Why don’t we steam you up? Heehee. I never noticed that fish can sometimes have blue eyes. Isn’t that cool? I found this 1/2 kilo or so reef-fresh lapu-lapu at the Nasugbu market last weekend and purchased it for roughly PHP180 or $3.50.
Crystal clear eyes are a tell-tale sign of a fresh fish. I have written about fish eyes before, here, so refer to that post for some tips on buying fish…
Beside the blue-eyed lapu-lapu or grouper was a maya-maya or red snapper. Not quite the red snapper so prized in Western restaurant menus, but a close cousin, I think. Cooler, and more temperate waters seem to have a noticeable effect on the texture of the meat of red snappers when compared with their tropical cousins. I purchased both fish because I wanted to experience tasting their meat side by side to see if one really tasted better than the other.
I simply steamed both fish for roughly 13-15 minutes on a HIGH flame with julienned ginger and sliced onions and added a sauce of light soy sauce, stock, pinch or two of sugar and some really hot oil. Both fish were good. But the meat of the maya-maya was a little bit mushier or less firm than that of the lapu-lapu.
Personally, I thought the lapu-lapu was excellent, so the price premium over maya-maya (around PHP50-80 per kilo more for the grouper) is well justified. Yum.
Another photo for Nadia… :)