In a non-reactive, large bowl, combine the flaked bangus with the marinade ingredients: calamansi juice, red onions, garlic, soy sauce, siling labuyo, red pepper flakes salt and ground black pepper. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour till ready to pan-fry.
In a large, cast-iron skillet, over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough in 1 to 2 minutes, add the butter.
To the skillet, add the remaining chopped red onions and garlic. Stir fry for 1 to 2 minutes till onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.
Add the marinated flaked bangus to the skillet. Carefully mix the ingredients together, making sure the fish does not get mashed.
Garnish with chopped scallions, additional chopped siling labuyo (chilies) and fresh calamansi or lemon slices. Serve warm as an appetizer, side or entree.
How to cut the bangus for daing or butterfly-cut – Start the cut at the base of the milkfish. Slip a sharp knife through the back side, slicing through till you reach the edge of the top side. Make sure to cut the fish open all the way to the head. Spread the fish open. Remove entrails with a knife or kitchen shears. Wash the fish with running water. Continue to marinate and cook as recipe indicates.
Cook's comments to cook a whole bangus: If you don't have cooked bangus, here's how to make it- have the fish monger clean a whole bangus, removing scales, intestines , trimming tail and cutting it "daing" or butterfly-style. Marinate the bangus with 1 tablespoon calamansi or lemon juice, 1 teaspoon each of salt and ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. In a large, non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, add 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough in 1 to 2 minutes, pan-fry the whole bangus, for 10 to 12 minutes till completely cooked. Cover while cooking to avoid splatters.
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