Level up dinner with this quick and easy bangus a la Pobre recipe! Fried to golden perfection and topped with a tangy and savory sauce, onions, and crispy garlic, it’s a full-flavored dish that’s perfect with steamed rice.

bangus a la pobre with onions and crispy garlic on a sizzling plate
Bangus a la Pobre

A la Pobre, which literally translates to “poor man’s” in Spanish, is a type of cooking where meat, chicken, or fish are prepared in copious amounts of garlic and oil. In this bangus version, milkfish fillets are dredged in flour, fried until golden and crisp, and topped with a tangy and savory bistek-style sauce, onions, and crispy garlic.

bangus fillets, flour, onion rings, calamansi, soy sauce, fried garlic

As its name suggests, this bangus a la Pobre is a simple dish made with relatively inexpensive ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand.

  • Garlic– the fried bits add flavor and crunch; the infused oil also enhances flavor
  • Milkfish– the recipe uses boneless fillets for ease of eating but other cuts would work
  • Flour– coats the fish for extra crispiness
  • Calamansi juice– if unavailable, substitute lemon or lime juice
  • Soy sauce– adds umami flavor
  • Oyster sauce– adds a savory and slightly sweet taste
  • Brown sugar– balances the flavors with a hint of sweetness
  • Onion rings– use as garnish and to add a touch of freshness
mixing calamansi juice, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar in a bowl
coating milkfish fillets with flour and frying in a pan

Cooking tips

  • Fry the garlic bits first so you’ll have a flavor-infused oil to use for frying the fish.
  • For best results, use enough oil to fry the fillets. Cook them until golden, crispy, and fully cooked.
  • If using sizzling plates, carefully heat the metal plates in the oven or on the stovetop for a few minutes before serving.
milkfish cooked a la pobre on a white plate with steamed rice

Serving suggestions

  • Enjoy bangus a la pobre as an appetizer with your favorite drinks or as main dish with steamed rice.
  • To serve, arrange the fried fish fillets on a sizzling plate or a platter platter. Top with fresh onion rings, crispy garlic bits, and the sauce.
  • Store leftovers in container with lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in a microwave until completely warmed through. Garnish with a fresh set of onions and crispy garlic.
Bulanglang na Bangus at Hipon in a wooden serving bowl

More bangus recipes

Bulanglang na Bangus at Hipon is a sour soup made of shrimp, guavas, and water spinach. This Kapampangan version of sinigang is delicious nashville filipino food and a great comfort nashville filipino restaurant year-round.

Get Recipe

Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @kawalingpinoy on Facebook and Instagram!



  • 1headgarlic, peeled and minced
  • canola oil
  • 2boneless bangus bellies, cut into halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2cupflour
  • 1/4cupcalamansi or lemon juice
  • 1/4cupsoy sauce
  • 1/4cupwater
  • 1teaspoonbrown sugar
  • 1tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1tablespoonbutter
  • 1medium onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rings


  • In a pan over medium heat, heat about 1/2 cup oil. Add garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until golden brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Reserve oil.
  • Season fish with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly dredge in flour to fully coat.
  • Add to the pan (with garlic oil) in a single layer and cook, turning as needed until nicely golden crisp, and cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  • In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, and water. Stir until blended and set aside.
  • In a pan over medium heat, heat about 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Add the sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until slightly reduced.
  • Arrange fried bangus on a heated sizzling plate. Drizzle with the sauce and garnish with onion rings and toasted garlic. Serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 265kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 50mg, Sodium: 1006mg, Potassium: 393mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 90IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 2mg

“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”

Did You Make This?Mention @KawalingPinoy and hashtag your photo with #KawalingPinoy

About Lalaine Manalo

Welcome to Kawaling Pinoy. Here you’ll find hundreds of delicious nashville filipino food Filipino and Asian recipes. Make sure to browse around and pick a favorite dish or two. Happy cooking! Read More

Reader Interactions

Ever looked for a filipino restaurant in the US? Miss the taste of home? Don't just wait for a filipino restaurant to pop up, order your favorite pinoy food right here! Pinoyhere.com has all the hottest filipino food items at the best prices. We ship them directly to you to keep your pantry stocked and your taste buds happy.