Category Archives: Seafood

Lapu-Lapu (Grouper) Escabeche (Sweet and Sour Sauce)


The lapu-lapu is always a special dish. Childhood memories of our family dinner involves a feast of lapu-lapu topped with sweet and sour sauce known escabeche. Escabeche has a slight ginger taste to it unlike the Chinese version of sweet and sour sauce. I am not sure if this is a Cebuano version of the sweet and sour sauce because I have not tasted it here in Manila.

Here is how I prepare it:

1. Clean the Lapu-lapu (around 1 kilo), slice diagonally along the fish, then rub salt on it and inside the fish cavity

2. Deep fat fry. (An alternative cooking method is to rub olive oil around the fish, then wrap with foil to grill it ) . Drain in paper towels. Set aside.

3. Prepare the sweet and sour sauce.

1 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
a slice of ginger, julienne

1/2 head garlic, minced
2 medium-sized onions, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits
1 carrot, julienne
1 red pepper, julienne
4 green onions, sliced (leave some for garnishing)
2 tomatoes, cut in wedges
2 tablespoons cornstarch, diluted with 2-3 tablespoons water

1. Combine the first 6 ingredients.
2. Thicken with cornstarch mixture (2 tablespoons cornstarch, diluted with 2-3 tablespoons water)
3. Add tomatoes, onions, carrot, tomatoes, garlic, red pepper and the other ingredients. Place pineapple tidbits last
4. Boil once. Make sure the sauce is slightly thickened and not runny.
5. Pour the sauce on fried lapu-lapu (prepared in number 1) and serve immediately. Don’t pour the sauce on the fish if you are not ready to eat it. The crispiness of the fish will be gone. You can always set aside the sauce and serve it once everyone is ready to eat.

6. Garnish with green onions.

How to Cook Singapore Chilli Crab

singapore-chilli-crab

Tsiju Culinary Arts shared this Singapore Chilli Crab recipe which is one of the most popular dish in Singapore hawker centers. It is sometimes known as Singapore’s unofficial “national dish” which had its humble beginnings in the country itself. In the 1950s, Madam Cher Yam Tian had a hawker stall right on the seashore, and she spent her time everyday from dusk till the wee hours of the morning cooking by the light of a kerosene lamp. One of Madam Cher’s specialities? Live crabs in a zesty chilli-spiked gravy, the first version of the Singapore chilli crab.

The recipe looks simple but I still have to try it. Just substitute the ingredients that I noted in the closed parenthesis.

Ingredients

1 Sri Lanka Crab (of course use our local crabs, the bigger the better)
3 tbsp. Canola oil
8 cloves garlic, chopped
8 fresh chili, chopped
2 eggs
2 spring onions, sliced
1 ginger, grated
2 tablespoon lime juice (or substitute with calamansi or lemon juice)
2 tabsp sugar
4 tbsp ketchup
1 teaspoon cornflour (substitute with corn starch)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Mix the following for the sauce

1 cup water
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

1.Heat the oil in a wok over high heat.

2. Add garlic and stir-fry for 1 minutes.

3. Add the chilli, stir-fry till fragrant and then the crab.

4. Fry well till shell starts turning red.

5. Add sauce ingredients.

6. Cover with lid and simmer.

7. Break eggs. Stir in spring onions and lemon juice.

Ready to serve.

The dish has evolved into many innovations:

1. some are packed with fresh spices like galangal, ginger, and turmeric,

2. some are sweet-sour and rosy with tomato, others are ribboned with beaten egg, and still others carry the sting of chilli oil.

So you can also try to innovate the Singapore Chilli Crab recipe and make it your very own.

You might want to read my food trip at the Singapore Food Festival five years ago.

or just view this youtube video

Pateros Express: mixed sautéed seafood in salted egg sauce.

An XO46 original dish of mixed sautéed seafood in salted egg sauce.

Bicol Express is not alone. There is an original dish called “Pateros Express” from XO46 XO 46 Bistro Filipino. The dish is made of mixed sautéed seafood like shrimps, squid and fish in salted duck egg sauce. The dish was recently featured in The Maya Kitchen’s Culinary Elite Series 2015 cooking class held last May 30, 2015.

Try this unique and flavorful Pinoy dish.

Pateros Express small

200 grams medium-sized shrimps, peeled and deveined leaving the tail
200 grams squid, cleaned and cut into squares and scored
200 grams fried fish fillet
¼ cup olive oil
50 grams garlic, crushed
½ cup white wine
juice of 1 lemon
3 salted eggs, separate yolks from the whites
5 grams Spanish paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
parsley, for garnish

1. Sauté shrimp, squid, fish fillet with a little bit of olive oil, garlic and white wine. Once seafood is cooked, set aside.
2. Get the yolk part of the salted egg and mash it with olive oil, lemon juice, Spanish paprika and salt and pepper. Mix the seafood with the salted egg sauce.
3. Garnish with white part of the salted egg and parsley.

Yield: 5 servings

Fresh Smoked Fish Spring Rolls

One of my favorite dish at Sentro 1771 is Fresh Smoked Fish Spring Rolls. I am delighted that Vicky-Rose Pacheco from Sentro shared this recipe of fresh lumpia made of tinapang bangus, salted egg, mustasa, onions and tomato during a demo at the Maya Kitchen. It is the smoked tinapa that gives the tasty flavor of this all-time favorite lumpia. You will find out it is easy to prepare too. These spring rolls add a nice touch to any cocktail menu.

Try it.

fresh smoked fish spring rolls 1

2 pcs rice paper wrapper
2 pcs mustasa leaves, washed & trimmed
100 grams bangus tinapa flakes
15 grams tomato strips, fleshed out
10 grams red onions, thinly sliced
½ pc salted egg, sliced into 4 wedges
2 stalks spring onions, cut into 2-inch lengths

Procedure

1. Prepare a wide a bowl and pour in a little water. Take a piece of rice paper wrapper and moisten in the bowl. Lay on a clean board. Do the same with the other one.
2. Lay down the mustasa on top at the center.
3. Distribute 50 grams of tinapa flakes on the mustasa, lengthwise.
4. Place some tomato strips on top, then follow with the onions.
5. Place 2 wedges of salted egg on top.
6. Roll the rice paper wrapper tightly, folding the sides and do the same with the other one.
7. Trim off the ends and cut into 4 equal pieces. Garnish with spring onion.

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