Milkfish Philippines: History, Characteristics & Best 10 Benefits

The Milkfish Philippines is The milkfish or Malaysian fish, is one of the oldest domesticated animals on the planet.

The indigenous fishing community in Milkfish Philippines preserved their culture and livelihood for over 6,000 years by using this unique fish as a food source.

This region’s coral reefs and coastal areas are rich with nutrients from seaweeds and coral that produce highly nutritious milkfish.

Information About The Milkfish’s Origin And History:

in the Philippines are very vague. However, it is believed to have been introduced into Philippine waters by immigrants from Malaysia sometime around the 3rd or 4th century A.D.

The milkfish’s adaptability and survival skills made it an ideal candidate for domestication and have enabled it to thrive in various conditions, including being raised in ponds built on stilts above the sea to prevent storm damage.

How To Farm Milkfish Philippines?

Milkfish can be grown outdoors in freshwater ponds, but it is more expensive. Large ponds may cost Php 40,000 to Php 50,000 to build and can last for 3 years.

The alternative is to grow them in a nursery and then transfer them to a pond when they are three months old.

With good results, you can also grow milkfish in earthenware or cement tanks indoors or even in backyard pools or garden beds.

Milkfish Philippines Characteristics

  • Algae feeding
  • Bacteria feeding
  • Adventure ability
  • High level of adaptability

Milkfish Philippines Nutrition and Health Benefits Food Sources:  – Green algae, phytoplankton (ponds), algae mats, coral, diatoms, macroalgae, and rotifers.

Milkfish Farming In the Philippines

is not difficult. The key to raising milkfish is to provide them with the right environment and food in a water pH of 5.5-7.5, a temperature range of 20-26C, and a salinity of 35-40 parts per thousand (ppt).

Also, the pond should be deep enough for the fish to swim comfortably but shallow enough for them to feed and breed.

A depth ranging from 1 – 2m is suitable. Your average rainfall and watershed areas should determine the ideal depth.

The fish can grow up to 25cm in length and weigh more than a kilo, with an average size of 15-20cm and weighing 0.5 to 0.75 kg.

It is best to harvest them after they reach 10 cm to ensure higher market value. A single fish is enough for a family’s consumption for one day.

Types Of Milkfishes (Freshwater) In The Philippines

  • Milkfish (Aspidontus spp.)
  • Baby milkfish (Odontostilbe spp.)
  • Milkfish Sardina (Sardina pilchardus) ()

Milkfishes are commonly used as various fish in recipes due to their meaty and very mild-flavored meat. Depending on their size or species, they can be found in the market in different sizes and colors. They are also called “milkfish” because they have white-colored flesh.

Types Of Milkfishes (Marine)

  • Milkfish (as well as other marine fish)
  • Globe Scad (Rachycentron canadum)
  • Rabbitfish (Grammaesus spp.)

Milkfish Philippines Consumption 

The two most common kinds of milkfish are the small Malaysian milkfish and the big sea urchin. People usually eat the fish in the Philippines are the white, brown, or red-colored milkfishes.

Nutrition In Milkfish Philippines

The nutritional values of the milkfish are similar to the other commercially available fish. They have high protein and low saturated fat, ranging from 3.5-5.0 grams per 100 grams of fish flesh.

Milkfish Philippines Processing & Preparation

It is best to buy the freshly caught milkfish for optimum quality and taste. The ones sold in the market have been frozen, and as a result, it is best to ask the vendor whether they were frozen or fresh before buying.

Benefit Of The Milkfish Philippines

Here Are The Best 10 Benefit Of The Milkfish Philippines

1. Milkfish is one of the most affordable fish in the Philippines.

2. Milkfish contains rich-in-fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6.

3. It does not contain a lot of mercury or other heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and arsenic, even if it is captured from polluted water bodies.

4. Milkfish can be cooked in fried milkfish, milkfish soup, tomato sauce, milkfish boiled, or milkfish kinilaw (Philippine style raw fish).

5. It contains lots of calcium and phosphorus, which the body needs to build bones, calcium for the blood vessels, and phosphorus for overall body functions.

6. Milkfish has little to no trachoma, making it safe for consumption even if you have a weak immune system.

7. It is low in salt. Therefore, safe to eat if you are on a low-sodium diet or have high blood pressure as long as you prepare it properly by soaking or boiling it in water before cooking.

8. Milkfish is a good and safe source of nutrients for pregnant women.

9. It prevents infections, inflammation, and cancer.

10. Milkfish is low in fat, making it one of the healthiest fish to eat in the world. As most Filipinos say, “It has no fats but has lots of vitamins.”

Uses Of Milkfish

There are lots of ways to make use of milkfish meat. It can be used in soups, dried fish, and as an ingredient in other dishes, including the famous Filipino recipe kinilaw.

Special Note

Milkfish Philippines also has high protein content, low fat, vitamin B12, and dietary minerals like calcium and phosphorus, so it is a good source for pregnant women.

It is low in cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fats, so it can be consumed if you are on a low-sodium diet or have high blood pressure, even if the preparation method is soaked in water.


Milkfish Philippines is a very affordable fish for all households to enjoy. It is good for pregnant mothers and those on a low-sodium diet as it contains little to no sodium.

Milkfish contains lots of omega 3, omega 6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that make it one of the healthiest protein-rich meat in the world. Thank you for reading About Milkfish Philippines.

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