Pinaputok Na Tilapia Recipe

If you’re a fan of seafood dishes, then you’re going to love the Pinaputok na Tilapia.

There is only a handful of seafood recipes that I have seen packed with such a lot of flavor. It is no wonder that it is a Filipino favorite, especially knowing how inexpensive and easy it is to prepare.


What Is Pinaputok Na Tilapia?


Filipinos are generally known for their fondness for recipes that sound somewhat weird. Hearing about Pinaputok na Tilapia for the first time makes you want to wonder what the name means.

Literally, the word pinaputok in Filipino translates “explode” or “burst”. This naming is because the recipe requires stuffing so much in the fish to the point of exploding or bursting.

Another version of the naming is descriptive of the state of the fish as it undergoes deep frying with the tendency to burst or explode.

And of course, it is clear from the second part of its name that the type of fish required is the Tilapia.

The Pinaputok na Tilapia recipe generally consists of fresh vegetables stuffed into a whole Tilapia and then cooked. This allows the juice contained in the fish to mix with the veggies and spices trapped inside it.

The result is nothing short of a delicious and clean taste. A lot of people are tempted to shy away from this dish because of the work it takes to dress and clean the tilapia.

That should no longer be the case since there are options where the market seller can take care of that dirty part.


Benefits Of Tilapia

Pinaputok na Tilapia is not just delicious and tasty food, it is also known for the health benefits it packs, thanks to its ingredients.

With Tilapia, a favorite fish in the country being the main ingredient of the recipe, let us take a look at the many nutritional benefits it brings to the table.

1. Bone Health

One of the main minerals found in tilapia is known as phosphorous. This mineral, in turn, is, to large extent responsible for the development and growth of bone.

It also plays a vital role in maintaining the strength of your teeth and nail strength.

The presence of Phosphorus in your diet helps to guard against a condition known as osteoporosis – a condition where the bone mineral density is degraded.

2. Weight management

As much as tilapia fish is high in protein, it is low in fats and calories. This is no doubt a perfect way of providing your body with essential nutrients for its functioning and not having to worry about high-calorie intake.

Eating tilapia generally makes you feel full without your waistline paying any price. So, if you’re looking to lose weight without opting for crash diets that will starve you, this dish I a great dietary option for you.

3. Growth and development

Tilapia has an impressive amount of protein content. This implies that, in a single serving of this diet, our body is provided with a very significant amount of this essential nutrient.

Protein in turn plays a significant role in the development and growth of membranes, cells, muscles, and organs.

This is especially recommended for children, for their proper growth and development.

4. Cardiovascular health

Your cardiovascular system is done a lot of good when you regularly consume dishes that contain tilapia fish.

Thanks to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, it reduces the presence of triglyceride and bad cholesterol. This goes a long way to keep conditions such as atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack is kept at bay.

Another nutrient found in tilapia is potassium which is linked with improving heart health by reducing blood pressure.

5. Reduce Risk of Cancer

Typical of most fishes, tilapia is a good source of an antioxidant known as Selenium.

Selenium plays a role in lowering free radical activity and oxidative stress on your organ systems, which are responsible for not only aging but mutating healthy cells to cancerous cells.

Simply put, it reduces the risk of cancer, particularly a type known as prostate cancer.

6. Brain health

Again, here we go with omega-3 acids and potassium as they linked with improvement in neurological function.

Potassium particularly lifts up the brain’s oxygenation and improves the body’s fluid balance. This in turn facilitates the deposition of nutrients to the brain and effective nervous response.


Additional Tips

1. I personally love to use tamarind powder in seasoning the fish; but substitutes to this include lime, lemon, and calamansi

2. You can take it another level by marinating in alcohol like rum or gin, dashing little amounts of pepper and salt

3. Generally, stuffing is done with ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic, with tamarind powder flavoring.

But, you are free to add other spices such as chili peppers (if you want to step up the heat), plus green onions, and cilantro

4. Your fish should be doubly wrapped so that the juices do not leak out

5. I recommend using banana leaves to wrap your tilapia, instead of the usual aluminum foil, for added aroma off course



Pinaputok na Tilapia

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 2


  • 1 whole tilapia, scaled and gutted
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamarind base powder
  • 1 tomato, sliced into small cubes
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 thumb-size ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil for deep frying
  • Aluminum foil for wrapping


  • Prepare your tilapia by properly removing its gills and scales, and washing.
  • On both sides of the fish, make 2 slits.
  • Rub about 1 teaspoon of tamarind base powder and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
  • Mix together tomatoes, onions, garlic, and remaining ginger tamarind powder in a bowl and stir. Add pepper and salt to taste and stir some more.
  • Scoop the above mixture and stuff inside the tilapia's cavity.
  • Brush both tilapias’ surface generously with butter.
  • Place the tilapia in an aluminum foil and wrap. To prevent leakage of juice, double the wrap.
  • Heat the cooking oil, around 2 cups in the pan over medium heat. Then put the fish and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until no more crackling sounds heard. Repeat on the other side.
  • Remove from pan, allow to cool for a bit to avoid sticking of the fish in the aluminum foil, and serve. Enjoy.


Keyword Pinaputok na Tilapia

Pinaputok Na Tilapia



Final Words On Pinaputok Na Tilapia Recipe

Pinaputok na Tilapia is no doubt one of Filipino’s favorite dish; so delicious, and boasts amazing nutritional value.

Just having it placed on the table in front of you, the aroma already gets your attention. When you finally get to taste it, the feeling is unimaginable.

It is no wonder why every occasion loves to feature the dish on its menu.

I hope you got value from this article? I am very certain you did. If you have had the chance of trying out this delicious dish, I will love to hear your contribution.

Kindly drop them in the comments section below.

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