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I have had Longdan at the Gold Dragon city Seafood restaurant in Sea Park, Jalan 20/16A Petaling Jaya. I believe they translated it on the menu as Estuary grouper. Because it is such a big fish, there is a certain method of preparation for the fish to be just cooked and on really big specimens, the skin can be nearly half an inch thick.


That should be Grouper, terribly expensive, slightly morally incorrect, and perhaps very bad for the species (as they are in reproductive age)


slau - interesting, thanks. I'm not a huge fan of fish skin (unless it's deep-fried, that is).

Thanks KY. There should be no 'moral' issue with farmed fish. The problem is grouper that are fished wild off coral reefs ... like the kind you can find in seafood restaurants in Kota Kinabalu. My understanding is that China is a huge consumer of wild grouper and that current stocks are approaching dangerously low levels. Promoting farmed grouper as an alternative might be a way to save the fish in the wild.


The fish is called the King Garoupa

Phil Lees

I'm pretty sure that it's a Giant Grouper in English. Fishbase article is at http://fishbase.com/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=6468

I never realised that these fish were farmed.

marcos calo medina

Isn't longdan like the philippine lapu-lapu? i think that's the really special one with the sharp pointed nose....?


Grouper is a slow-growing saltwater fish, I doubt that they were farming grouper. They wouldn't have grown that quickly.

Longdan is usually called "snakehead" or "snakehead fish" in the US.


Mike W - google 'farmed grouper' and you'll find it's not such an uncommon industry in SE Asia. It definately was not a snakehead fish, those I know on sight.

Marc - I don't think it was a lapu lapu.

Thanks Phil. Pic's not so good but definately a grouper of some sort.

Marcos Calo  Medina

interesting. there's a variety of lapu-lapu which they call giant lapu-lapu (ie, grouper)n mindanao. but let me check. maybe they just call it that because it's part of the grouper family. the mother of all groupers...mama grouper to our baby grouper.

Paul Quinn

Its a giant grouper or brindle bass
Epinephelus lanceolatus

Paul Quinn

I asked a friend in KL who is a very good cook:

"Longdan is a rather oily fish, similar to cod but finer in texture. It is generally very huge measuring up to 20kg to 30kg a fish. The best ones are from Sabah which is caught deep sea. The meat is very fine and we usually cook it as fish fillet in porridge or in a like stew, or just simply lightly
fry in ginger and spring onions."

Another fish from Sabah that I personally love is Soi mei - anyone tried it?


Is the the fish? http://www.chanlilian.net/photo/photo/3166499624/loong-tan-fish.html

It looks like giant grouper to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_grouper

Giant grouper is a protected species in Australia, but in Asia I guess (sadly) anything goes, even if it is protected/endangered.


Marc - it didn't have the pointed nose like the one we say in Surigao market.

That is the fish Paul, and thanks for the flavor profile. I don't know soi mei, can you describe it? We ate a lot of fish in Kota Kinabalu.

Hi Irene - that is the fish. These fish are farmed so I don't have a problem with it. But yes, you are right, all too often anything goes in Asia. My understanding is that reef fish are horribly overfished in the South China sea, and if you watched the fishing boats come in and unload in Kota Kinabalu you'd believe it. Sad.

Paul Quinn

Robyn - I think the soi mei (I think this is the cantonese name for it) is the Kabah, which is a much prized for fish, sadly quite rare these days.

It is a freshwater fish (Tor family) and is very delicate, and has that lovely soft almost gelatinous texture similar to Catfish. I had it at a friends house in KL (I quoted her above). Again it was simply prepared with soy, spring onion, ginger and a touch of sesame oil and steamed in an open pan.

So good that all was left was literally the fish skeleton, every bone was sucked to remove the last pieces of flesh!

Alan Tan

IMHO Longdan is just nothing much than being an oversized King Garoupa. The meat is rough and chewy..and the prized part isnt the flesh....its the skin infact and the cheek. I would rather eat SOON HOCK instead.......

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