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