Tilapia in Coconut Milk (Ginataang Tilapia)

Tilapia is one of the popular freshwater fishes consumed in the Philippines. There are various ways of cooking them and this is one of my grandmother’s specialty.

Tilapia in Coconut Milk (Ginataang Tilapia)


4 pieces of tilapia medium sized. Cleaned and inners removed.

ginger about a thumb sized pounded

2 cloves of garlic, pounded

1 onion sliced

2 pieces of long green chili (siling haba)

1 cup of coconut milk

1 bundle of pechay, cleaned and cut in serving portions

some cooking oil


Start by sauteing the garlic, onion and ginger with the cooking oil. Pour half of the coconut cream, put the vegetables then the tilapia and cover. Simmer it over medium fire. As soon as the vegetables have wilted and the sauce starts to thicken add the remaining coconut milk, the chili and a lit bit of salt to taste. Serve hot with rice.

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Comments: 7

  1. juliette June 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm Reply


  2. chillbubbly June 27, 2010 at 4:50 am Reply

    wow………….hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmp yummy chalap……..thahahaha

  3. Scynthia July 28, 2010 at 2:14 am Reply

    chillbubbly is a filipino, the word chalap (sarap) is a phil word.

  4. jane September 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm Reply

    you can also use mustasa instead of pechay.

  5. inah September 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm Reply

    grilling the tilapia before cooking in coconut milk is another option.

  6. sanny fel castillo January 11, 2012 at 7:07 am Reply

    sounds fishy…but i think it so yummy i would like to try this tilapia dish since my family loved to eat tilapia.

  7. Mary@Fit and Fed April 17, 2012 at 9:19 pm Reply

    This looks very good. I looked up pechay and found that it’s what we call bok choy here in the US. Coincidentally I have some bok choy that I need to use up. I never thought of simmering the bok choy underneath a piece of fish like this, I’ll have to try it sometime. I like Inah’s idea of grilling the fish before cooking it in the coconut milk.

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