Raw fish for the summer. A healthy recipe that tastes like tropical vacation!
Kinilaw or kilawin is one of those recipes that I had found during our first world tour. I even tried to make it but I did not have the right fish at the time. This recipe is really Filipino but is also quite present in some of the Pacific islands in the region that have been under the influence of this country.
The Philippines, a country I had visited last summer with a fruit salad as original as refreshing has indeed influenced many cuisines of neighboring countries and islands.
Kinilaw is a typical Filipino dish. It can be prepared with various seafood such as yellowfin tuna, Pacific mackerel (tanigue), shrimp or even anchovies. But the recipe can also be prepared with raw meat like goat, beef, water buffalo or deer.
It obviously looks like a tartare or ceviche in the preparation technique. Last year, we had already awakened your taste buds with Peruvian ceviche.
The particularity of kinilaw is the type of citrus used to marinate the fish. It is indeed prepared with calamondin (also called kalamansi in Tagalog, the language spoken in the Philippines).
This traditional recipe from the Philippines is also cited in books and poems dating from the eighteenth century. Evidence of the existence of this mode of preparation of fish dating from the thirteenth century has been found. These archaeological evidence show the skeletons of fish whose backbone is prepared exactly as for the technique of kilawin.
The vinegar that is traditionally used for this recipe is actually the extract of coconut sap that is fermented for 2 to 3 days. It is also called tuba or sukang tuba in the Philippines. For modern recipes, regular white vinegar can replace this ingredient which is quite hard to find.
I was the only one to eat kinilaw at home because my wife is a little shy (read: freaking scared) when it comes to raw fish and meat, even though she loves sushi (only at the restaurant). This recipe can be served as an appetizer or even as a main dish for a fresh and healthy summer meal. The flavors of alamansi, ginger, shallots and spicy notes of chili are just exquisite.
A real treat! You have the whole summer to indulge!
- 1 lb yellowfin tuna fillets , cut into cubes
- ½ cup vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic , finely chopped
- ½ white onion , finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
- 8 tablespoons kalamansi (or juice of one lime)
- ¾ cup vinegar (to rinse the fish)
- ½ red onion , finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 chili pepper , finely chopped (optional)
In a bowl, mix the tuna cubes with ¾ cup (200ml) of vinegar and mix well.
- Let stand for 2 minutes then drain.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Refrigerate for at least ½ hour.
- Serve fresh.