This Steamed Lapu-Lapu Can Be the Star of Your Noche Buena Spread

IMAGE Toto Labrador

Steaming may be one of the most underrated cooking techniques out there-did you know that you can make some of the most flavorful dishes with this method?

Use banana leaves to steam fish to make your fish more moist, tender, and fragrant. Include lots of herbs, aromatics, and spices, too. The fish will be able to absorb all of these flavors white it cooks! Looking for a super special dish to make for Noche Buena this year? Impress your family with this 40-minute steamed lapu-lapu recipe.

Steamed Lapu-Lapu Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cooking Time 20 minutes

Serves  4

1 (300-gram) lapu-lapu, scaled and gutted

2 large banana leaf, (about 20 x 25 inches), ribs removed, cleaned, and passed over a hot flame

1 stalk leeks, sliced into 2-inch pieces, divided

100 grams ginger, sliced, divided

1 small red onion, sliced, divided

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons soy sauce


3 tablespoons sesame oil, plus more for drizzling

Cilantro sprigs, for garnish


Clean the fish thoroughly under water. Score the fish by making 3 diagonal slices on the thickest part of the lapu-lapu. Place the fish on top of washed banana leaves.

2 Stuff fish with half the ginger, leeks, and red onions. Place a slice of ginger on the scored parts of the fish. Scatter remaining aromatics on top. Season with salt and pepper.


3 Drizzle soy sauce and sesame oil all over the fish.

4 Place another banana leaf on top, and wrap the fish securely using banana leaf strips or cooking twine. You can wrap the fish in another layer of banana leaves to make sure the juices will not spill during the cooking process.

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5 Place fish in a steamer on top of a wok filled with boiling water. Steam for about 15 to 20 minutes.


6 Remove some of the banana leaves and reserve the juices from the fish. Transfer banana leaves and fish to a serving platter. Drizzle sesame oil and reserved juices all over the fish. Garnish with more leeks, chopped onions, and cilantro, if desired. Serve with steamed rice on the side.


Tip: Cooking for two? Use fish fillets instead. Wrap each fillet in banana leaves and steam for 8 to 10 minutes until cooked through.


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