Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe

Sinanglay is a dish wherein fish (such as tilapia) is cooked in coconut milk. This dish is somewhat similar to Ginataang Tilapia. However, certain ingredients and procedure differentiates this dish from the later. The first few steps in preparing Sinanglay remind me of Inihaw na Tilpia or Inihaw na Bangus. I usually stuff the fish with onion and tomatoes before grilling; this is also one of the factors that differentiate Sinanglay from Ginataan. I was told by a Bicolano friend that they usually use lemongrass to tie the fish. According to him, the fish needs to be tied in order to secure the stuffing while cooking. Another benefit of using lemongrass is that it brings-in a nice aroma to the dish. I can’t find any lemongrass this season so I opted for an alternative: Pechay (or Bok Choy). The fish needs to be wrapped in Pechay leaves for the same reason; but, I made sure that the cavity would remain closed while the fish is being cooked. I did it by tying kitchen twine around the fish.

Try this Sinanglay na Tilapia recipe and let me know what you think.

Sinanglay na Tilapia Recipe


  • 2 pieces medium tilapia, cleaned and scales removed
  • 4 pieces wide bok choy (or pechay) leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 pieces medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 thumb ginger, chopped
  • 3 pieces long green chili
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Watch the cooking video:

Cooking Procedure

  1. In a bowl, combine garlic, onion, tomatoes, and ginger then mix.
  2. Stuff the tilapia with the garlic, onion, and ginger mixture.
  3. Wrap the bok choy around the tilapia. I use 2 bok choy leaves to ensure that the entire fish is wrapped.
  4. Secure the bok choy by tying a kitchen twine around the tilapia. (this step is optional)
  5. Arrange the wrapped tilapia in a wide cooking pan then pour-in coconut milk and water. Sprinkle salt, cover, and turn on heat.
  6. Cook the fish in medium heat for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat. Remove the cooking twine and transfer the fish to a serving plate.
  8. Serve hot. Share and enjoy!

Number of servings (yield): 4


  1. sheryll tadeo says:

    My husband is diabetic please send quick and easy recipes that i can prepare for him. I’m quit struggling on the recipe that i can cook that is good for him.
    many thanks………

  2. I’ve tried this recipe! Proud to say, I did it! Next time I’ll try using “siling labuyo” to make it more spicy! Thanks, thanks!

  3. Thank you Vanjo for sharing. Looks yummy!! I will try to cook this recipe today. Also like the ginataang crabs.
    Bless you for sharing.

  4. Editha says:

    I tried this recipe, really good. next time as suggested I will try dahon ng gabi. Thank you po.

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