04 Jan2013


This is a continuation of this earlier post (Part I). Once Manang Puring ascertained that most of the flesh was separated from the skin, she firmly gripped the tail and bent it to break the tail bone.


She then firmly started to squeeze from the tail towards the mouth. Thing of squeezing a five kilo tube of toothpaste. For me, the visual was my view of how difficult it must be to give natural childbirth…


The fish lay broken and mistreated on the chopping board as Manang washed up and prepped for the final push…


Squeeze firmly but surely like you MEAN it…


…the flesh starts to emerge like a bad scene from an alien movie…


…and voila! Done. :)


Sometimes, the extraction is tougher, and Manang pulls out her forceps, explained as “like the ones doctor’s use” and with the help of the vielike grip, removes the meat.


This was fascinating to behold, and I thanked Manang Puring profusely for allowing me to watch and photograph the process. Now, let’s experiment with different fillings for a stuffed bangus!



  1. ami says:

    Inside out talaga.

    Jan 4, 2013 | 8:17 am


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  3. amy says:

    I always add fatty pork giniling to my stuffing to add flavor and make it moist, fish meat alone is a little dry, in my opinion. I think some chopped lechon fatty meat would be glorious too! I am waiting to see the results of your experiments with other stuffings :) Happy new year to all!

    Jan 4, 2013 | 8:30 am

  4. cecile says:

    thanks for posting The Rellenong Bangus Mini-Chronicles MM! Happy New Year to all! :)

    Jan 4, 2013 | 8:40 am

  5. Ryan says:

    Hello MM I’m thinking of “Rellenong Zubuchon Bangus” for a change? Happy New Year to all!!

    Jan 4, 2013 | 10:14 am

  6. Josephine says:

    Fascinating…this makes me so glad I never have to go through childbirth again! But looking forward to the next episode!

    Jan 4, 2013 | 10:54 am

  7. Clarissa says:

    Our rellenong bangus is always seasoned with calamansi and toyo before cooking :) then the usual minced potatoes, carrots, and onion, and green pease, all of which are cooked before mixing in with the flaked fish. Then a raw egg before it gets stuffed. So upon frying, it’s only the skin and the raw eggs that needs to be cooked. Moist and yummy inside.

    Jan 4, 2013 | 11:02 am

  8. Cwid says:

    I tried doing relleno at home but found it too difficult. Thanks for posting the photos which are very helpful. I might try it again although I find that it’s a lot of work that my kids don’ t appreciate. Good as a party dish though.

    Jan 4, 2013 | 11:17 am

  9. Joey says:

    “like a bad scene from an alien movie…” Sakto! ;-)

    Jan 4, 2013 | 5:25 pm

  10. Malou says:

    Mr. MM, I am curious – did Manang Puring charge extra for the process?

    And I agree, getting the flesh out without tearing the skin is the worst part of the relleno-ing activity. That and making sure to remov all of the super fine fish bones. Some sellers choose to stuff the bangus with ground meat instead, probably for that reason.

    Jan 4, 2013 | 8:51 pm

  11. Lee says:

    Currently tuning in to Marketmanila while trying my best not to be drunk on a layover in Dubai airport. Pouring a drink while reading about Puring.

    Jan 4, 2013 | 9:12 pm

  12. natie says:

    I’m convinced…I should try this again..

    Jan 4, 2013 | 10:15 pm

  13. Anne :-) says:

    Hmmm….I’m thinking Bangus filled with lechon and then deep fried….but I’m thinking it might turn out fishy… :-)

    Hi Lee!

    Jan 4, 2013 | 10:45 pm

  14. bakerwannabe says:

    The bangus in the last picture looks truly exhausted. Just like it went through child birth. Lol.

    Jan 5, 2013 | 2:19 am

  15. Faust says:

    i was wondering of prepping a rellenong bangus includes deboning? removal of small bones? these cause choking.

    Jan 5, 2013 | 3:31 am

  16. millet says:

    childbirth?! This post really cracked me up!

    Jan 5, 2013 | 11:29 am

  17. Alilay says:

    off topic I am watching Hgtv’s Castles on Camera and one of the castle featured was the Highclere Castle the setting for Downton Abbey, I already watched season 3 and if you want the site I will email it to you

    Jan 5, 2013 | 1:20 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    Alilay, thanks, I managed to watch the Christmas Special… :) millet, right?!? Faust, no deboning by wishwife. The clump of flesh is steamed first, then bones removed. However, Manang Puring also make boneless bangus for frying/daing, and I have seen her rip through a small fish and debone it in less than 3-4 minutes. It’s an amazing sight to behold as well. Lee on the way back to Dinsneyland or on your way home? Happy travels. Malou, yes, for a medium to large bangus, she charges PHP30 for the procedure. I gave her a tip on top of that, and a Christmas doodad. :) Frankly it was worth at least PHP100 per fish to me.

    Jan 5, 2013 | 2:36 pm

  19. Wendy says:

    Yup that’s how I do it. We were taught that technique during our home economics class in 3rd year high school and I’ve been preparing rellenong bangus without the giniling every New years lunch and upon request by the family .My son even helps me flake the fish. Thanks to my HE teacher Mrs. Carreon no need of sewing up the bangus!

    Jan 5, 2013 | 7:43 pm

  20. linda says:

    MM, you are hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Jan 6, 2013 | 7:05 am

  21. Footloose says:

    Today is Epiphany, the Western christians’ Feast of the coming of the Magi. I came across a book once in a remainder section titled Christmas Around the Globe and featured Christmas in the Philippines as celebrated inside the Casino Español during Fiesta de los Reyes Magos where children of the members were regaled by presumably adult members dressed as the three kings. The dark magus, Balthazar, if I’m not mistaken, was of course, made up in carbon black much like a minstrel singer. I do not know where the author was coming from but he probably assumed that we Filipinos were all just bloody heathens and that is much worse and much more enraging than getting adobo wrong.

    Jan 6, 2013 | 8:41 am

  22. Sister says:

    Hey, Footloose, never mind the Three Kings… from the consumer’s point of view it’s a chance to hit the sales before the last gift event. The Three travelling to Bethlehem by camel is more believable than Santa whizzing around the whole world on a sled.
    How about trying a whole stuffed salmon coulibiac or a whole stuffed striped bass (when in season). A ten pound fish would make a great party dish. Stuff the salmon with mixture of salmon, rice, chives and dill or the striped bass Sicilian influenced with striped bass, tomatoes, black olives, capers, and raisins. Dust stuffed fish lightly with flour and fry in a fish steamer. Serve the salmon with a yogurt and horsradish sauce and the bass with a spicy tomato sauce.
    Years ago I used to take out the backbone from a whole lapulapu (grouper) or a striped bass and replace it with slices of country ham and bake the fish whole. Looked good on the platter whole but was easy to cut into portions for service.

    Jan 6, 2013 | 9:45 am

  23. Footloose says:

    Ah, koulibiak… Julia Child has a credible French version which I have never attempted mainly because a friend who is immersed in Russian culture (never Soviet, he’s quick to point out) turns out a remarkable koulibiak for very special occasions. This friend btw, also takes pride in having been evicted once from the premises of A la Vieille Russie. I can only imagine how much better it would be if our wild Canadian Arctic char takes the place of cultured salmon which is usually the only kind you get nowadays. As to your Sicilian striped bass, I remember you cooking that once for a dinner on one of Market Man’s Manhattan visits, and he featured it as part of a post on your table setting.

    Jan 6, 2013 | 5:50 pm

  24. gorabels says:

    An “operation” indeed!

    Jan 7, 2013 | 4:19 am

  25. EJ says:

    Found this clip on bangus-deboning on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpZ3PjpNiPY

    MM, having been checking your site daily, waiting with bated breath for Part III :-)

    Jan 7, 2013 | 7:20 pm

  26. Monique says:

    God bless Manang Puring! I like to do my relleno sisig style. With chopped grilled chicken liver.

    Jan 7, 2013 | 11:07 pm

  27. izang says:

    I am a big fan of anything bangus…fried, paksiw, sinigang, bistek-style especially relleno…but now got the habit of asking what is inside the fish, as most add pork giniling(I think goldilocks does it too)…Hindi authentic bangus..

    @ Wendy, may I ask whether you were a student at C.P. Garcia HS? My biyenan is a Mrs. Carreon, was a Home Eco teacher, who makes a mean bangus relleno…

    Jan 7, 2013 | 11:34 pm

  28. AM says:

    I am in awe of Manang Puring. What she did with those fish takes a lot of skill and she’s obviously very skilled at what she does. Thank you for sharing. I learned something new… I’ve eaten rellenong bangus but, the fish was usually sewn together…I didn’t realize bangus could be stuffed with the skin being whole.

    Jan 8, 2013 | 11:10 am

  29. Sister says:

    I only want wild salmon and I have to depend on my doorman’s thoughtfulness in sending salmon he catches on his fishing trips to Alaska. Overnight Fedex is as good as it gets.

    Jan 9, 2013 | 11:07 pm

  30. Jelo says:

    Holy… Aling Puring could do work as a field surgeon if she needed to…

    Jan 16, 2013 | 8:13 pm


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