Kinilaw for Cultural Connections

It’s time of the week again for cultural foods that shows the soul of your country. So, hurry now and post in your food and hook up with MckLinky.

Here’s a favorite delicacy served in the Southern parts of the Philippines. Each area however uses ingredients normally found exclusively in the area only. The preparation however remains the same and the ingredients listed here are the ones commonly used in most areas.

KINILAW (Raw Tuna (Fish) Salad)

1 Kg. fresh Tuna or fish of white meat, cubed
1/2 cup finely chopped ginger
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
3 lemons (use the sour ones)
1 cup vinegar (use the one that is not so strong and, if possible, dilute
with water on a 1 to 1 basis)
Cayenne pepper and salt to taste

  • Rinse the fish with water once and with vinegar once but swiftly.
  • Put in a bowl.
  • Sprinkle on top the ginger and the onions.
  • Squeeze out the juice of 2 lemons on the mixture.
  • Add the Vinegar, the cayenne pepper (crushed) and salt to taste.
  • Mix everything slowly so you don’t crush the fish.
  • Decorate with slices of lemon on top.

NOTE: In some parts of the country, they use the local coconut wine (tuba) instead of vinegar. If you use a strong vinegar it will cook the fish almost right away as soon as you pour it over the dish. The idea is not to cook the fish entirely. It should still be pinkish inside so as to keep it
soft and tasty.

In some parts of the country they add about 1/2 cup of coconut milk to remove the fishy taste of the fish. In other parts they add slices of cucumber to the dish. Some add slices of fresh tomatoes too. This dish goes perfectly well with Tuna, Mackerel, Cod or any meaty fish. Some even use the small fishes like sardines without the head and tail and sliced lengthwise. This can however be very inconvenient because of the bones. Any kind of fish can be used and the fresher the fish the better. This dish is used as an appetizer. It goes perfectly with beer or any drink of your choice. Some take it though as a main dish with rice.

Martha (Menagerie)

My husband would love this but the boys and I would have to run away screaming, LOL!
Like Melissa said, I do love seeing the food from different cultures, it’s so interesting! I sure wish we could get more players with a wide range of cultural foods to play along.


Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s probably not something that my family would eat, but I love reading about the foods of other cultures.

I linked up a recipe for potstickers. It’s not from my own culture, but it’s a fun dish and not something that we typically think of as American food. Hope that’s okay to link.