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Filipino fish escabeche using whole lapu lapu on a serving platter
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4.8 from 5 votes

Escabeche Lapu Lapu

Filipino Escabeche with crisply-fried grouper, pickled bell peppers, shredded papaya, and sweet and sour sauce. Delicious with steamed rice and perfect for holidays and special occasions.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Entree
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: escabeche, escabeche lapu lapu, sweet and sour fish
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 520kcal
Author: Lalaine Manalo


  • 1 (2 to 3 pounds) whole Lapu-Lapu
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • canola oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 thumb-size ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 small green papaya, peeled and grated
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch


  • Clean and gut the fish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  • In a wide pan over medium heat, heat about 2-inch deep of oil. Add fish and cook, turning once or twice, until golden, crisp, and cooked through. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
  • In a pan over medium heat, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. 
  • Add grated papaya and bell peppers and cook, stirring regularly, until tender yet crisp. Remove from pan and keep warm.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, sugar, and ketchup.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.
  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Stir until smooth. Add to the pan and continue to cook, whisking continuously, for about 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  • Place fried fish on a serving platter and garnish with the vegetable mixture. When ready to serve, pour sweet and sour sauce on top.


Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 67g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 909mg | Potassium: 1982mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 1775IU | Vitamin C: 82.2mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 3.7mg