Pinaputok na Tilapia

Pinaputok na tilapia is the ultimate seafood dish! Stuffed with tomatoes and onions and baked to perfection, this Filipino-style fish is easy to make, tasty, and budget-friendly. Delicious with steamed rice!

Looking for foolproof ways to cook fish? This stuffed tilapia is so easy to prep yet delivers tons of flavor. The fish is plump and tasty, with juicy roasted tomatoes and onions for another layer of yum.

It’s a meal you’ll feel good serving the whole family! Not only is it delicious, but it’s also healthy and nutritious.

What is Pinaputok na Tilapia

Pinaputok, which means  “to explode”, is a Filipino-style dish wherein a whole tilapia is stuffed generously with a mixture of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and ginger until almost “bursting.” The fish is brushed with melted butter, wrapped in foil to secure adequately, and then oven-baked until moist and flavorful.

It’s usually served with steamed rice and a choice of sawsawan such as calamansi and soy sauce, spicy vinegar, or ensalada.

Ingredient notes

  • Not a fan of tilapia? Milkfish (bangus) or golden pompano will also work well in this recipe!
  • I season the fish with tamarind powder (sinigang mix), but you can substitute calamansi, lemon, or lime. Another delicious option is marinating the fish in alcohol, such as gin or rum, with a few dashes of salt and pepper.
  • I use tomatoes, onions, garlic, and ginger flavored with tamarind powder as stuffing but feel free to add other herbs and spices, such as cilantro, green onions, and chili peppers, if you want a bit of heat.

Cooking Tips

  • Double wrap the fish in foil to prevent juices from leaking out.
  • For added aroma, wrap the tilapia in banana leaves instead of aluminum foil.
  • I like the convenience of baking this in the oven but you can also pan-fry, steam, or grill over hot coals.

Give this fish recipe a try for dinner tonight. You’ll be amazed how such a simple dish can be so satisfying and delicious.

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