In this recipe, Flaked tinapang bangus (smoked milkfish) is stir fried with rice, chopped carrot, shredded cabbage, cauliflower florets, scallions and eggs.
My family loves bangus. If salmon and tuna are great because of their unique flavors and textures, it’s the same thing with bangus—it has qualities that cannot be found in other fish and that makes it special.
Even as a child, bangus was among my favorite fish. But when I reached my teens and up until I was in my twenties, I did not crave for bangus the way I did when I was much younger. Part of the reason was that with all the bones, bangus was not exactly easy to eat. As a kid, I had my parents remove the bones for me so it was no problem. But boneless bangus fillets did not really become popular until I was already a mother of gradeschoolers who hankered for bangus like I did as a child. Prior to that, whole boneless bangus were only sold as daing (marinated and ready to fry). Fortunately, today, there are several brands of bangus fillets and one can even choose between whole boneless bangus, back fillets (no fat) or the more expensive belly fillets.
Whole boneless bangus comes in more varieties too—marinated for daing, unseasoned and tinapa (smoked). Because tinapang bangus is fully cooked and ready to eat, the only preparation it needs for this fried rice recipe is to flake the flesh and discard the skin, head and tail.
Tinapang Bangus (Smoked Milkfish) Fried Rice
This is an updated recipe from the version originally published in 2007.
Tear off the heads and tails of the fish. Peel off the skins. Flake the flesh (not too finely; you want the pieces of fish to be discernible from the rest of the ingredients after the fried rice is done).
Peel and chop the carrot.
Cut the cauliflower into 1/2-inch florets.
Cut the cabbage into strips about a quarter inch wide.
Peel and mince the garlic.
Finely slice the scallions; separate the white and light green portions from the dark green portion.
Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.
Saute the carrot with the garlic and white and light green portions of the scallions for about a minute.
Add the cabbage and cauliflower. Sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for two to three minutes.
Add the rice. Sprinkle in the remaining salt and pepper. Stir until the vegetables are evenly distributed.
Add the flaked tinapang bangus. Toss to distribute. Cook, stirring often (do this lightly to prevent the fish flakes from breaking apart), until the rice and fish are heated through.
Push the contents of the pan to the sides to make a well at the center. Pour the beaten eggs into the well. Allow to partially set before slowly stirring into the fried rice.
Taste the fried rice. Add more salt and pepper, if needed, and stir thoroughly.
Sprinkle in the dark green portion of the scallions and serve immediately.