01 Jan2006

Another easy but delicious dish to make for a crowd is baked afi1lapu-lapu (grouper) with dill, onions, lemons, tomatoes and sliced new potatoes. When you chance upon or acquire a large and really fresh lapu-lapu or grouper, make sure you have it cleaned through its mouth (no cut in the underbelly for juices to ooze out of, and scaled properly. Then put it in a baking dish and add thinly sliced lemons, some dill or other herbs, lots of salt and pepper, sliced onions, new potatoes, tomatoes and lots of olive oil. Bake in a 375 degree oven until cooked (say 45-60 minutes, depending on size) and serve with all the juices that accumulate in the pan and the veggies.

If you happen to have commercial sized parchment paper, afi2this dish is superb when baked in parchment as it effectively steams in its own juices and all the flavor is kept intact. If the fish is very fresh, the meat will be soft, juicy and delicious. Perfect with rice or served with good crusty bread. Others like to throw in some olives or even capers to add a slightly different taste to the dish. This can also be done with snapper and other fish with white meat… The fish pictured here was over 2 kilos and it easily fed 8 as a light main course serving. This recipe is a much healthier and less messy alternative to deep frying the fish… I have been away for a few days and won’t get back to my computer till Jan. 2, 2006 in case you’re wondering why I haven’t been commenting in recent days… Happy New Year everyone!!!



  1. peng says:

    Now I know what’s lapu-lapu look like. I didn’t pay attention when my father used to buy them in the market. My father is from Cebu and it seems to know every fish in the sea. What I like is just fry it with garlic and tomatoes then serve it with rice. Yummy. Hey MM I can’t wait til you come back and tell us where you been and what you been doing in your absence. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Jan 1, 2006 | 9:33 am


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  3. schatzli says:

    0425am Athens MAAYONG BAG ONG TUIG SA IMO…
    Other than I had to learn how to identify this fish as part of my diving I identify this fish as yummy kind for grilling!

    Jan 1, 2006 | 10:27 am

  4. fried-neurons says:

    Mmmm! Lapu-lapu! How I miss that fish! It was my favorite when we were still living in Manila. I always liked it steamed, with mayo and finely diced carrots, relish, and egg.

    That “lapu lapu en papillote” idea sounds good…

    Jan 2, 2006 | 8:45 am

  5. Mila says:

    That’s a good looking fish! and the recipe looks healthy for those of us looking to lose all the unwanted pounds we gained this holiday season. Are the potatoes in the recipe sliced or just roasted whole?

    Off topic, I made your leche flan recipe, and learned by trial and error that you were so right about the non-stick pan and sugar melting. Unfortunately, the place I was cooking didn’t have a stainless steel pan, so I ended up using the alumninum pan for the leche flan to melt the sugar.

    Jan 2, 2006 | 9:51 am

  6. anna gan says:

    : ) lovely fish! (nice red lucky color) personally, i like grouper steamed with some soy sauce, sesame oil and chopped green onion or leeks. otherwise, it’s nice to see really old groupers living out their lives in the reefs. happy new year.

    Jan 2, 2006 | 12:56 pm

  7. ajyoung says:

    Lapu lapu or grouper is one of my favorite fish. I prefer steamed Chinese style. One secret I learned from a hong kong Chef is to use “light superior soy sauce” and the fish should weigh between 800 grams to 1 kilogram. Steam it between 15 to 20 minutes.too long and the meat gets a bit tough and dry. Cut some super thin toothpick size ginger and add some leeks, peanut oil, thinly sliced mushrooms optional. Most Chinese consider lapu lapu weighing 800-900 grams as the perfect size and it has the best delicate flavor and texture. I also like the lapu lapu they serve Shandong style at Shechuan house along Roxas Blvd. Its also steamed but with fry toasted yellow beans. Mr Poon in makati is not that bad either. :)

    Jan 3, 2006 | 12:21 am

  8. gonzo says:

    have to agree w ajyoung and anna gan, when it comes to lapu lapu recipes it is very hard to beat chinese-style steamed. can someone pls post a complete and detailled recipe?

    Jan 3, 2006 | 7:28 am

  9. mojitodrinker says:

    hello marketman, happy new year! (and belated merry christmas!) thanks for continuing to share your ideas and cooking adventures with us via this blog… it definitely makes my day especially when i need an escape from a humdrum day at work :)

    Jan 3, 2006 | 6:13 pm

  10. linda says:

    I miss you,MM.

    Jan 4, 2006 | 5:45 am

  11. xtine says:

    Hi MM,

    I’ve been seeing your blog through Lasang Pinoy email update and I never had the chance to visit your blog but I finally did! Groper or lapu-lapu is one of a kind. Fried lapu-lapu is one of my favorite with tomatoe and bagoong as the accompaniment for dish is to die for. Your dish looks very interesting and you’ve catch my attention for a new look and new dish for grouper-yum!

    Jan 4, 2006 | 7:56 am

  12. ajyoung says:

    You might want to try this chinese style recipe gonzo. Get a good size lapu lapu around 1 kilo. thumb size ginger cut into toothpick size. 2 tbsp peanut oil(canola or cooking oil will do). Few stalks of leeks.A few slices of chinese mushrooms. Half cup light superior soy sauce(this is the secret to a good steamed fish). Put everything in a steamer and steam it for about 15 -20 minutes. Timing is very crucial here. Garnish it with wansoy or coriander. Some doesnt like to put mushrooms because of its strong woody flavor but i like mine with it. It balances the sweet subtle taste of the soft meat of the fish.Buy the most fresh lapu lapu that you can get. Happy cooking ! :)

    Jan 5, 2006 | 1:29 am

  13. gonzo says:

    Thanks ajyoung! chinese mushrooms– interesting. and i love fresh coriander…

    when you say ‘light superior’ soy sauce, what is it exactly and what’s a good brand to buy? and where?

    Jan 5, 2006 | 8:35 am

  14. linda says:

    gonzo,the brand Lee Kum Kee is a good brand and you can choose between light or dark superior soy sauce and these can
    be bought in any supermarket or asian stores.

    Jan 5, 2006 | 1:24 pm

  15. julius chan says:

    I crave for lapu-lapu especialy when cooked in orignal chinese style. Those that are served in chinese homeparties.I dont know ther secret on how they cooked it so deliciously that it stay om your mouth for a few months.
    I’ve been looking for similar taste on different chinese restaurants yet still the taste of that fish is lost burried together with greatness of my father who cooked it very well before.

    Feb 22, 2008 | 1:58 pm


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