Totsong bangus is a delicious and simple milkfish recipe that you can cook anytime. Although this is a Filipino dish, the ingredients have an Asian influence particularly, Chinese cuisine. It’s because “tahure” or fermented bean curd is a delicacy and a usual cooking ingredient among Chinese cuisine. To those who have not taste the tahure, you might not like it because it smells fermented and the taste is a salty and pungent. And with regard to cooking this dish, it is simple and the ingredients are few and easy to find.
A Flavorful Filipino Delight with an Asian Twist
Totsong bangus, a delectable milkfish recipe with a touch of Asian influence, offers a burst of flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Rooted in Filipino culinary tradition, this dish incorporates elements from Chinese cuisine, making it a unique and unforgettable dish for your dining table. The star ingredient here is “tahure,” or fermented bean curd, which lends a salty and pungent taste to the dish. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of preparing this delightful dish step by step, using easy-to-find ingredients.
Preparing the Bangus: The First Step to Deliciousness
To start your totsong bangus culinary adventure, you need to prepare the milkfish properly. Begin by sprinkling a small amount of salt onto the bangus, allowing it to sit for 1-2 hours. This step not only adds a hint of seasoning to the fish but also aids in enhancing its flavor. Once the marination time is up, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Achieving the Perfect Golden Brown: Frying the Bangus
Now that your bangus has been marinated, it’s time to achieve that irresistible golden brown exterior. Heat your cooking oil of choice and carefully place the fish in the pan. Let it sizzle and cook until it reaches that desired hue of golden perfection. The crispy outer layer of the bangus will add a satisfying crunch to the dish, contrasting beautifully with the tender fish inside.
Creating the Flavor Base: The Tahure Mixture
The heart and soul of totsong bangus lie in the tantalizing tahure mixture. To create this unique flavor profile, begin by mashing the tahure. This fermented bean curd might have a pungent aroma, but fear not, as its taste will blend harmoniously with the other ingredients. Once mashed, add vinegar and water to the mixture, creating a balanced combination of flavors that will elevate your dish to new heights.
Sautéing to Perfection: Infusing Aromatics
With the tahure mixture ready, it’s time to infuse the dish with aromatic wonders. Start by sautéing garlic until it releases its delightful fragrance, creating a solid foundation of flavors. Next, introduce ginger into the mix, further enhancing the aroma and lending a warm undertone to the dish. This step adds depth and complexity to the totsong bangus, ensuring each bite is a harmonious symphony of tastes.
Balancing Flavors: The Onion and Tomato Duo
As your kitchen fills with the intoxicating scent of garlic and ginger, it’s time to introduce sliced onion and tomatoes into the pan. Sauté these ingredients for around 3 minutes, allowing their natural sweetness to be released and meld with the existing flavors. The combination of onion and tomato introduces a delightful tanginess that cuts through the richness of the dish, creating a well-rounded culinary experience.
Bringing It All Together: The Final Assembly
Now that your flavor base is ready, it’s time to bring everything together in a culinary masterpiece. Pour the tahure mixture into the pan, covering the sautéed aromatics and forming the foundation of your totsong bangus. Once the mixture reaches a boil, gently place the fried bangus into the pan, allowing it to soak up the intricate flavors. If you’re looking for an extra savory punch, consider adding a touch of MSG or vetsin, adjusting the seasoning to your preference.
The Culmination: Cooking to Perfection
As the totsong bangus simmers away in the flavorful mixture, the magic is happening. Allow the dish to cook for approximately 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and infuse every nook and cranny of the fish. This step ensures that each bite is a symphony of tastes, with the crispy bangus exterior giving way to succulent, flavor-infused flesh.
Serve and Savor: A Taste of Tradition and Innovation
Once your totsong bangus has cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and savor the culmination of your culinary journey. Each bite will transport you to the heart of Filipino cuisine, with a twist of Asian flair. The combination of tender bangus, aromatic seasonings, and the intriguing tahure mixture will leave you yearning for more.
Totsong bangus is a true embodiment of culinary fusion, blending Filipino tradition with Asian influences to create a dish that’s both familiar and excitingly unique. With its simple preparation and readily available ingredients, this recipe is accessible to all who seek to delight in its flavors. So, gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and embark on a culinary adventure that will leave you craving the unforgettable taste of totsong bangus.
How to Cook Totsong Bangus
- 1 pc medium sized bangus sliced into 4 - 5 pieces
- 2 squares tahure
- 1 pc large onion sliced
- 3 tomatoes sliced
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. ginger strips
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp. vetsin or MSG
- cooking oil for frying
How to cook Totsong Bangus
- Sprinkle a little salt on bangus. Let stand for 1-2 hours and fry until golden brown.
- Mash tahure, add vinegar and water.
- Saute garlic, then add ginger. Stir sliced onion and tomatoes.
- Saute for 3 minutes, then pour in tahure mixture and cover.
- When it boils, add fried bangus and MSG or vetsin. Cook for 10 minutes.
Cooking Tips of Totsong Bangus:1. Marination Matters: Infuse Flavor and Tenderize Marinating the bangus with a touch of salt is a crucial step that serves two important purposes. Firstly, it imparts a subtle seasoning to the fish, enhancing its natural taste. Secondly, marination helps tenderize the fish, ensuring a succulent and delightful texture when cooked. To maximize the benefits, allow the salted bangus to rest for 1-2 hours before moving forward. This simple step sets the foundation for a flavorsome and tender totsong bangus. 2. Master the Fry: Achieve the Perfect Golden Crisp The frying stage of totsong bangus is where the dish gains its signature crunch and golden brown color. To ensure your bangus achieves that desirable texture and appearance, follow these steps diligently. Heat your chosen cooking oil to an appropriate temperature, ideally around 350-375°F (175-190°C). Gently place the marinated bangus into the hot oil, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan. Fry each side until it achieves that coveted golden brown hue. A well-fried bangus adds a satisfying contrast to the overall dish, enhancing its visual appeal and texture. 3. Balancing Flavors: Tailoring Seasonings to Taste Totsong bangus derives its distinct taste from the interplay of various seasonings. The tahure mixture, sautéed aromatics, and optional seasoning like MSG or vetsin contribute to the final flavor profile. However, taste preferences vary, and it's important to tailor the seasonings to your liking. When adding the tahure mixture, vinegar, and water, consider starting with slightly smaller amounts and gradually adjusting to achieve the desired level of tanginess and saltiness.