One Pot Wonder: Grilled Pesang Tilapia

8 months ago

grilled pesang tilapia

Give boiling a break! Don’t be afraid to try something new for this familiar dish. Grilling adds another layer of flavor to this old-time favorite.


Grilled Pesang Tilapia


Makes 4-5 servings


2 Large tilapia, cut in half

  • Rock salt
  • Juice of 1 calamansi
  • Charcoal for grilling

2 Tbsps Cooking oil

1 Medium onion, sliced

3-4 cloves Garlic, minced

2 stalks Leeks, sliced

5-6 slices Ginger

½ cup Tomato sauce

6 cups Rice washing (hugas bigas)

1 tsp Rock salt

2 Tbsps Patis

2 bunches Pechay Tagalog


  1. Marinate fish in rock salt and calamansi. Grill over live charcoal until lightly charred (it doesn’t have to be fully cooked). Remove to a plate.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat cooking oil. Sauté onions until soft. Add garlic and leeks and stir until soft and fragrant. Add ginger slices.
  3. Pour in the tomato sauce and cook for 2 minutes until mixture turns bright orange.
  4. Pour the hugas bigas or rice washing. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Drop grilled tilapia and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Season with rock salt and patis. (Note: Use a strainer to strain out charred bits in the soup.)
  6. Just before serving, add pechay leaves. Taste and season with more salt or patis, as desired. Serve hot with white or brown rice.


Recipe by Nina Daza-Puyat

Photographed by John Ocampo


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