Sinanglay na Tilapia (Wrapped Tilapia in Coconut Milk)

Sinanglay na tilapia is another authentic Filipino dish, where the fish, in this case, the tilapia, is cooked with coconut milk.  The dish, I believe, has originated in the Bicol region.  The difference in cooking sinanglay with other “ginataan” dishes (dishes cooked with coconut milk) is that with sinanglay the fish is  stuffed with spices and is wrapped with vegetable leaves.  Traditionally, it is wrapped with tanglad (lemon grass leaves).  For my sinanglay, I usually wrap the fish with gabi (taro) leaves but since gabi leaves are not available in Singapore, I used pechay (bok choy) leaves for this recipe.   If mustard leaves are available in your area, you can use that too.

It’s a healthy recipe with just less than 300 kcal (estimate only) per serving.

PS:  If you can get your  hands on fresh coconut milk, I suggest you go with that. Use freshly squeezed coconut milk from 2 coconuts  :-)

This recipe is originally posted in our food blog at (click  Sinanglay na Tilapia)

sinanglay tilapia 02121 Sinanglay na Tilapia (Wrapped Tilapia in Coconut Milk)
sinanglay na tilapia by
Sinanglay na Tilapia (Wrapped Tilapia in Coconut Milk)


  • Tilapia, whole - 1 medium
  • Bok Choi (pechay) - 3 to 5 stems (select the ones with wider leaves)
  • Coconut cream (I used Kara) - 200 ml
  • Red Onions, diced - 1 medium
  • Ginger, minced - 1/2 of an inch
  • Garlic, coarsely chopped - 3 large cloves
  • Vinegar - 1 tbsp
  • Green chili
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Water 1/4 cup


  1. Mix together the ginger, onion, and a dash of salt and pepper. Stuff it inside the cavity of the tilapia.
  2. Wrap the tilapia with the pechay leaves and secure it with a clean thread. Set aside any remaining pechay leaves
  3. In a wok, mix together the coconut cream, water, vinegar, garlic, green chilies, salt and pepper. Place the wrapped tilapia in the middle of the liquid mixture, drench it with the coconut mixture. Bring to a boil..
  4. Add remaining pechay leaves.
  5. Turn the tilapia so that the other side will be submerged in the liquid and let it simmer until the tilapia is cooked. Adjust taste by adding more salt as needed
  6. Makes 3 servings.
 Sinanglay na Tilapia (Wrapped Tilapia in Coconut Milk)

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