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Pinaputok na Tilapia

Pinaputok na tilapia is Filipino delicacy, made by baking cleaned stuffed Tilapia with tomatoes, garlic, ginger pepper and salt, after wrapping in an aluminium foil along with onion leeks, tomatoes garlic, ginger and onions. This dish is made more flavourful with the aromatics stuffed inside the fish which penetrates within the flesh. One bite of the fish will give you the combining burst of flavours from the land and the sea. What are you waiting for? Try this recipe today!


Tilapia is the fish which will be used for this featured recipe. Tilapia was my favorite fish next to our national fish, the bangus. It is a type of freshwater fish and were grown in lakes, streams, ponds and rivers.

This fish has a gray body and a pure white flesh which is very fresh and ocean-y in flavor. And compared to bangus, the level of difficulty of deboning this fish is 1000000% much easier (HAHAHAHA) which is why tilapia is often used in flaked dishes like fish spreads and fish sisig.

Tilapia is rich not just in protein but also in omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorous and B-complex vitamins. It is usually eaten plain fried but are also used in savoury and saucy dishes.


I really love making stuffed dishes. Stuffing aromatics to meat or fish really gives them the “upgrade”. Like instead of serving plain fried tilapia, stuffed tilapia looks much more pleasing to the eyes. Instead of serving plain grilled squid, relyenong squid makes it more interesting.

Whenever I have extra time in cooking, I make sure to upgrade the food I make. I had some pieces of large tilapia which were given to me by our neighbor. Instead of just frying them, I filled them up with aromatics to make it a gourmet dish.

There are a lot of pinaputok na tilapia recipes out there but this recipe is much more special. Read and follow the steps below to believe. Happy cooking!


Making pinaputok na tilapia is the fish version of the stuffed meat. If you haven’t tried any simmilar recipes like this yet, pinaputok na tilapia is filling the inside of the fish with aromatics so that the flavor and aroma will be transferred to the white and soft fish flesh.

Start this recipe by making the aromatic filling. In this version, I choose the most commonly used ones such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and then seasoned them with salt and pepper. You can actually add other aromatics you like. I tried a version of this before with tanglad leaves. Just make sure to have them in equal amounts so that no aromatic will overpower the others.

The next and the most important thing to do is filling up the tilapia with the aromatic filling. Before doing this, make sure to clean the fish thoroughly and remove its innards and gills. This removed part is the space where you will put the filling. Fill it with the aromatics until the fish almost burst, hence, “pinaputok”.

Next, grab an aluminum foil and brush it with butter. Other simply put the tilapia inside but for me, of course, I want everything more special. In this recipe, I made a bed of aromatics (using the same ones I used for the filling) where the tilapia will rest as it cooks. I also added some sliced salted egg on top but that is totally optional.

Bake or grill the tilapia until you start to smell the victory. Once you unwrap the aluminum foil, there will be juices from both the aromatics and the fish. Don’t waste them since they are too flavorful. I usually serve the pinaputok na tilapia while still in the aluminum foil.

Serve this dish during fiestas or simply prepare them for yourself. Best served with hot steaming rice. Enjoy!

Pinaputok na Tilapia

Course: Fish Recipes




  • 2 large tilapia

  • 6 large tomatoes (diced)

  • 1 knob ginger

  • 2 medium onions

  • 6 cloves of garlic

  • onion leeks

  • Salted egg (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Melted butter (or margarine)


  • In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  • Wash and remove the scales of the tilapia. Pat them dry. Make some slits on the body of the fish. Do this also with the other side. Rub both sides of the tilapia with salt and pepper.
  • Stuff the belly of the tilapia with the filling mixture made earlier. Also put some filling inside the head of the fish.
  • Lay some foil and brush it with melted butter. Make a bed layer using onion leeks, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and onions. Place the tilapia on top of the aromatic layer. Brush the fish with melted butter. Top it with tomato slices and salted egg (optional). Add another layer of aluminum foil and wrap the fish. Fold the edges to seal. Do these steps with the other tilapia.
  • Place the foil with tilapia in an oven tray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 180 C. (You can also grill it if you prefer.)
  • Open the foil and transfer them to a serving dish. Serve the pinaputok na tilapia with some hot steaming rice. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Pinaputok na Tilapia Recipe (TAGALOG)

Mga Sangkap:

  • 2 malalaking tilapia
  • 6 malalaking kamatis (hiniwa ng cubes)
  • 1 luya (hiniwa ng maliliit)
  • 2 sibuyas (hiniwa ng maliliit)
  • 6 butil ng bawang (hiniwa ng maliliit)
  • onion leeks (hiniwa ng maliliit)
  • maalat na itlog (optional)
  • Asin at paminta
  • Tinunaw na butter (o margarine)

Paano Gawin:

  1. Paghaluin ang kamatis, sibuyas, bawang, luya, asin at paminta sa isang bowl.
  2. Hugasan at tanggalan ng kasliskis ang mga tilapia. Tuyuin ito gamit ang paper towel. Hiwaan ang magkabilang gilid nito saka pahiran ng asin at paminta.
  3. Punuin ang tiyan ng tilapia gamit ang ginawang filling. Maglagay rin ng filling sa ulo ng isda.
  4. Ilatag ang aluminum foil at lagyan ng butter. Gumawa ng layer ng onion leeks, kamatis, bawang, luya at sibuyas. Ipatong rito ang tilapia at I-brush ng tinunaw na butter. Lagyan ng kamatis at itlog na pula ang ibabaw ng isda (optional). Balutin ang isda gamit ang isa pang aluminum foil. Itupi ang mga gilid para ma-seal ang isda. Gawin ang mga steps na ito sa isa pang tilapia.
  5. I-bake ang tilapia sa oven ng 25 hanggang 30 minuto gamit ang 180 C. (Pwede mo rin ihawin ang isda.)
  6. Kapag luto na, buksan ang foil at ihain ang pinaputok na tilapia kasama ang bagong saing na kanin. Enjoy!
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