Steamed Whole Fish With Garlic – Onion – Mayo Sauce Steamed Whole Fish With Garlic-Onion-Mayo Sauce

This Filipino dish, traditionally referred to in Filipino cookbooks as apahap na may mayonesa (apahap, a kind of white fleshy fish, in mayonnaise), calls for steamed whole fish garnished with chopped carrots and hard-boiled egg and served in a pool of mayonnaise-based sauce. I did not stray too far from the original recipe–just spiced it up a bit.

There are other vegetables that you can use to garnish the fish. You can use chopped celery or chopped red pimiento.

The only improvisation that I did to this popular Filipino recipe was to stuff the cavity with onion leaves and ginger, and to spike the mayonnaise with raw garlic and onions. Apart from helping get rid of the fishy smell, ginger and onion leaves do add a lot of flavor to the fish meat. Leeks may be used in place of onion leaves. Raw garlic and onion add body to the sauce.

Ingredients :

1 whole fleshy fish (about 1 k.), gilled and gutted
1 bunch of sibuyas na mura (onion leaves)
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 carrot
1 egg, hard-boiled
1 tsp. of grated garlic
1/4 c. of finely chopped white onion
1/2 c. of mayonnaise
1/2 c. of fish stock
salt and pepper

How to :

Score the fish across the back on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (rub them into the flesh where you made a cut). Rub salt and pepper inside the cavity (from where the guts have been removed). Trim the roots of the onion leaves and roll them to fit into the cavity. Stuff the cavity with the onion leaves and sliced ginger. Place the fish on a heatproof dish and place inside a steamer with vigorously boiling water. Steam the fish over medium-high heat for 15 minutes.

Roughly chop the carrot and cook in a little salted boiling water (no more than 3 to 4 tbsp.). When the liquid evaporates, turn off the heat and chop the carrot finely.

Separate the egg white from the yolk. Finely chop the egg white. Crumble the yolk.

Stir the grated garlic and chopped onion into the mayonnaise.

Meanwhile, remove the fish (still on the plate) from the steamer. With a large spoon, remove the fish stock that you find in the heatproof dish on which the fish was steamed. Measure 1/2 c. and slowly pour the stock into the mayonnaise, stirring well to avoid lumps. Pour the thinned mayonnaise over the fish.

To serve:

Arrange the chopped carrot, egg white and yolk on the fish. Serve on the same heatproof dish on which the fish had been steamed.

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The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

4 Responses

  1. Bern says:

    Thanks to you and your site, I am now enthused to learn how to cook. It was my mother’s birthday last Jan. 17 and I made Steamed Fish for her. She liked it – considering that she’s quite hard to please. I used less Mayo and more fish stock because my mom is hypertensive. I also used Maya-maya but I was told, Lapu-lapu may have been a better choice. You think?

  2. Connie says:

    The meat of large lapu-lapu is not as tender as that of maya-maya.

  3. Jo Santos says:

    Connie, doyou think the meat of a 2.5K Lapu-lapu will be tough, when cooked for this dish? I have one whole fish in our freezer and I don’t know what to do with it. I am just afraid that the meat might turn tough when cooked. Please advise.

    • Connie says:

      In my experience, the meat of lapu-lapu over 1 kg. is tough and is okay for simmering or frying only.