Deutsch: Gegrillter Tilapia / Español: Tilapia a la parrilla / Português: Tilápia grelhada / Français: Tilapia grillé / Italiano: Tilapia alla griglia

Inihaw na Tilapia in the food context refers to a Filipino dish of grilled tilapia. Tilapia, a freshwater fish known for its mild flavor and firm texture, becomes the centerpiece of this dish, which is often prepared by marinating the fish in a blend of soy sauce, calamansi juice (or lemon), garlic, and sometimes vinegar or other spices before grilling over charcoal or an open flame. The process imparts a smoky flavor to the fish while keeping the inside moist and flaky. It's a popular method of cooking tilapia in the Philippines, especially given the fish's availability and the Filipino penchant for grilled foods.


The preparation of Inihaw na Tilapia not only emphasizes the natural taste of the fish but also enhances it with the tanginess of the marinade, making it a favored dish for both everyday meals and special occasions. The fish is typically scored or slit on the sides to allow deeper penetration of the marinade, ensuring that every bite is flavorful. It's often served with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, calamansi juice, and chili, alongside steamed rice and vegetables.

Application Areas

Inihaw na Tilapia is enjoyed in various contexts, including:

  • Home Cooking: As a simple yet delicious option for lunch or dinner.
  • Outdoor Barbecues: Popular for gatherings, where the fish is grilled fresh outdoors.
  • Restaurants and Street Food: Often found in Filipino restaurants and street food markets as a grilled specialty.

Well-Known Examples

While Inihaw na Tilapia is specific, other grilled fish dishes in Filipino cuisine share similar preparation methods, such as:

  • Inihaw na Bangus: Grilled milkfish, another popular grilled fish dish in the Philippines, known for its rich taste.
  • Inihaw na Pusit: Grilled squid, prepared in a similar marinade and grilled to perfection.


A basic recipe for Inihaw na Tilapia involves:

  1. Ingredients:

    • Whole tilapia, cleaned and scaled
    • Soy sauce
    • Calamansi juice or lemon juice
    • Minced garlic
    • Salt and pepper
    • Optional: vinegar, sugar, or spices for the marinade
  2. Preparation:

    • Make deep cuts on both sides of the tilapia to allow the marinade to penetrate.
    • Prepare the marinade by mixing soy sauce, calamansi or lemon juice, garlic, and optional ingredients.
    • Marinate the tilapia for at least an hour or overnight for best flavor absorption.
    • Preheat the grill to a medium-high heat.
    • Grill the tilapia for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until the fish is cooked through and the skin is crispy.
    • Serve with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and chopped chili, alongside rice and fresh vegetables.

Treatment and Risks

Grilling tilapia, like other fish, requires attention to avoid overcooking, which can dry out the fish. Ensuring the grill is at the correct temperature and the fish is properly marinated helps to achieve a moist, flavorful result. As with all grilled foods, moderate consumption is recommended due to potential exposure to carcinogens from charred portions.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Grilled Tilapia


Inihaw na Tilapia is a delicious and healthful Filipino dish that showcases the simplicity and flavor of grilled fish. Marinated and cooked over an open flame, it offers a smoky, tangy taste that's perfectly complemented by the freshness of the tilapia, making it a beloved choice for meals across the Philippines.


Inihaw na Tilapia refers to grilled Tilapia. Tilapia is a kind/type of fish

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