Site Overlay

Ginataang Tilapia

Ginataang Tilapia is a Filipino fish dish, made by cooking tilapia pieces in a sauce made with coconut milk, tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, mustard leaves, green chilies, pepper and oil. Optionally you can add vinegar to enhance the taste and aroma of the dish. This classic ginataang tilapia has a high calcium content that helps in the formation and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Follow our Ginataang tilapia recipe to make this scrumptious recipe in you home.

Ginataang Tilapia


Did you know that coconut is considered the tree of life? This is for an amazing reason.

  • The coconut meat can be eaten or turn into coconut oil.
  • The coconut water can be enjoyed as a fresh juice.
  • The husk from the fruit can me made into brushes, carpets and the very famous “bunot” to make the floor shiny.
  • The shell can be made into charcoal.
  • The flower can be added into floral arrangements.
  • The leaves can be used in wrapping food just like the banana leaves.
  • The pith or the heart of the palm is soft and can be made into wonderful dishes like ginataang ubod of palm salad.
  • The trunk can be transformed into coco lumber which can be used in furnitures.
  • The roots can be used in making ropes or even beverages.

As you can see, every part of the coconut tree can be transformed into new products.

In cooking, we benefit the coconut the most from its coconut meat. The niyog is grated and squeezed to bring out the coconut milk. It’s still so amazing that a plant can make milk!

When squeezed, the first set of liquid is called the coconut cream. The second squeeze is called the coconut milk. Coconut milk less thicker than the coco cream is the primary ingredient used in ginataan recipes. The coconut milk has a distinct fresh milky taste which you cannot find from dairy milk (milk from cows).

Coconut milk has produced various delicious ginataan dishes like pork ginataan, bicol express, ginataang bilo-bilo, ginataang saging and many more. In this recipe, we will fuse the delicous taste of this plant-based milk with one of the most favorite fishes in the country, the tilapia.

How to cook Ginataang Tilapia


The word “ginataan” has a root word of “gata” which is the Tagalog term for coconut milk or cream. This term is used to describe dishes which are made with coconut cream or milk.

I prepared paksiw na bangus the other day and noticed that my lola had a hard time eating the bangus due to the complexity of its bones. Good thing I have a tilapia stored in the freezer which I immediately thaw. I was first thinking of simply frying it and serve with some tomato ketchup but I thought, why not give more effort to it? A saucy dish will also make my lola happy. I gathered her favorite mustasa leaves and incorporated it with the dish.

Tilapia is one of the easiest fish to devour. It has a large body and fresh white flesh. The flesh is very easy to separate from the fish bones which makes it hassle-free when eating. With these characteristic, tilapia is one of the best fishes you can use in a ginataan recipe.

If you want to have a fun time in eating fish, choose tilapia and choose a ginataan dish. Any person of all ages would simply love this! No complex bones and no surprising flavors. Swabe eating only. Try and make some today!

Ginataang Tilapia recipe


In making ginataang tilapia, the two important components are the fish and the coconut sauce.

Preparing the tilapia is similar in making simple fried fish. Rub some salt and then fry until brown on both sides. Remember to make some slits so that oil can enter the fish’s flesh. Let the fried fish sit for a while as we make the coconut sauce.

The coconut sauce is actually very simple to make. Start with sauteing your aromatics and the coconut milk. Remember that you are cooking milk so only use low heat. Do not cover the pan to prevent curdling. Add some red and green chilies if you prefer a spicy ginataan. Add mustasa leaves (or any leafy vegetables) and let it cook in the sauce.

The last thing is to combine the sauce and the fried fish together. Add the tilapia back to the pan and let it absorb the coconut sauce. Transfer the the ginataang tilapia to a serving plate and serve with hot steaming rice. Enjoy!

Ginataang Tilapia

Course: Fish Recipes




  • 1 kilo tilapia

  • 2 cups coconut milk

  • 1 medium onion (chopped)

  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)

  • 1 thumb sized ginger (chopped)

  • 2 small tomatoes (chopped)

  • 1 bunch of mustard leaves

  • red and green chilies

  • salt and pepper

  • oil (for frying)


  • Prepare the tilapia and remove the gills, guts and scales. Rub some salt on both sides of the fish. Let them sit for 10 minutes.
  • Heat some oil in a pan. Fry the tilapia using medium heat until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel and then set aside.
  • Heat some oil in another pan. Add the ginger, onions, garlic and tomatoes for a few minutes until light brown. Gently crush the tomatoes while sauteing.
  • Turn the heat to low and then add the coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce cook for a few minutes using low heat until the sauce is slightly thicker.
  • Add some chopped green chilies (optional). Add the mustasa leaves. Cook for a few minutes to wilt a little.
  • Add the fried tilapia to the pan. Baste some sauce over the tilapia while cooking.
  • Transfer the ginataang tilapia to a serving plate. Serve with a lot of hot steaming rice. Enjoy!

Ginataang Tilapia Recipe (TAGALOG)


  • 1 kilo tilapia
  • 2 tasa ng gata
  • 1 sibuyas (hiniwa)
  • 3 butil ng bawang (hiniwa)
  • 1 luya (hiniwa)
  • 2 maliit na kamatis (hiniwa)
  • 1 bugkos ng mustasa
  • siling labuyo
  • siling pansigang
  • asin at paminta
  • oil (for frying)


  1. Ihanda ang mga tilapia at alisin ang hasang, lamang loob at kaliskis. Hayaan ito ng 10 minuto.
  2. Magpainit ng mantika. Iprito ang mga tilapia gamit ang katamtamang apoy hanggang maging crispy at golden brown.Ilipat sa paper towel pagkatapos para tumulo ang sobrang mantika. Isantabi.
  3. Magpainit ng mantika sa isa pang kawali. Igisa ang luya, sibuyas, bawang at kamatis ng ilang minuto hanggang maging light brown. Medyo piratin ang mga kamatis.
  4. Babaan ang apoy at ilagay ang gata. Budburan ng asin at paminta. Hayaan itong maluto gamit ang mababang apoy hanggang lumapot.
  5. Maglagay ng siling pansigang (optional). Ilagay ang mga dahon ng mustasa at lutuin hanggang lumambot.
  6. Ilagay ang mga pinritong tilapia sa kawali. I-baste ng sauce ang mga tilapia habang niluluto.
  7. Ilipat ang ginataang tilapia sa serving plate. Ihain kasama ng mainit na kanin. Enjoy!

Follow by Email