Tochong bangus is a Filipino dish that in translates in English to “milkfish with black beans and soy cakes.” Bangus, or milkfish, is the national fish of the Philippines and cooking it with black beans and soy is only one of many ways to prepare this fish. While tochong bangus does include a few standard ingredients, a variety of recipes is available with differing ingredients and amounts. Because bangus is specific to Indo-Pacific regions, it may be difficult to find. You can, however, substitute its close relative, catfish, and get similar results.
Soak the tofu in a bowl filled with 1 cup of warm water for five to 10 minutes to soften.
Rinse the bangus fillets and pat them dry with paper towels. Cut the fish into 1-inch-wide diagonal slices with a sharp kitchen knife.
Add 2 tbsp. flour to a shallow bowl. Coat the fish lightly with flour, using tongs to toss and press each slice into the flour.
Pour canola oil into a skillet and heat the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the bangus slices to the hot oil, using tongs to transfer the fillets. Fry the slices for three minutes on each side, until the fish turns a light golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Drain all but 2 tbsp. of hot oil from the skillet. Add the garlic, onions, ginger slices and tomatoes to the hot oil. Stir fry the ingredients for five minutes, until the onions and ginger slices start to soften.
Add the softened tofu to the skillet along with the soaking water, stirring to combine the ingredients. Simmer the vegetables and tofu just below boiling point for about five minutes.
Add the fermented black beans and vinegar and cook the mixture without stirring for another 10 minutes.
Stir in the soy sauce and soy cake cubes and transfer the fried bangus to the skillet. Heat for two to three minutes before serving.
For variety, you can also add 1 cup of chopped spinach and/or eggplant cubes when you add the soy cake cubes.