Totsong Bangus Recipe

Looking for more ways to enjoy fish? Try this fried milkfish stewed in a fresh tomato sauce with tahure and tausi. Totsong Bangus is a simple but tasty dish that pairs well with steamed rice for a hearty lunch or dinner!

Totsong or Tochong Bangus is a classic Filipino dish made of milkfish, tausi (fermented black beans), and tahure (fermented bean cakes). The origin of the recipe is unknown, but most probably of Chinese influence, I’m assuming, from the ingredients used.

Similar to cardillo, the bangus pieces are cooked twice for extra flavor and texture. They’re first fried until golden and then stewed in a hearty totso sauce until thoroughly cooked. If you have leftover fried fish from a previous dinner, this recipe is a great way to revamp it into another delicious meal!

Ingredients notes

  • Milkfish- locally called bangus, this fish is known for their meaty but bony flesh
  • Tahure– fermented bean cakes or curds. They’re readily available at local wet markets in the Philippines. Canned versions are also commercially sold in supermarkets.
  • Tausi– fermented black beans in brine. They add umami and salty flavor to the dish.
  • Onion, garlic, and ginger– aromatics act as the flavor base of ginisa recipes
  • Roma tomatoes –also called plum tomatoes; help thicken the sauce.
  • Vinegar– brings a tangy taste that balances the rich, savory flavors.


  • You can add tofu cubes to extend the dish deliciously. Use firm tofu, not silken. Deep-fry until golden and crispy and toss in with the fish just until heated through.
  • Some regional versions of the dish, like that from Cavite, include vegetables such as kangkong or eggplant and finger chili peppers for a kick of heat.

How to serve and store

  • Serve totsong bangus while still warm with steamed rice for a healthy and filling lunch or dinner.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat leftovers in the microwave or stovetop in a saucepan over medium-low heat.


  • 1 whole bangus, scaled, gutted and cut into serving pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • canola oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 thumb-size ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 squares tahure (fermented bean cakes), drained
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 cups water
  • 1/2 cup tausi, fermented black beans, rinsed and drained


    • Rinse fish and drain well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    • In a skillet over medium heat, heat about 2 inch deep of oil.
    • Carefully add fish in the hot oil and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
    • In another pan over medium heat, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook until softened.
  • Add tomatoes and cook, mashing with the back of the spoon, until softened and release juices.
  • In a bowl, mash tahure. Add vinegar and water and stir until combined.
  • Add tahure mixture to the pan and boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add tausi and stir to combine.
  • Add bangus in a single layer.
  • Cover, lower heat, and continue to cook for about 4 to 6 minutes or until fish.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

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