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Bangus En Tocho

Bangus En Tocho is a classic Filipino fish dish made with bangus (milkfish), pan -fried, then simmered in a Tocho sauce flavored with ginger, garlic, onions, and tausi (salted black beans), Tofu cubes and tomatoes are added to complete the entree. Best served with rice. This Asian in America blog post by Elizabeth Ann Quirino was inspired by a recipe from the Let's Cook with Nora Cookbook, edited by Nina D. Puyat.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Fish, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Bangus En Tocho
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 136kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Large saucepan, skillet or wok
  • Fish turner or large cooking spoon


  • 2 to 3 pounds whole bangus (milkfish), cleaned, gutted, sliced ask fish monger to clean fish for free
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to marinate fish
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, to coat fish

For Tocho Sauce:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided, 1/8 cup for fish; 1/8 cup for tofu and saute
  • 1 whole (8 oz) extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1 whole white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 1 knob (1-inch) fresh ginger, peeled, sliced thin
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, or water
  • 2 Tablespoons tausi (salted black beans), drained, rinsed; canned
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon toyo (soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks scallion greens, sliced, for garnish

For serving:

  • steamed rice


To prepare and pan-fry bangus:

  • At the market, ask the fish monger to clean and gut the fish; then have him slice it in fillet sizes.
    Wash the fish through running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
    Sprinkle salt all over the fish, making sure the inside flesh is seasoned. Set aside for 20 minutes in the refrigerator, till ready to cook.
    Coat the fish slices with flour all over. *Note: I do this to prevent fish from sticking to the skillet.
  • In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, pour 1/8 cup of the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, pan fry the fish slices. Fry each side for about 6 to 7 minutes. Use a large turner to turn the slices over. Fry pieces evenly till they are a light brown.
    Remove the fish from the skillet. Drain on parchment paper or paper towels to remove excess oil. Set aside while you cook the Tocho Sauce.

To cook the Tocho Sauce:

  • Use the same large skillet or wok. If oil has been absorbed by the pan-fried fish, pour the rest of the 1/8 cup of vegetable oil.
    Over medium heat, pan fry the whole slab of tofu till brown on both sides. This should take about 5 minutes on each side. Turn the tofu only once or else it will crumble.
    Transfer tofu to a plate. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
  • Using the same skillet and remaining oil, over medium heat, saute the garlic, onions, and ginger. Add the tomatoes and cook till soft for about 2 minutes.
    Pour the broth, vinegar and soy sauce. Add the tausi (salted black beans).
    Simmer for 5 minutes more for the flavors to blend.
  • Return the fried fish slices and the cubed tofu to the skillet. Spoon some of the liquid over the fish and tofu for flavors to mix together. Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes more.
    Garnish with sliced scallions. Serve warm with rice.

Cook's comments:

  • You can substitute sea bass for bangus . I have used sea bass for this recipe when I couldn't find Bangus in the Asian markets. The flesh of sea bass is meaty and sweet, similar to the bangus.

Copyright Notice:

  • Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided  in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
    Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE Asian in America recipes on this blog,  my original recipes, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC by Elizabeth Ann Quirino. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]


Serving: 1g | Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 97IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg