When visiting the Philippines make sure to also try their “Filipino Ceviche”: Kinilaw. The term Kinilaw is derived from the bisaya term “kilaw” which means “eaten fresh”. The fishing industry is a major source of sustenance and food security in the Philippines and with over 2.2 million square kilometer of seas, you most probably will be served a lot of fresh fish and seafood during your stay in this wonderful country. Filipino fishermen often fillet their fresh catch and just deep it in sea water before eating it. When cooking Kinilaw you do not have to do it this way. Just mix the fresh fish with vinegar and lime juice and chill it until the fish is gradually cooked by the vinegar and citrus juices.

Recipe for 4 Portions

  • fish filet

    750 g

  • garlic

    5 cloves

  • white vinegar

    1 cup

  • lime juice

    6 tbsp

  • tomato

    5 pcs

  • red onion

    2 pc

  • ginger

    60 g

  • red chili

    1 pc

  • spring onion

    1 bunch

  • lemongrass

    3 stalks

  • salt

  • pepper

As you can see on the picture above the Kinilaw can be served as main dish together with some rice and banana flower salad. Click here to learn how to cook this delicious salad!

Start cooking!
  • 1. Step

    Time to get some chopping done! Finely chop the GARLIC, RED ONION, RED CHILI, GINGER and LEMONGRASS (only use the white part of the lemongrass). Cut the TOMATO in cubes and the SPRING ONIONS in small rings.

  • 2. Step

    Get a big bowl and mix the WHITE VINEGAR with the chopped RED CHILI, LEMONGRASS, GINGER, GARLIC, TOMATO and RED ONION. Stir well.

  • 3. Step

    Add 6 tbsp of LIME JUICE to the bowl. Typically you would use Filipino calamansi juice instead, but this one might be hard to find outside the Philippines. Stir again.

  • 4. Step

    Cut the FISH FILET in thick slices. In this recipe we used spanish makarele, but the Kinilaw will also turn out delicious with some tuna or any other kind of firm fish.

  • 5. Step

    Add the FISH FILET slices to the bowl and mix well. Add some SALT and PEPPER. Try the marinade from time to time to make sure you like the taste. Add more spices or chili if you like. Once you are done cover the bowl with a lid or some foil and put it in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours. You can also separate the content of the bowl into two smaller ones. This way the fish will soak up the marinade faster.

  • Final Step

    Before serving sprinkle some cut SPRING ONION on top. The Kinilaw goes very well as a starter or appetizer, but you can also enjoy it together with some rice and a nice salad.

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