Pinaputok on Tilapia

Pinaputok on Tilapia is the perfect seafood dish! Filled with tomatoes and onions and baked to perfection, this Filipino-style fish is easy to prepare, tasty and affordable. Excellent with steamed rice!

Pinaputok on Tilapia

Looking for reliable ways to cook fish? This stuffed tilapia is so easy to make, yet packed with flavor. The fish is plump and delicious with juicy roasted tomatoes and onions for an extra layer of yum.

t’s a feel-good meal that will serve the whole family! It is not only delicious but also healthy and nutritious.

What is Pinaputok on Tilapia

Pinaputok, which means “to explode,” is a Filipino-style dish where a whole tilapia is generously stuffed with a mixture of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and ginger until it almost “bursts.” The fish is brushed with melted butter, wrapped in foil to keep it secure enough, and then baked in the oven until moist and delicious.
It is usually served with steamed rice and a choice of sawsawan such as calamansi and soy sauce, spicy vinegar or ensalada.

Cooking tips

  •  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 to marinate the fish in alcohol, such as gin or rum, with a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  • I use tomatoes, onions, garlic and ginger flavored with tamarind powder as the filling, but if you want some heat you can add other herbs and spices like coriander, green onions and chillies.
  •  Wrap the fish twice in foil to prevent the juices from leaking out.
  • For more flavor, wrap the tilapia in banana leaves instead of foil.
  • I like the convenience of baking in the oven, but you can also pan fry, steam or grill over hot coals.

Try this fish recipe for dinner tonight. You will be amazed how such a simple meal can be so satisfying and delicious.

Want more easy fish recipes? This Baked Salmon with Tamarind Mayo uses one special trick that makes it super moist and delicious.

Pinaputok on Tilapia

Filipino Baked Fish is easy and so delicious! Generously stuffed with tomatoes and onions, this tilapia pinaputok is moist, flavorful and delicious with steamed rice.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Author: La


  • 2 whole tilapia, peeled and gutted
  • 3 tablespoons of tamarind base powder
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the dipping sauce

  • Calamansi juice to taste
  • soy sauce to taste


1. Wash the tilapia well, rinse the cavity well. Dry off. Make two or three cuts across the body of the fish on both sides.
2. Coat both fish with 2 tablespoons of tamarind base powder all over, including the cavity. Let it stand for about 10 minutes.
3. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, ginger, garlic, remaining 1 tablespoon tamarind powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to distribute.
4. Stuff the cavity of each fish with the tomato and onion mixture.
5. Brush the outside of both fishes liberally with butter and wrap individually in aluminum foil, double wrapping to prevent juices from escaping.
6. Place the fish packages on a baking sheet. Bake in a 375°F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Serve hot with sauce.


For more flavor, wrap the tilapia in banana leaves instead of foil.

Nutritional information

Calories: 317 kcal, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Protein: 47 g, Fat: 10 g, Saturated fatty acids: 5 g, Cholesterol: 128 mg, Sodium: 174 mg, Potassium: 874 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 7 .4 g, Vitamin A: 9.3 g, Vitamin A: Calcium: 44 mg, Iron: 2 mg

Leave a Comment