Chef Bruce Lim's Heaven and Hell

Chef Bruce Lim's steamed lapu-lapu with watercress and orange burre blanc, and spicy steak with robust flavors with ratatouille sauce.

August 2008 | By
Chef Bruce Lim's Heaven and Hell
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at a glance Main Ingredient

Fish and Seafood


Main Dishes

Preparation Time


Date Published

August 2008

Chef Bruce Lim showcases his culinary flair by coming up with a French-inspired dish that best describes the type of guy he is.

"The Heaven dish has steamed lapu-lapu topped with sautéed watercress and drizzled with orange burre blanc. It's really subtle and very mellow—in fact, I'd say it's like my personality on a good day," he explains. What about the hell part? "Extremely spicy meat and robust flavors go into the ratatouille so it's like the opposite. My dishes depend on my mood."

Prep Time 15 minutes 
Cooking Time 20 minutes

For the "heaven"
    (For the steamed fish)
1/2 kilo lapu-lapu fillet,
      skinned and cut to serving size
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil

For the sautéed watercress
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 garlic clove
2 cups watercress
salt and pepper to taste

For the burre blanc sauce
1 cup butter
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 shallots, diced
1 sprig thyme
salt and pepper to taste

For the "hell"
For the pan-seared beef
1/2 kilo beef sirloin
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
1 tablespoon chili flakes
4 garlic cloves, chopped 

For the blanched mushrooms
1 cup water
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup enoki mushrooms
salt and pepper, to taste

For the ratatouille sauce
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 carrot, diced
1 cup red wine
1 can tomato, drained and diced
1 eggplant, diced
1 bunch asparagus

Prepare the heaven: Place fish fillets in a heatproof dish and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Sprinkle onions, garlic, and ginger. Drizzle with sesame oil and place into the steamer. Cook for 6 minutes or until done.

While fish is cooking, prepare the watercress in a very hot pan. Pour sesame oil and sauté garlic for 1 minute or until the fragrance is released. Add watercress and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes or until watercress just starts to wilt.

3  Make the sauce: Add white wine to a very hot pan. Add shallots and thyme, and reduce the wine until it becomes syrupy. Over low heat, slowly add orange marmalade followed by butter. Whisk vigorously to make a thick, emulsified sauce. Strain before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Remove the fish fillets from the dish and place in serving plate. Top with sautéed watercress and drizzle sauce over.

Make the hell: Slice sirloin into serving sizes and roll in pepper, chili flakes, and garlic. Let the beef sit for 30 minutes to absorb flavors. Pan-sear beef for 3 minutes per side or cook it to your desired doneness.

6 Prepare the mushrooms: In a small pot, add pineapple juice and water. Bring to a boil and drop in the enoki mushrooms. Count to 5 and remove mushrooms from liquid. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with some butter.

Make the ratatouille: In another pot, add butter, garlic, and onions. Sauté for 3 minutes or until the aroma comes out. Add carrots and red wine. Reduce wine to a syrup before adding the tomatoes and eggplant. Simmer for 5 minutes then add asparagus and cook for 2 more minutes. Top beef with mushrooms and ratatouille.


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