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Sinanglay - Food with Mae-7


Stuffed Sea Bream Wrapped in Leafy Greens and Cooked in Coconut Milk

What is Sinanglay 

Sinanglay is a traditional Filipino dish originating from the Bicol area. The dish is usually made with a combination of fish (usually tilapia), tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, bok choy, coconut milk, and salt. The fish is typically stuffed with onions, tomatoes, ginger, and garlic.

It is then wrapped in leafy greens (such as bok choy, mustard greens, or taro leaves) and cooked in a mixture of coconut milk, chili peppers, and salt. Sinanglay is simmered until the liquid is reduced, and it’s then served with steaming hot rice on the side.

The dish can also be made with other types of fish such as red snapper (maya-maya), pompano, catfish (hito), and milkfish (bangus).

I live in London, UK and it’s hard to get some of the traditional ingredients. So I use ingredients that are available to me. 

Sinanglay is a fantastic dish that the whole family can enjoy and would impress your friends too! It’s creamy and flavourful. 

Swap it & Common Questions

Do I have to add coconut milk? Yes you do need to add the coconut milk for this dish

Fish – I used Sea Bream but you can use Tilapia too which is the traditional fish used for this dish. You can also use Red Snapper (Maya Maya), Milk Fish (Bangus) or Pompano.

Do I have to add Chillies? Usually you do but you can opt this out if you are sensitive to chillies. 

Tomato – I used cherry tomatoes because that is what I had in my fridge but you can use any tomatoes available to you. Just slice them small to fit inside the fish.

Leafy Greens – I’m using Choi sum but you can also use Pak Choi, Taro leaves and Asian Cabbage. I know it’s tricky to get the right ingredients sometimes, especially when you live outside of the Philippines. You can be creative with this one and use whatever is available to you. 

Chillies – I chopped the chillies as I want the sauce to have a little kick but you can keep your chillies whole.

Sinanglay - Food with Mae-7


2 medium size Sea Bream
1 ½ can coconut milk (700ml)
8-10 large leaves choi sum
½ onion, quartered
2 thumb size ginger
2 green chillies
1.5 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 pinch black pepper


6 cherry tomatoes
½ onion, minced
2 garlic, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper



In a bowl add tomatoes, minced onions, salt and pepper. Mix them well and leave it on the side for later. 


Make sure the fish is gutted, gills are taken out and washed. Place on a plate, stuff them with the tomatoes & onions you prepared earlier. Then wrap them in leafy greens. Do this to both of the fish. Leave on the side for later.


Using a large pot, add the other half of the onion and ginger. Place the fish on top, pour the coconut milk, salt, fish sauce, black pepper and chillies on top. Put the lid on and bring it to a boil on high heat. 


Once it’s boiling, turn the heat to low-medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn the heat off and serve while it’s hot with some rice.

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