> 'Kinilaw' Sour and Sweet Fish From Philippines

'Kinilaw' Sour and Sweet Fish From Philippines


This one dish is made from raw fish, but it tastes very delicious. Usually these foods are mixed with raw tuna and vinegar and orange, plus chili and onion to taste.
This recipe makes use of one of the most commonly-eaten fish, tuna—but kingfish is also delicious here. It’s the mixture of vinegar and calamansi juice (which can be adjusted) which gently “cooks” the fish here in its acid, rendering it safe for consumption even if it’s made from fish out of the freezer. The sour-sweet fish is livened up with tomatoes and cucumbers and plenty of heat from chopped chilies and ginger, making this perfect with a bowlful of rice and a cold beer on a hot day.

Kinilaw Recipe :


  • 2 kgs. fresh fish Barracuda/Tuna/King Fish fillet, cut into cubes {I use fresh catch Barracuda for this post.}
  • 2 cups vinegar {or a little more to keep raw fish properly soaked}
  • 200 grms. ginger, peeled and minced
  • 200 grms. dry red onions, finely chopped
  • 200 grms. tomato, finely chopped
  • 400 grms. cucumber, coarsely peeled. Cut halve and quarter it lengthwise then cut thinly.
  • 8 pcs. red/green chilli hot, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup finely chopped spring onions
  • 100 ml. lemon or kalamansi juice {a little more or less defends on your taste}
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • Salt and freshly grounded black pepper
  1. If you are using frozen fish, thaw it inside the fridge below 4′C overnight. No need to descale the fish.
  2. Cut the fish head and pick the part which is after the ribs and few inches before the tail.{Other fish parts can be cooked for other dish like Sinigang sa Kamatis}.
  3. Using a fillet knife, run it through the meat avoiding the fishbones. Cut the fillet in half lenghtwise. Lay it flat on the chopping board, scale side down and carefully run the knife to remove the skin from the meat. Cut the fih fillet into cubes. Discard fish skin and fishbones. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Pour in the vinegar into the bowl of raw fish. Toss generously, making sure all raw fish is properly soaked in vinegar. Cover with plastic film wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.
  5. While waiting for the soaked fish in vinegar, you can start preparing the other ingredients. You might wanna keep some of these chopped ingredients for topping your Kinilaw before serving it later on.
  6. Now after 30 minutes… Strain soaked fish and discard the used vinegar. Transfer into a larger mixing bowl, add all the chopped ingredients. Pour in the lemon/kalamansi juice. Season with sugar, salt and freshly grounded black pepper.
  7. Transfer it to a serving dish, top with reserved chopped ingredients. Keep it cool and serve with extra slice of lemon or kalamansi.
Good Luck !!