Cooking Sinanglay (Tilapia Recipe)

Sinanglay is a tilapia recipe that hails from the Bicol Region of my beloved Philippines. It's a dish where the fish is wrapped in vegetable leaves while it bathes in creamy coconut milk, under a bed of long green beans (sitaw). Being a native to Bicol, expect spice and heat in this dish's rich sauce.

Cooking Sinanglay (Tilapia Recipe)

Honestly, I didn't know how sinanglay is cooked or what sinanglay is. It was my cousin-in-law Ron, who introduced me to the dish. In fact, he was the one who cooked it when he visited us in Bangkok.

Cooking Sinanglay (Tilapia Recipe)

Small, palm-sized tilapia fish are usually used in cooking sinanglay. They are stuffed with spices in their belly, wrapped in pechay (or bok choi) and are cooked in coconut milk. In this recipe however, we used one whole tilapia since there were no small ones that day in the market. Also, we used cos lettuce to wrap the fish, instead of pechay. It turned out so well, I just had to share it with you guys!

Ingredients in cooking sinanglay (tilapia recipe):

  •  Whole tilapia, cut a small incision in the belly (ask your fish butcher to do this for you)
  • Onions, cut thinly or chopped
  • Tomatoes, cut in small bits
  • Ginger, cut in thin strips
Cooking Sinanglay (Tilapia Recipe)

  • Long green beans (sitaw), cut in 3-4 inch length
  • Cos lettuce, washed
  • Coconut milk
  • Fish sauce
  • Parsley
  • Long green chili, top cut
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking Sinanglay (Tilapia Recipe)

Steps in cooking sinanglay (tilapia recipe):
  1. Mix the onions, tomatoes, ginger, parsley in a deep bowl.
  2. Insert the spices or fillers inside the tilapia fish.
  3. Place the long green beans and green chili and remaining spices and herbs in a pan.
  4. Wrap the tilapia with cos lettuce and place them one by one on top of the beans.
  5. Pour the coconut milk.
  6. Season with fish sauce and ground peppers.
  7. Place the pan on stove.
  8. Cover under medium to high heat.
  9. Check the dish after 20 minutes. 
  10. When the fish cooks, open the lid to allow the dish to dry a bit. Lower the heat to medium.
  11. Taste the sauce. Add fish sauce or salt, according to your preference.
  12. Serve with hot rice.
Add more green chili for a more spicy dish. If you want the fish to be a bit dry where the skin sticks to the fish meat, allow the dish to simmer without cover.

Cooking Sinanglay (Tilapia Recipe)

It's seriously, one nyomy fish dish!

Remember me when you cook!

About the Author: Beingwell loves simple home cooking recipes. She enjoys sharing her quick easy meals, including Filipino cooking recipes in this blog. 
Enjoy cooking like a pro!
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