Cooking Tilapia Pinaputok-style

Cooking tilapia is very common in many countries. This recipe I'm sharing is a kind that I learned in the Philippines. It's supposed to be grilled unto hot burning coal. But for the purpose of basic home cooking, I'll be steaming the tilapia fish, instead.

Cooking tilapia, pinaputok-style. This is what we're aiming for in this recipe. This pinaputok na tilapia or "tilapia burst" dish is an attempt to mimic the one my husband and I had in Davao. It was a refreshing tilapia dish cooked under flaming coal and wrapped in banana leaves.

Cooking Tilapia Pinaputok-style

At any rate, my method of cooking tilapia is different from that one. However, I am using the same ingredients so it should be fine.

Shall we give it a go?

Ingredients in cooking tilapia, pinaputok-style:
- tilapia, clean and scaled
- onions, chopped
- garlic, crushed
- tomatoes, chopped
- ginger, crushed and chopped
- salt
- pepper

You'll be using a steamer and some aluminum foil in cooking tilapia, pinaputok-style.

Let's start cooking tilapia!
1. Mix the following in a deep bowl:

  • garlic
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • ginger
  • pepper

Quick tip: In cooking tilapia, especially when steaming, put generous amount of ginger to make sure you get rid of the fish' stench.

2. Make an opening on the tilapia' stomach by running a sharp knife against its side.
3. Rub the tilapia fish, including the insides of the head and stomach, with salt.
4. Place the fish on top of aluminum foil. If the fish is too big, overlap to sets of foil to cover the entire fish.
5. Stuff the tilapia with the spices you've prepared in #1.
6. Place the remaining spices, should there be any, on the side of the fish and on top of it.

Cooking Tilapia Pinaputok-style

7. Seal the foil.
8. Place the fish on top of your steamer.

Cooking Tilapia Pinaputok-style

9. Cook the fish for about 30 minutes, depending on the size of your fish.
10. When cooked, place the foiled fish on a plate for serving.

Cooking Tilapia Pinaputok-style

You may also be cooking tilapia, pinaputok-style on a grill. In this case, make sure you seal your fish properly so you can turn it over from side to side. Also, you may use other kind of fish in cooking pinaputok. Just make sure you use the same spices to get the right flavors.

This tilapia recipe goes very well with a home-made condiment that is lemon with fish sauce and spicy chili.

Remember me when you cook!
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