Sleek and silvery, beloved because of its mild, sweet flesh, and its melt-in the-mouth belly fat, bangus is a favorite Filipino fish. In Metro Manila, the national fish is rated first-class. Its popularity of bangus can be gleaned in such recipes as bangus en tocho (fried bangus served with a sauce of any of the following: tahure, tokwa, or tausi), bulanglang na bangus (with eggplants, ampalaya, sitao, malunggay, onion, tomatoes, rice washing and bagoong), rellenong bangus (formerly a party dish; now available even in school cafeterias), and bangus lumpia.
Also known as milkfish, bangus (scientific name: Chanos chanos) is most closely related to carps and catfishes. It occurs in the Indian Ocean and across the Pacific Ocean, tending to school around coasts and islands with reefs. A warm water species, it prefers water temperatures between 20-33 degrees Centigrad.