fish with running water, transfer to a plate and pat dry with paper towel. (Believe me, you don’t want to fry bangus that is wet.)
Season with salt and pepper and on a separate plate, toss the fish in 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until evenly coated. The cornstarch will give the fish the added crunch once we fry it. Set aside.
Peel the onion and cut crosswise trying to get even thickness, from stem to root. To help stabilize the onions as you are cutting, you can slice a bit off the onion’s side. Push the centers to separate the rings. Set aside.
In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium high heat. Add the onion rings and sprinkle with salt. Cook until it starts to glisten. Remove from pan and set aside.
In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil (Don’t put too much and make sure that you pat dry the fish to avoid oil from splashing). Add fish and pan-fry until both sides are brown and crispy.
Cook fish with sauce mixture: Add the soy sauce, kalamansi/lemon juice and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add back the fish and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until the sauce has slightly reduced.
Add the onion rings. Garnish with fried garlic bits and chopped scallions.
- 350 g Bangus belly belly from 2 Milkfish
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 medium onion cut into rings
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil divided
- 2 tablespoons kalamansi lime or lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- 3 cloves garlic minced, for garnish
- Pinch of sugar
- Prepare the fish. Wash the fish and slice the belly crosswise into strips of 1 1/2 inches wide. Pat dry with paper towel to remove moisture to help reduce oil splatter while cooking fish. Season with salt and pepper. In a plate, lightly bread the fish in 2 tablespoon cornstarch until evenly coated, shaking off the excess.
- Make onion rings. Cut onions crosswise at even thickness and separate into rings. In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium high heat. Add onion rings and cook until it starts to glisten. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Pan-fry the fish. Using the same pan, add enough oil to cover the pan, about 2 tablespoon. Fry until a nice golden crust appears, flipping once to cook both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Cook sauce mixture. Stir in soy sauce, kalamansi juice, water and sugar, then bring mixture to a quick boil. Lower heat and continue to simmer until sauce has slightly reduced. Add the fish back, scoop the sauce and drip over the fish. Add the onion rings. Garnish with fried garlic bits and chopped scallions.