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Hawaii has Poke and Peru has Ceviche, the Philippines has Kinilaw! A different kind of appetizer from raw fish in vinegar and spices.Kinilaw na Tanigue Recipe

What is Kinilaw?

It is not actually the dish but the process of preparing it. It hailed from the Visayan region and is derived from the word, kilaw, which means raw or uncooked. The meat, normally a fish, is 'cooked' without the application of heat but is rather cured in vinegar.

Additional souring agents like calamansi, kamias, tamarind, or green mangoes to enhance its tartness.  To complete the dish, black pepper, onions, ginger, and chili peppers are also added.

A kinilaw recipe is simple to make and is normally serve for casual gatherings. It a popular “pulutan” or a food served during a casual drinking session. However, it also makes an excellent appetizer.

Raw Tanigue Fish in Vinegar and Spices

Kinilaw versus Ceviche?

Usually termed as a Filipino-style ceviche. Perhaps since they are both made from raw fish or seafood. But once you've tried it, you'll know they are not the same. One of the main differences is the use of vinegar in Kinilaw, while ceviche is citrus-based. Other ingredients like ginger and calamansi are also used in the first, while the latter usually have cilantro and lime.

Appetizer with beer

What fish can you use?

Various kinilaw recipes use different kinds of seafood, but fishes are mostly standard. Tanigue (Spanish mackerel) and Tambakol (yellowfin tuna) are the most common types of fishes used for Kinilaw.

You can also use other fish that have firm, fleshy meat. Like marlin, tulingan (mackerel tuna), labahita (black surgeonfish),  lapu-lapu (miniata grouper), or mahi-mahi (dolphinfish).
If you want to try other seafood other than fishes, squid, shrimp, crabs, oyster, seaweed, and clams will taste equally best for kinilaw.

Just remember that since it will not be cooked in heat, choose only the freshest fish or seafood.

How to make Kinilaw?

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5 from 2 votes

Kinilaw Recipe

Kinilaw is the Filipino version of Ceviche...only so much simple and better!
Print Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: kinilaw,kinilaw recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 187kcal
Author: Bebs
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 pounds Tanigue or Tuna - skinned and deboned
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 4 pieces calamansi - or half of a lemon
  • 2 thumbs ginger - minced
  • 1 medium red onion - minced
  • 2 pieces green chili - or Thai chili, cut into thin slices
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper


  • Wash the fish meat and tap dry with paper towels. Cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • Place the fish cubes in a bowl. Pour in the vinegar and the juice from calamansi. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ginger, onion, and chili. Toss gently until well blended.
  • Cover and marinate for an hour or up to 3 hours in the fridge. The fish should lose its translucent and pinkish color and should turn whiter and opaque.
  • transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Kinilaw Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 187 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 43mg14%
Sodium 48mg2%
Potassium 326mg9%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 2475IU50%
Vitamin C 2.6mg3%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe? Tell us how it went. Tag us at @foxyfolksy or leave a comment and rating below.


Bebs here! I love to cook and try new things and DIY projects! And although I think of myself as a homebody, I like seeing other places from time to time.
If you are looking for a recipe and it ain't here, make a request and I will try my best to make it for you!

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  1. 5 stars

    I just learned a lot about my fav food, kinilaw.

    If my guest loves seafood but hates the taste of vinegar, I modify the recipe by adding coconut milk. It neutralizes the sour taste of vinegar and adds creamy sweetness to the mix.

  2. Fresh, sour, and straight from the ocean, this classic dish captures the essence of Filipino cooking.

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