Spicy Ginataang Tilapia

This is Spicy Ginataang Tilapia . Ginataang tilapia is tilapia cooked in coconut milk. This spicy dish, highlighted with the creamy sweetness of coconut milk and the fire of chili peppers, is an exotic treat, even to the most well traveled palates. Enjoy this recipe from all of us at Filipino Chow.


  • 2 medium-sized tilapia fish, cleaned
  • 14 ounce can of coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of shrimp paste
  • 16 ounces of fresh spinach
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 3 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2-3 pieces of red chili peppers (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Add the cooking oil to a large wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Fry the tilapia until both sides are well-done or crunchy in texture.
  3. Remove the fish from the wok then set it on some paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  4. In a separate pan, briefly saute the garlic followed by the onions.
  5. Add the ginger to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Now add the shrimp paste to the pan.
  7. Stir the ingredients until they are well blended.
  8. Pour the coconut milk into the pan and let this begin to simmer.
  9. Add the red chili peppers and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
  10. Season this with the fish sauce and ground pepper to taste.
  11. Then add the spinach and simmer for about a minute.
  12. Place the fried tilapia in the pan then briefly pour some of the sauce on top of the fish.
  13. Turn off heat then transfer the contents of the pan to a servering platter.
  14. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy.


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