Pinaputok na Talakitok, Pinaputok na Isda

Pinaputok na Talakitok, Pinaputok na Isda
Pinaputok na Talakitok, Pinaputok na Isda. I once live in one of the Barangay in Muntilupa along the banks of Laguna Lake, at that time tilapia and pla-pla fish pens were as popular as bangus. Whenever there are some social drinking in our neighborhood pinaputok na pla-pla was our quick pulotan fix. There were always constant supply of the largest fresh pla-pla. We just stuffed the degutted cavities of the large fish with chopped tomatoes and onions seasoned with salt then wrap the fish with banana leaves to prevent the stuffing from pulling out, then grill the fish in open flame charcoals, we just call them pinaputok na pla-pla or tilapia.

Pinaputok na Talakitok

As to the origins of Pinaputok na Isda,  this is my theory, the large triangular rebentador was named pla-pla similar to the coined name of large tilapia, that’s when and how the grilled stuffed pla-pla and wrapped in banana leaves was eventually called pinaputok na pla-pla and other type of fish cooked in a similar way.

I was trying to find a large tilapia or pla-pla to make Pinaputok na Pla-pla on our local public market but it seems that pla-pla are no longer as common as they used to years ago. I have to settle for a similar sized alternative fish, a yellow spotted talakitok.

To cook my Pinaputok na Isda I stuffed the talakitok with my usual grilled fish salsa staffing made up of chopped onions, tomatoes, some ginger, bagoong alamang and some tamarind sinigang mix. The wrapped in banana leaves, and sealed with aluminum foil to trap all the juices that will steam the fish.

Here is the recipe of my version of Pinaputok na Talakitok, Pinaputok na Isda, try it.


1 large size talakitok or any other similar fish
2 medium size tomato, chopped
1 medium size onion, peeled, chopped
2 thumb size ginger, skinned, finely chopped
2-3 long green chili, chopped
1 tbsp. bagoong alamang
1 tsp. sampalok sinigang mix

aluminum foil
banana leaves

Cooking procedure:

Pinaputok na Talakitok, Pinaputok na Isda - Cooking Procedure

Remove gills and scale of the talakitok, using a scissor cut pins and tail. Slit the belly of talakitok all the way to the flesh to form a packet inside the fish and remove innards leaving the stomach fats. Wash fish including cavities and drain. Rub skin and cavities with salt and set aside. To prepare stuffing, in a bowl toss the onion, ginger, tomato, chili, bagoong alamang, tamarind mix and generously season with salt. Stuff fish cavity with the mixture. Wrap fish with the banana leaf then with the aluminium foil. Grill over charcoal for 8 to 10 minutes on each side. When done unwrap and serve with dipping sauce mixture of soy sauce, kalamansi and siling labuyo.


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