Proudly Pinoy: Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe

Sinanglay na Tilapia

You’ve probably heard of tilapia before. This type of fish is one of the most popular in the whole world for it’s easy to prepare, sold at a relatively low price, and is very delicious. There is an abundance of tilapia here in the Philippines, and as you might have guessed, the ergonomic Pinoys have found a dozen ways to prepare them.
Today, you’re going to learn how to make your own sinanglay na tilapia, a coconut-infused dish that originated from the Bicol region. It is somewhat similar to ginataang tilapia but differs on certain ingredients and preparation.

Quick and Easy Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe

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Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe
Bicolanos usually stuff the tilapia with onion and tomatoes before grilling and secure the stuffing with lemongrass. Aside from holding the stuffed fish together, the lemongrass provides a soothing aroma to the dish. If you can’t find any lemongrass, you can always opt for native pechay.
Fish Recipe
For this recipe, wrap the tilapia in pechay leaves while making sure that the cavity remains closed while cooking. To secure it properly, try using kitchen twine (if you don’t have one, use floss or toothpick, just be sure to remove this later).
You will need the following:

  • 2 pieces of medium-sized tilapia with its scales removed and surface cleaned
  • 4 pieces wide bok choy leaves (or you may use lemongrass)
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 pieces medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 chopped ginger
  • 3 pieces long green chili
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Clean tilapia and remove the scales.
  2. Combine the garlic, onion, tomatoes, and ginger in a bowl, then mix.
  3. Stuff the tilapia with garlic, onion, and ginger.
  4. Wrap the tilapia with the pechay. You may use 2 leaves to ensure that the fish is entirely wrapped. (Optional: use a kitchen twine to properly secure the tilapia.)
  5. In a wide cooking pan, arrange the wrapped tilapia, then start pouring in the coconut milk and water. Season with salt, cover, and turn on the heat.
  6. The dish should be cooked on medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat, remove the cooking twine, then transfer the fish to a plate.
  8. This dish is best served hot. Enjoy your sinanglay na tilapia!

Bicolanos have introduced a lot of unique and tasty food that Filipinos love. If you like a spicy dish here’s a recipe for the must-try Bicol Express.

Watch the video below

Watch the video below


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