18 Feb2011


This is a variation on this earlier recipe “Pan Roasted Lapu-Lapu”. This was a much larger fish and I used many different aromatics and herbs so the overall effect was quite different, but still delicious. Please refer to the original post for detailed methods, I will describe them briefly here. We had a small dinner party for friends/family and I thought this would be a nice dish to serve beside a platter of pritchon, or fried lechon. Start off by heading to a good seafood market (we go to Seaside in Baclaran), and purchase a 2+ kilo lapu-lapu. Have it scaled and gutted.


Back home, make 3-4 diagonal cuts or slits on the body of the fish, season with salt and pepper and stuff some thin lemon slices and dill into the cuts. Next, heat up an ENORMOUS pan and add some olive oil and briefly saute some whole garlic bulbs with the tops cut off, sliced fennel bulb, lemongrass, siling mahaba or finger chilies, and some sliced baby potatoes. Place this mixture on the bottom of a large roasting pan or dish. I added several thin slices of lemon, italian parsley and dill to the mixture in the dish. Drizzle with some additional olive oil if necessary. Now you have your “bed” of aromatics for the fish to lay on…


In the same enormous pan that has been returned to a high flame, add a bit of olive oil and sear the lapu-lapu on each side for about 3-4 minutes until just lightly browned. Transfer the fish to the baking dish and bake for roughly 30-35 minutes, depending on size and thickness of the fish. This would have all been a bit easier if the fish were small enough to fit in the same pan it was seared in and baked in… but the larger fish does look good when you have guests over… and the meat remains moist if properly cooked. Based on the reactions of guests, this was a hit. And so easy to make. :)



  1. Nancy says:

    MM did you cover the baking dish with foil? I am thinking that you don’t need to sear the fish and maybe if you cover it with foil the flavor of the herbs will be absorbed further by the fish then just uncover it in the last 10-15 minute of baking to brown.

    I have this very simple recipe: Make a paste of 1 cup chopped Italian parsley, juice of 1 lemon and 1/3 cup olive oil.

    Make 3-4 slits on each side of the fish, insert slivers of garlic. Season fish with salt and pepper then rub yhe parsley paste inside and outside of the fish. Wrap in foil and cook 30-35 minutes , again depending on the size of the fish. Open foil in the last 10-15 minutes to brown the fish.

    Feb 18, 2011 | 7:45 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    Nancy, I find the searing provides caramelized flavor to the fish skin, and is an important step, in my opinion… Just baking the fish can work, but I think the extra step of searing is well worth the effort. I don’t wrap in foil as I want it nicely baked and not semi-steamed. There are other recipes in the archives for baked/steamed fish, like this one… Btw, best to cover in parchment paper if you are covering fish with any citrus in the recipe (particularly if the citrus and juices touch the foil). Foil and citrus/vinegar or acids are not a good idea apparently…

    Feb 18, 2011 | 8:26 am

  4. millet says:

    yes, i find that any covering steams the fish rather than bakes it. but if i didn’t, i think i’d be peeking every 2 minutes or so just to make sure the fish is not drying out. but i will follow your guide, MM, and follow the precise weights and times. there are few things simpler to do but more festive-looking than a whole baked fish!

    Feb 18, 2011 | 10:27 am

  5. Bubut says:

    hi MM, i tried to click the link where you put the archives for the baked/steamed fish, but i got a screen on the login for Word press instead of the link.

    Feb 18, 2011 | 10:31 am

  6. nina says:

    lovely colors! I’ve never had truly baked fish as most preparations usually wrap fish in parchment which then gives the steamed product. I imagine this to have crusty outside and moist inside… A bit like grilled, if i’m not mistaken?

    Feb 18, 2011 | 10:35 am

  7. Marketman says:

    Bubut, link has been fixed, thanks! nina, yes, it has that crustiness or “dryness” to the skin, making the skin delicious, and the meat inside should be moist and just cooked.

    Feb 18, 2011 | 1:41 pm

  8. junb says:

    THats what I called sexy lapu lapu !!!

    Feb 18, 2011 | 1:52 pm

  9. Tanja Lumba says:

    The pan roasted fish recipe is really good and I don’t even like eating fish. It’s simple to make and easy to prettify when guests come :-)

    Feb 18, 2011 | 2:29 pm

  10. Rowi says:

    Hej MM
    I love the palette of green herbs and veggies you laid out for the lapu-lapu! You’d win hands-down if you were in a Masterchef contest both for presentation and I’m sure for the contrast of textures and delicacy of tastes! Yummy!

    Feb 18, 2011 | 5:12 pm

  11. dhay says:

    looks really good and easy to do, im going to give it a try in the future especially now that my 8 yr old has developed a love for anything “fishy”! :)

    Feb 18, 2011 | 9:02 pm

  12. lorraine says:

    hi, mm.

    do you serve it with the aromatics? can you use them as a side dish?

    Feb 19, 2011 | 12:51 am

  13. Lysa says:

    I’m sure this is an excellent recipe, but I must say, that’s one angry looking lapu lapu! Scary!

    Feb 19, 2011 | 8:25 am

  14. fanny says:

    Looks really delicious. We have steamed lapu-lapu quite often, sometimes the skin comes out thick and rubbery. Makes me wonder if they are a different kind of lapu-lapu. Searing skin first then bake it could be the solution. I’ll definitely try this. Do we have to turn the fish at half time while baking?

    Feb 19, 2011 | 4:16 pm

  15. teacupmoments says:

    i also like this seared first, MM. that lapu-lapu is big enough for company, indeed. i bet it smells as good as it tastes.

    Feb 19, 2011 | 7:34 pm

  16. foodie says:

    i often bake fish than fry and I experimented a lot of variations to prepare it…I usually prepare the lapulapu “daing”style so I dont need to flip it over when serving and the spices and the aroma would be more evenly spread…and of course, presentation is even better..try it…I have a simpler recipe which is always a hit…I choose 500 grams size, slice it daing style, coat generously with mustard and pour in olive oil and evenly put on the serving dish sliced lemon..pop it in inside the oven …

    Feb 20, 2011 | 1:02 pm

  17. foodie says:

    erratum, i use mustard seeds instead of mustard..

    Feb 20, 2011 | 1:03 pm

  18. MD says:

    Hi there!
    Was wondering, what is lapu lapu in English?

    Feb 20, 2011 | 2:37 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    MD, grouper in the U.S., rock cod in Australia I think…

    Feb 21, 2011 | 8:30 am


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