Steamed Lapu-lapu (Grouper) in Light Soy Sauce

Lapu-lapu is one of our favorite fish. It's in the top of the list when we order from Chinese restaurants since they are live and best served steamed. I used to watch my mother and my Cantonese gwa-kong (maternal grandpa) prepare this delicious dish and enjoyed by family members. So, whenever I get a chance to have fresh lapu-lapu, I try to make this recipe, no special occasion required.

It's a must that you use fresh lapu-lapu, or any fish you prefer, if you want to steam it. If it's frozen, I suggest you fry it instead.

This recipe can also work well with king fish,  tilapia, pompano, dory, cod.  Steaming time may vary.

If you've been a long-time reader, you know I don't measure when I cook, so measurements in my recipes are all estimates.

Steamed Lapu-lapu in Light Soy Sauce

Approx. 600g fresh lapu-lapu - scaled, gutted, cleaned and lightly salted
1 tablespoon Ginger - thinly sliced into matchsticks
Leeks, diagonally sliced
Cilantro (wansoy)
5 tablespoons peanut oil (or any vegetable oil on hand)

For the sauce (estimates):
3/4 cup hot water
4 tablespoon premium light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Kikkoman
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
some minced ginger

To prepare:
Insert a few sliced ginger inside the fish cavity and between cuts on the flesh
Steam whole lapu-lapu for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the fish and steamer.
While steaming, mix the sauce in a small bowl.
Taste and adjust according to your preferred saltiness - you can add more soy sauce / Kikkoman, sugar, water and sesame oil a little a time, tasting in between.
Set aside.

After steaming, carefully plate the lapu-lapu.
Top with some leeks, more ginger, and wansoy.

Searing oil:
Heat peanut oil in a small pan. 
Allow it to reach smoking point.
Carefully pour over the entire fish.

The wansoy and hot oil makes all the difference. Pouring hot oil over the fish sears it a bit and wilts the aromatics, making the dish more fragrant and flavorful.

Pour the soy sauce and garnish with more wansoy and leeks before serving.  It will smell so good!!! Devour immediately.

Happy steaming! :)

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