Ginataang Lapu Lapu

Ginataang Lapu Lapu is a Filipino dish prepared with grouper fish, moringa leaves and buttercup squash cooked in a chilli spiced coconut cream sauce.

Ginataan is one of the cooking methods in the Filipino cuisine where meats and/or vegetables are cooked in a coconut milk/cream together with sautéed garlic and onions, think of it as a mild curry since it does not use heavy spices like the Indian or other South East Asian’s cuisines do. There are many ginataan dishes in the Philippines and its primarily using buttercup squash and seafood like crab and shrimps, for our recipe we today we will not be using those but instead we will be using a popular fish in the Philippines called Lapu Lapu otherwise grouper.

It is a fairly easy dish to make and like most Filipino dishes, it starts with a gisa similar to sofrito then all other ingredients are added. This dish can be eaten on its own but it really goes well with rice so you can soak all that coconut milk sauce and enjoy every last bit of it.

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Ginataang Lapu Lapu 1

Ginataang Lapu Lapu

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 5-6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Ginataang Lapu Lapu is a Filipino dish prepared with grouper fish, moringa leaves and buttercup squash cooked in a chilli spiced coconut cream sauce.


  • 700 g grouper fillets (lapu lapu), cubed
  • 400 g (approx. 3 cups) buttercup squash, cubed
  • 400 ml cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup fresh moringa (malunggay) leaves
  • 2 pcs long red chillies, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • oil
  • fish sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a wok add oil then sauté garlic and onions
  2. Add buttercup squash pour water and bring it to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add coconut milk, malunggay leaves, lapu lapu and chillies, bring back to a very slow boil then simmer in low heat for 10 more minutes or until fish is cooked.
  4. Season with fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Serve

Ginataang Lapu Lapu


6 Responses

  1. I love grouper, but usually had them in Cantonese way…simply steamed with ginger and onion..yours with coconut milk seems richer and more flavourful and interesting.

  2. This dish looks quite similar to the one that I used to try in Vietnam. Can’t wait to try this one, too! Thank you for sharing!

  3. It looks and sounds (and I bet smells and tastes) fantastic, Raymund. Grouper is a fish we can easily get here from neighboring México. Everything else is easy!

  4. suituapui says:

    This is like our Malaysian masak lemak. We called squash/pumpkin labu in Malay.

  5. Grouper is a local fish in our part of the Florida coast and this sounds like a delicious fall meal. The only thing I know I won’t be able to find is the moringa (malunggay) leaves. Do you think spinach leaves would make a good substitue?

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