Lapu-Lapu Escabeche

>> Saturday, 6 March 2010

sweet and sour lapu-lapu

Back in the UK, I never get to cook Lapu-Lapu or Grouper as much as I do since it was expensive and can be difficult to find. However, I have managed to cook the same dish using other types of white fish I can find in the market such as cod or haddock and it worked well, but I would always prefer making sweet and sour with grouper. It's more Asian-ish in taste. =)

We found this one tiny Filipino/Indian store, sitting in a very unsuspecting street, where you can find almost any ingredients you need if you want to cook up some authentic Filipino food. Papaitan pack, tilapia, lapu-lapu, nilagang saging (boiled bananas), ube, makapuno, top-notched Filipino brand cooking sauces and spices, malagkit (sticky) rice, different kinds of asian noodles (canton, sotanghon, bihon etc) and so much more. I was like a kid in a candy store. =)

So when I came back home, I made a dish that has always been a staple in our home using Lapu-Lapu.

Lapu-Lapu Escabeche

  • *1 Headless Lapu-Lapu/Grouper (weighs about 3/4kilo) - of course you can retain the head if you prefer. With me, I usually use the fish head for soup with vegetables (Tinolang Isda) , makes absolutely delicious fish stock! =)
  • 1 stalk tied lemongrass
  • Garlic salt or garlic powder and salt
  • Vegetable Oil for deep-frying

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 2 tsbp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 medium sized onion minced
  • 1 large red tomato diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger julliened
  • 1 medium carrot julliened
  • 1.5 cups fish stock/water
  • 3 tsbps tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsbp white vinegar
  • 1 tsbp brown sugar
  • 1 small green bell pepper julliened
  • 1 small red bell pepper julliened
  • cornstarch slurry (1 tsp cornstarch+ 1 tsbp water)
  • chopped spring onions/chives


  1. Season fish with garlic salt or salt and garlic powder inside and out. Insert tied lemongrass inside the fish.
  2. Heat oil and deep fry fish until golden brown on both sides.
  3. Drain fish on paper towels for a few minutes. Transfer on serving dish and set aside.

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  1. Heat 2 tbsps of vegetable oil in a separate pan.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic until tansluscent and light browned.
  3. Add ginger, diced red tomato, carrots, tomato paste and sauté
    for another 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in fish stock, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, sugar and green
    and red bell peppers. Bring to a boil and then add cornstarch slurry to thicken. Simmer for another minute while stirring. Remove from heat.

Pour sweet and sour sauce over fish and top with chopped spring onions or chives.

Serve while hot with rice.

Let's eat-a-eat-a! =)


Lauren 6 March 2010 at 19:56  

I am always looking for exciting fish recipes, I never seem to eat enough of it. However the fantastic flavours in this dish have me really wanting to try it!


bubbly 8 March 2010 at 14:01  

hi there, your escabeche looks yummy :) This dish is always perfect with lapu2x. I would definitely try this version of sweet & sour. thanks.. btw, would u mind if we x links? hope you could drop by my new blog :) tnx!

Olive 22 March 2010 at 08:00  

this is making me hungry..really yummy-looking! Thanks for sharing! :)

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