23 Aug2013

Deep-Fried Lapu-Lapu

by Marketman


A whole deep-fried fish is one of life’s great culinary treats. Seriously. A stunningly fresh specimen (in this case one named after an ancestor, if my grandmother is to be believed, and she didn’t jest) of lapu-lapu or grouper, seasoned simply with salt, pepper and a dusting of flour or corn starch is then carefully lowered into very hot lard and fried just long enough to get a crisp skin while keeping the meat still very moist. I find most pinoy cooks overfry their fish, but that’s my personal opinion. Served hot, with a dipping sauce of your choice (I like vinegar, kalamansi and a touch of chili), this is a nearly perfect dish, as far as I am concerned.


I don’t eat fried fish anywhere near as often as I did as a kid and Teen, but I do get a hankering for it every once in a while. Good “first-class” fish has become so expensive (and in some cases overfished) in the Philippines in the past few years, with lapu-lapu ranging upwards of PHP300-350 per kilo, and tanguigue or talakitok just a little less than that, that most Filipinos don’t get to enjoy this simple and fantastic treat despite living in an archipelago of 7,100+ islands. Even dried danggit in Cebu costs between PHP600-700 a kilo these days, putting it out of reach for many folks… :(



  1. vantravelguide says:

    This is best when fresh and deep fry…thanks for the idea Market Man.

    Aug 23, 2013 | 8:09 am


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  3. Mon Yadao says:

    Vinegar na, kalamansi pa? Curious. :) Might give it a try.

    Aug 23, 2013 | 8:36 am

  4. Anything Under the Sun says:

    Comes best with fresh tomato sprinkled with salt to satisfy your taste buds….can’t wait for dinner time.

    Aug 23, 2013 | 3:16 pm

  5. Khew says:

    It’s the lard that makes all the difference! By the way, is a fish pan deep enough to do a proper deep frying?

    Aug 23, 2013 | 4:05 pm

  6. Akeeno says:

    Mon Yadao, vinegar and calamansi goes together perfectly, especially if you use coconut vinegar. This combination brings out the flavor of the fish. Have also tried it with finely chopped wansoy and a pinch of ground black pepper and salt.. Yummy!

    Regards to you and your family, MM!

    Aug 23, 2013 | 11:13 pm

  7. pits, manila says:

    they’re (fresh fish) really expensive for some time now. more expensive than meat. wouldn’t it be great to have fresh catch (fish, crab, shell-fish etc) whenever we want? > i have tasted fresh tilapia in the area of la mesa dam. they caught a lot, went straight to the coals … sweet and delicious! that’s the freshest i’ve tasted so far.

    Aug 24, 2013 | 8:53 am

  8. Ynna says:

    That’s what my dad said to me also, MarketMan. He said they were able to trace our ancestry back to Lapu-Lapu (and my dad’s from Cebu also). So I guess we are distant (to the nth degree) relatives! :)

    Fried lapu-lapu is the best as far as I’m concerned.. So tempting to finish the whole fish when it’s fresh out of the frying pan :)

    Aug 24, 2013 | 2:37 pm

  9. Jay Salanguste says:

    This and kaning lamig constitutes comfort food to the highest degree. Coke, cold and bubbly, should finish the eat job.

    Aug 24, 2013 | 6:57 pm

  10. Maria says:

    10 thumbs up MM :)

    Aug 25, 2013 | 3:13 pm

  11. Angelina says:

    Yum! haven’t had lapu-lapu since migrating to Canada. I will try this with rainbow trout just like the one caught by my husband and my daughter. My husband’s fave dip, patis with calamansi and sili.

    Aug 29, 2013 | 1:55 am

  12. germac says:

    germac says:
    We can buy strawberry grouper from Carribean sea at Toronto (GTA) Chinese stores. This is the closest variety to our lapu-lapu or sometimes called sigapo.

    Aug 30, 2013 | 4:09 am

  13. steve says:

    i’m a lapu lapu descendent as well!

    Sep 3, 2013 | 7:44 am

  14. Piaya says:

    Karasa! I’ll cook this when I get home to Samar during the sembreak..Thanks MM!

    Sep 3, 2013 | 8:09 pm

  15. steve says:

    to Ynna and MM, we are truly lucky to come from such a glorious lineage. it’s like finding out you’re related to princess diana.

    I love fried lapu lapu as well!

    Sep 5, 2013 | 6:41 am


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