Lapu lapu with Tausi

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  • 1 grouper or red snapper (about 1 lb/500 g), cleaned, scaled and left whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) oil
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • spring onion, thinly sliced, to garnish

Black Bean Sauce:

  • 1 small cake pressed tofu (about 5 oz/150 g), drained and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 in (21/2 cm) ginger, minced
  • 2–3 tablespoons salted whole black beans, slightly mashed
  • 11/2 cups (375ml) water
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 3 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water


  1. Season the fish with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet large enough to hold the fish. Dip the seasoned fish in the cornstarch-water mixture and fry in the hot oil until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  2. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the oil in the skillet and drain away the rest. Make the Black Bean Sauce by frying the tofu lightly in the skillet for 3 minutes until golden brown. Add the minced garlic and ginger, and stir-fry lightly for a minute. Then add the black beans and water, and stir to mix well.
  3. Add the shallots and tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until it thickens. Remove from the heat.
  4. Transfer the fish to a serving platter and ladle the sauce over it. Just before serving, drizzle the sesame oil over the fish and garnish with freshly sliced spring onion. Best served hot.

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