23 Oct2009


The cook was trying to be healthy, for my sake. But another round of steamed white fish with a bit of soy and sesame, while delicious, wasn’t floating my boat. So I decided to try and do a quick stir-fry instead. Into a hot wok went some peanut oil, followed by minced ginger, lots of chopped onions and some dried red chillies. I added some sliced scallions or green onions and sauteed that for a few more seconds until glistening. Added some sliced cream dory and very gently tossed this all together…


Threw in some black bean sauce, a little oyster sauce and some cracked black pepper. Black bean sauce tends to be salty, so I didn’t add more salt, but feel free to do so if you like. Or alternatively a little bit of soy sauce. This dish was done in less than 10 minutes. And it was wonderful with a bowl of steamed rice, and a side dish of steamed leafy greens. At least the latter was pretty healthy. :)




  1. Jaja says:

    yummy! sounds pretty easy to make. Will try this out soon. Thanks MM! :D

    Oct 23, 2009 | 8:33 pm


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  3. Gay says:

    I never like the texture of cream dory. I’ll have to try your recipe and see if I like it. Thanks, MM.

    Oct 23, 2009 | 9:26 pm

  4. Nina says:

    What’s a dory, MM?

    Oct 23, 2009 | 10:20 pm

  5. Mom-Friday says:

    I like your version of this, something I will try very soon! You might also want to try Bisugo, we usually fry first then tossed with the sauteed black bean sauce with a little sugar – sort of sweet-salty sauce :)

    Oct 23, 2009 | 11:28 pm

  6. Ernie says:

    Wow, I didn’t know about this fish until now. It looks like a regular white fish. Is there a Tagalog or native term for this fish?

    Oct 23, 2009 | 11:29 pm

  7. Alex says:

    Nina, dory is actually an imported farmed Vietnamese catfish. It is a craze in the Philippines these days because of its reasonable price, clean taste and texture. This is very different from our local catfishes.

    Oct 23, 2009 | 11:55 pm

  8. Tricia says:

    Thanks for this recipe, MM!!!

    Fish n chips and steamed with soy sauce are what I do to cream dory fillet.

    I buy my cream dory fillet from Unimart in Greenhills. So far they have the lowest price.

    Oct 23, 2009 | 11:59 pm

  9. britelite says:

    I am not comfortable with creamy dory–what with all those gory write ups–what other fish variety can you suggest as a substitute ?

    Oct 24, 2009 | 12:02 am

  10. kate says:

    this looks really good MM :) thanks for sharing!

    Oct 24, 2009 | 12:19 am

  11. tnm says:

    firm tofu or tokwa would be a nice extender or vegetarian substitute.

    Oct 24, 2009 | 1:10 am

  12. myra_p says:

    tnm, good idea. Britelite, are you comfortable with tilapia fillets? usually available in the frozen section, right beside the cream dory… I can also imagine this with bangus belly fillets (fried separately before tossing into the wok).

    Oct 24, 2009 | 3:54 am

  13. Marketman says:

    Hi everyone. There has been some controversy about this heavily farmed specie in the past, but if you are interested, please see the comments in my first post with a recipe using cream dory, here. I think of this as an intensively farmed source of protein, similar in a sense to chickens raised in crowded coops, mass produced pork, etc… However, it is now beginning to be raised in the Philippines as well, and I suspect, in no different conditions than other farmed fishes we have here such as tilapia and bangus or milkfish. It is an “easy” option as it comes in fillets in the frozen section and when you can’t have totally reef fresh fish, it is easy to thaw and cook. It is a white fish with a softer texture and it sops up other flavors well, hence it is a protein host or vehicle in my mind. I also make this steamed for a pretty low calorie recipe, here. And a more mediterreanean twist en papilotte, here. And just to be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR, this is NOT a JOHN DORY, that much sought after fish savored in Europe and elsewhere, a photo of which appears here from a trip to La Boqueria in Barcelona, Spain.

    Oct 24, 2009 | 5:45 am

  14. betty q. says:

    …called also Basa fillet, or River Cobbler here and readily available frozen even at grocery chain stores such as Safeway, Save-on…

    Oct 24, 2009 | 6:09 am

  15. BD says:

    Frozen dory or basa Fillet are a staple in any chinese grocer in Toronto. We have them almost every week. Great substitute to sole for your fish and chips.

    Oct 24, 2009 | 6:53 am

  16. Pilar says:

    I happened to visit Vitarich in Bulacan last month and knew that they have been culturing cream dory in the Pampanga if am not mistaken. I bought a kilo which costs 180. The local verison is quite reddish and it has astrong fishy smell. I always buy mine in Unimart at 158/kilo. It’s white and yummy be it with garlic, steamed or fish and chips. I always have this in my fridge since it’s easy to prepare and my kids love them!

    Off topic: Hi Bettyq! Do you have any receipe on raddish cake or “chay tao ke”? Thanks.

    Oct 24, 2009 | 7:02 am

  17. Ging says:

    OFF TOPIC: MM and Zubuchon are in SunStar Daily today! Get your copy!

    Oct 24, 2009 | 7:44 am

  18. Hershey says:

    The food looked like it was inspired by the breath of wok :))

    Oct 24, 2009 | 8:52 am

  19. silly lolo says:

    Pssst! Basa fillet in fish Taco is a killer lunch! Fresh (as opposed to cooked/sauteed) salsa is mandatory if you want the Oaxaca style taco. Here in the Spanish section of SFO, the taco trucks try to out taco each other daily. Mina’s truck is the winner for me. She has 3 senioritas passing out the tacos and they each wear super tight jeans! I order 12 tacos each time but have them handed to me one-at-a-time! Ay, ay, ay!

    Oct 24, 2009 | 10:22 am

  20. betty q. says:

    Pilar: what I know as radish cake is what MIL calls LO BAK GO. It has lo bak(daikon), chinese sausage, pork, hibe, etc. …there is also a TARO called WU TAO GO. …similar to radish cake. Is that the one you are referring to? Was it Cai who wanted toknow how it is done too?

    Here is the recipe anyway…if this is not the one, then please elaborate and describe!

    Wok over high heat…then add about 1 cuchara of oil. Add about 1/4 lb. pork cut into 1/2 inch cubes and 2 chinese sausages, cut up the same. Para mas maraming makakagat na sahog, dice them smaller. Cook until pork turns opaque and cooked. Add the hibe…about 1/8 cup maybe , soaked in hot water and drained., …also add 1 cuchara of dry sherry or rice wine and pinch of salt , white pepper and 1/4 tsp 5-SPICE (yes, I am ms. 5 spice) powder. Set that aside.

    Now if you like taro, peel and dice about 1/2 lb. taro or 1/2 lb. lo bak. Wok on high heat again and add a bit of oil. Add the taro or lo bak and add about 1/2 cup seasoned chicken stock. Cover an dcook until the taro or lobak is tender and liquid has ev aporated. COOL.

    get a round 9 inch pan …no springform or the batter will seep through. Grease the pan. Mix in a bowl…1 cup cake flour, and 1/4 cup tapioca starch. Gradually add about 1 1/2 cups seasoned chicken stock and blend until smooth with a whisk. Layer half of the taro or lo bak in the greased pan, then the meat mixture, then the batter and top the batter with the rest of ingredients. …then cover with remaining batter. Put in steamer and cover and steam over high heat until set …about 30 minutes. COOL thoroughly. and refrigerate. I do this the night before and the next morning, flip it over and cut into squares and PAN FRY. When heated through and nice goldenbrown, put in platter and garnish with sliced green onions (thinly in diagonal) and sesame seeds. We eat this with the 1/2 chao zhou chili oil and 1/2chee hou sauce…mix them together and thin out a bit with water and dip the pan fried taro or radish cake in it. MASARAP!

    Oct 24, 2009 | 11:26 am

  21. natie says:

    Ging–read the article re Zubuchon online—MM is such a celebrity

    Oct 24, 2009 | 11:49 am

  22. Connie C says:

    AYY, yayayayay silly Lolo! You are such a ……….LOL. and we are only talking about basa fillet. Your fish taco must be delightful indeed!

    Oct 24, 2009 | 7:58 pm

  23. hchie says:

    I have to make this for lunch today. It looks good. Thanks.

    Oct 25, 2009 | 9:44 am

  24. joyce says:

    great recipe for radish cake ms. betty q

    Oct 25, 2009 | 10:57 pm

  25. san says:

    Britelite, you can always use lapu-lapu fillet.
    Betty Q: great radish and taro cake recipes. Just made them last week..but added too much rice flour so a little harder than I like….will use your ratio of broth and rice/tapioca flours next time. Thanks!

    Oct 26, 2009 | 1:01 am

  26. liza m.c. says:

    also available in sm, makro, robinson’s…

    Oct 26, 2009 | 1:30 pm

  27. Pilar says:

    Exactly, Bettyq! It’s called Lo Bak Ko in Cantonese and Chay Tao Ke in Fukien. Hay naku, I have to try it once I get back to Manila. Am in Hong Kong right now for my medical checkup. I asked my sister to visit the Sunday Market while she’s in Cebu to attend the Taoist Temple’s celebration today. Sarap raw litson ni MM! She said she had a picture with him. Can’t wait to see gorgeous MM! I told her that it’s in this food blog where I learned to cook some foods I prepare for my family. Lo Bak Ko is the next dish I’ll be proud of. Thanks Bettyq!

    Oct 26, 2009 | 10:45 pm

  28. betty q. says:

    Hey Pilar…you are in HK? Whoa…bring back DRIED SCALLOPS!. ..make some XO for your Christmas give aways! I know quite a few of MM’s commenters who would like to get their hands on DRIED SCALLOPS!

    Have you made XO yet? If you want to buy the dried scallops…go for the Japanese ones…it is dark, golden brown…do not buy the anemic looking ones…they are bleached! Also the Japanese ones emits that scallop-ey essence and buy the smallest ones…cheaper by a mile! A POUND OF THOSE GOES A LOOOOOOONG WAY! Just ask MM!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 2:14 am

  29. betty q. says:

    San…Pilar: next time, add some coarsely chopped leeks in sauteeing the pork or chicken and the chinese sausage…add 1 large soaked and squeezed chinese mushroom, too., diced really small. MIL sticks to basics but I go out of the box most of the time. Of course my husband DARE NOT TELL HER that mine tastes better!

    Also, if you are using a metal steamer, don’t forget to put a towel over the steamer before you put the lid on….just like in making cuchinta.

    Oct 27, 2009 | 4:30 am

  30. Pilar says:

    Hi Bettyq! I always bring home dried scallops to Manila though haven’t tried making your XO sauce. I buy thick Japanese mushrooms as well since the China variety gets too mushy after being soaked. Likewise, hebi, “pe chao a” and Chinese herbs are bought here. Will try and hope you don’t mind if I get back to you along the way.

    Though I live in Binondo, I still find Chinatown doesn’t carry a lot of Chinese stuffs of good quality. I don’t find Eng Bee Tin’s dried scallops impressive either. Kaya I make tyaga and bring some for our household consumption. XO sauce for Christmas give away? Naku, Bettyq…..baka pagkaguluhan ako ng mga friends ko after tasting your version!

    Thanks so much for being so kind in sharing. You’ve helped so many readers bring back that smile……

    Oct 27, 2009 | 8:04 am

  31. cherryo, yvr says:

    Hi BettyQ! Thanks for posting your recipe for Lo Bak Go. Would you have a recipe for the steamed version of this? Think this version is called “Jing Lo Bak Go.” We used to eat the traditional pan fried version only but when my hubby and I discovered the steamed version at one of our favorite dimsum places, we’ve converted. They serve it with a sweet soy sauce which you pour over right before eating. We do enjoy the more reknowned panfried version too once in a while. Another fave is Tapioca Pudding – would you know how it is made? Seems like it has plenty of eggs due to the yellow color. It’s what we would call an “apply directly to hips” dish. Thanks very much.

    MM: Have you tried any of this? Wonder if you could blog about dimsum specialties one day… Happy Halloween!

    Oct 27, 2009 | 11:51 am

  32. james alcantara says:

    wow thats great….perpect

    Feb 9, 2011 | 5:43 pm

  33. kimmy says:

    where can you buy dried chillies?

    May 14, 2011 | 7:21 pm


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