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Pumuputok na Pampano - Stuffed Fish with Mango-Tomato Salsa

Pumuputok na Pampano- Stuffed Pompano is fish cooked with a filling of tomatoes, onions, scallions and seasonings. This popular Filipino dish can also be cooked using other fish varieties like tilapia, and lapu-lapu (snapper). After the stuffed fish is wrapped and tied with large banana leaves, it can be cooked in different ways: deep-fried,  charcoal-grilled outdoors or baked and broiled in the oven like I did for this recipe. Serve this fish entrée with a side of Mango-Tomato salsa and you’re all set for an amazing dinner. This is an Asian in America recipe. Serves 2 up to 4 with steamed rice.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Stuffed Pompano Fish
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 386kcal
Author: Asian in America recipe.


  • 2 to 2.5 pounds whole piece washed, cleaned fresh pompano fish (or use tilapia)
  • 2 Tablespoons calamansi or lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon shao xing rice wine
  • 3 pieces tomatoes chopped, divided, use half for stuffing, half for salsa
  • 1 large red onion chopped, divided, half for stuffing, rest for salsa red onion
  • 2 to 3 stalks scallions chopped, half for stuffing, rest for salsa
  • 2 large mangoes peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2 inch-sized cubes, for salsa fresh ripe
  • 1 teaspoon salt for salsa
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper for salsa
  • 2 large banana leaves for wrapping fish (frozen or fresh)
  • for serving steamed rice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil if deep-frying whole fish


  • Wash fish thoroughly after coming back from the market. Score the top of the fish with a slit about 2-inches long. In a non-reactive pan, marinate the fish with the calamansi (or lemon) juice, soy sauce and rice wine. 
    Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Do not marinate the fish longer than this time.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ingredients for the stuffing: Cubed tomatoes, onions and sliced scallions.
  • Hold open the cavity of the fish and fill with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the stuffing. Press the stuffing with the back of the spoon so it goes down further inside the fish till it is packed well.
  • Wash the banana leaves and measure them against the length of the fish. Use two large leaves if needed. Wrap the fish well, making sure there are no open sides or the juices will seep out when cooking. Use the edges of banana leaves cut up like strings to tie the whole fish. Or use butcher’s twine if preferred.
  • Here are different ways to cook the fish:
  • Bake at 375 F oven for 30 minutes. (This is how I cooked the pompano for this recipe).
  • Or charcoal-grill outdoors on Medium-High heat for 30 minutes.
  • **Or deep fry in a large sauce pan, using ¼ cup of vegetable oil for 30 to 35 minutes. Turn fish over halfway for even frying using large tongs or a fish turner.
  • When fish is cooked, transfer to a serving platter. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before unwrapping the banana leaves. Serve warm with a side of Mango-Tomato Salsa and steamed rice.
  • To make the Mango Salsa: In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the mango cubes, chopped tomatoes and onions. Sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper. Garnish with scallions.
  • Cook’s comments: Most fish mongers at the market offer to clean the fish of its intestines, remove the head, scales and tails. Some even offer to fillet the fish for you. This is a free service. Take advantage of the free offer. I always do.
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Serving: 1g | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Sodium: 2792mg | Potassium: 502mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 2085IU | Vitamin C: 69.8mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1.6mg