- 1 large bangus, about 2 lbs.
- 1 cup vinegar ( I used 1/2 cup regular cane vinegar and 1/2 cup spicy cane vinegar)
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- salt and pepper
- With a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, trim the fins and tail of the bangus.
- Split bangus on the dorsal side starting from the tail to the head by running the edge of the kife along the backbone.
- Lay fish open like butterfly fillet. Remove gills and innards. Wash fish in running water to remove blood.
- Remove backbone by laying fish flat on the cutting board with the skin down. Hold the knife in a slanting position and cut in with the tip of the blade along the backbone from the head to tail.
- If you want to totally debone your bangus, with the aid of a forcep, pull out the rib bones. Make a superficial slit along the dent of the dorsal muscles and pull out the intermuscular spines embedded between the muscles from the head to the tail. Remove spines in the ventral side in the same manner. Remove filamentous Y-shaped spines along the lateral lines, i.e., the junction of the dorsal and ventral muscles. The diagram below will help you know the exact locations of the spines.
- Gently wash deboned bangus in running water. Drain. Cut in 4-6 slices. Sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper.
- Combine vinegar, 3 tsp. salt, garlic and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a container with lid. Thoroughly coat the bangus with the mixture and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least three hours. I prefer to do it overnight to get full flavor.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, fry bangus in 1/2 cup vegetable oil, skinside down first, until both sides are golden brown.
- Serve with steamed or fried rice with atsara and/or chopped or sliced tomatoes and spicy vinegar on the side.
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