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Time needed: 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Makes: 4 – 6 servings
1½ tablespoons garlic, minced
1½ tablespoons ginger, minced
1 piece medium red onion, minced
1 piece siling labuyo, chopped
1 piece siling haba, chopped
2 tablespoons bagoong alamang
2 cups coconut cream
1 cup chicken broth
4 cups gabi leaves
1 piece tanglad stalk, smashed and tied into a knot
1 piece calamansi
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 piece whole bangus
2 pieces eggs
½ cup flour
Seasoned flour for dredging
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper
Oil, for frying
Bash the bangus to loosen the meat from the skin and remove the meat and bones from inside the skin. Marinate bangus skin in calamansi juice, and soy sauce for at least 30 minutes.
In a pot over medium heat, boil the bangus meat in salted water, shred the meat, and remove the bones. Set aside.
In a pan over medium heat, sauté the garlic, onion, ginger, and both chilies with the bagoong alamang for a few minutes until fragrant.
Add the coconut cream, chicken broth, gabi leaves, and tanglad. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the gabi leaves tenderize and wilt. Add more liquid if needed a little at a time, making sure to dry out the mix a little. Remove tanglad stalk and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the boiled and flaked bangus meat, the dry laing mix, eggs, and flour. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well to make sure the meat binds together well.
Scoop the filling into the bangus packing it in tightly. Scoop and pack filling into the head of the bangus as well. Secure the head to the body using toothpicks.
In a wide-mouthed shallow pan, heat up about 1-inch deep of oil covering the pan on medium heat. Dredge the stuffed bangus in seasoned flour and dust off excess flour. Carefully place the stuffed bangus in the hot oil and shallow fry slowly for a few minutes on both sides until golden. Drain excess oil and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.