Lapu-Lapu de la Reyna (Steamed Fish with Mayonnaise)
Lapu-Lapu de la Reyna or Steamed Lapu-Lapu with Mayonnaise is a Filipino dish of steamed fish served coated with mayonnaise and dressed with assorted colourful vegetables like capsicum, carrots, red onions, pickle relish and eggs, usually Lapu Lapu / Grouper is the fish used on this dish but any large ocean white flesh fish can be used. Traditionally served during special occasions specially the Christmas season, it was very popular during the 80’s, my child hood days. A heritage dish in the house of the Bautista clan of Malolos, glad to have tried this after my Auntie who loves cooking served this one-time during Christmas.
It is one of those dishes that are dying and only certain families prepare this during festive seasons, probably it is expensive to prepare this back home, or preparation is quite tedious as you have to finely chop a lot of things. Hence starting from the 90’s I notice that this dish started to lose it popularity and to help revive this heritage dish, I am preparing one today and share it to everyone in the hope to increase awareness of this dish. A very simple dish yet very elegant on your table especially now that Christmas is coming fast, you might want to dish that ham this year and give this a shot.
- 1 whole grouper (lapu-lapu) or snapper (maya-maya) scaled, cleaned and gutted
- 3 stalks spring onions, roughly chopped
- juice from 1 lemon
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 red bell capsicum, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 4 hard-boiled eggs (yolk and white separated), finely chopped
- ⅓ cup sweet pickle relish
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 2½ cups water
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup vinegar
- Season your fish generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper, drizzle lemon juice inside and out then let it stand for 15 minutes.
- Stuff the cavity with the lemon skin from the extracted lemon juice as well as the spring onions.
- Place fish in a large steamer, steam for 25 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Remove from steamer, remove the lemon skin and spring onions then let it cool before proceeding to next step, fish should be at room temperature or colder.
- In a sauce pan boil together water, sugar and vinegar. In a sieve place your carrots, then dip it in the boiling solution then blanch it for 30 seconds. Remove from the boiling solution, drain well, then place in a plate to let it cool. Do the same thing with the capsicum.
- Place your fish in a platter, coat it with mayonnaise then arrange the finely chopped vegetables in the order similar to the photo or any order you like. Starting with red capsicum, carrots, chopped yolks, sweet pickle relish and red onion, drizzle the egg whites around the fish. Serve.