Pinaputok na Tilapia Recipe with lemon juice & ginger

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 2, 2020

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Filipinos have a penchant for weird sounding recipes. Pinaputok na Tilapia, at first read, is a curious recipe in that one would wonder what one means by the name.

Literally, pinaputok means “burst” or “explode” so one would think what the cooking preparation would entail. There are two versions as to why the dish is named as such.

One would say that the fish in this Pinaputok na Tilapia recipe is stuffed so much up to its bursting limit.

Another would say that in the process of deep-frying, the fish has inside the cover has a tendency to have that popping sound, akin to something exploding; thus, the name Pinaputok.

Pinaputok na Tilapia Recipe

As the recipe lends itself to naming its main ingredient in the name itself, pinaputok na tilapia recipe is made of tilapia stuffed with different ingredients such as sliced onion, ginger, tomato, spring onion , and soy sauce.

To make the fish tastier, one can marinate it using freshly squeezed calamansi juice. You can spread the juice generously before putting in the ingredients to be stuffed.

You can also garnish the top of the fish with the stuffing. The tilapia is then covered with banana leaf and aluminum.

Pinaputok na Tilapia Recipe and Cooking Method

A flexible dish, Pinaputok na Tilapia recipe lends itself to a variety of cooking methods.

You have a choice of whether to deep fry, bake or broil it, whichever you prefer or whichever is more accessible.


Unlike the Relyenong Bangus, there is no need to sew up the tilapia mainly because it will already be covered with banana leaf and aluminum foil.

After frying, baking or broiling, unwrap the tilapia and serve either as a viand for lunch or dinner or as a partner for beer.

Dips include soy sauce and vinegar with chopped onions and siling labuyo or you can serve it as it is.


Pinaputok na Tilapya

Pinaputok na Tilapia Recipe

Pinaputok na tilapia recipe

Joost Nusselder
Unlike the Relyenong Bangus, there is no need to sew up the tilapia mainly because it will already be covered with banana leaf and aluminum foil.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 3 people


  • 1 medium tilapia cleaned and scales removed
  • 1 medium unripe tomato cubed
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Make about 2 to 3 slits upon each side of the tilapia deep enough to attain the bones.
  • Rub about 1 teaspoon of salt per side. Let the fish absorb the flavor for about 15 minutes.
  • Combine the tomato, onion, ginger, lemon juice, salt, and ground black pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  • Scoop the tomato and onion mixture and stuff inside the cavity of the tilapia. Try to stuff all the mixture, if possible. Note that the tilapia should have a cut under the body due to the removal of the innards.
  • Wrap the tilapia in an aluminum foil. Make determined that all is covered.
  • Preheat oven to 370 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake the tilapia for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the tilapia from the oven and then open the summit so that the fish is exposed. Brush the cooking oil over the fish.
  • Change the settings of the oven to broil (about 510 degrees Fahrenheit). Put the fish back in with the exposed summit. Broil for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the fish from the oven and serve with toyomansi.
  • Share and enjoy!
Keyword Fish, seafood
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

In addition, as this recipe doesn’t have broth, you can prepare a separate light soup as a side dish.

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Also read: Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.