Kinilaw Recipe Pinoy Food Guide

Kinilaw (Filipino Fish Ceviche) Recipe

Another night of bonding and catching up with family or friends, surely there will be wine or beer to come along with it, right? And what else do you need when you want to have a fun night with friends, especially those who have a deeper love for food?

We all know what that is, and you’re probably screaming–pulutan. Normally, you’re gonna think of the heavy types of food such as crispy pata, or sisig. But here’s something light for the stomach, quick and easy you can do at home–try the Kinilaw!

In this recipe article, you’ll learn how to make something a little bit out of the usual pulutan! If you haven’t tried this for a while, or maybe you’ve forgotten about it, try this if you want something new for a change.

You’re sure to have a good time with your family or friends along with this delicious seafood treat. Read on below for more tips and tricks about kinilaw (or as others call it, kilawin), and some trivia while you’re at it.

What is Kinilaw?

Kinilaw (Filipino Fish Ceviche) is a type of appetizer or pulutan which is traditionally made out of tanigue (Spanish mackerel) that’s cured using vinegar, calamansi, ginger, and other seasonings.

There are other dishes from around the world which are similar to kinilaw, such as ceviche, from South America, and poke, from Hawaii. The term kinilaw means curing raw fish in the Visayan region and the dish is actually named after the process of how it was made.

How to Make Kinilaw?

Making kinilaw doesn’t need some kind of extravagant or extreme techniques, it is as simple as it can be. The process of making kinilaw can be broken down in two simple steps; first is to mix all of the ingredients together, and then second is to let it chill in the refrigerator. As easy as that! 

An important thing to note when looking for the ingredients though, is to find fresh ones. This dish does not involve cooking, because instead of that, we marinate the fish meat with vinegar and other citrus-based juices. This is where we get the full flavor of this dish.

Kinilaw or Ceviche

As said earlier, the kinilaw is strikingly similar to the dish called ceviche. But if you have tried both of them, you’ll notice that they can be easily distinguished from each other.

The Filipino-style ceviche commonly uses vinegar with notable unique ingredients such as ginger, and calamansi. The counterpart uses lime and cilantro instead, and even adds tomatoes and some other vegetables in the mix.

Alternative Fishes for Kinilaw

There are a number of fish alternatives which you can use for this recipe of Kinilaw, if you want to have a different version aside from tanigue or tuna. Some notable types of fish you can try are tilapia, marlin, tulingan, lapu-lapu, and labahita.

If you want to avoid fish, other types of seafood are also done in other versions of kinilaw, such as crabs, shrimps, squid, and even oysters or clams. But don’t forget that this dish doesn’t involve cooking the fish, or the seafood, so pick the ones which are as fresh as possible.

For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:

Kinilaw Recipe Pinoy Food Guide
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Kinilaw (Filipino Fish Ceviche) Recipe

Make your own appetizer/pulutan with this Kinilaw na Isda recipe
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Chilling Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: Fish
Servings: 8
Calories: 252kcal


  • 1 kg mackerel or tanigue or tuna, skinned and deboned, cut into small cubes
  • 1 oc red onion, chopped
  • 2 thumbs ginger, minced
  • 4 pcs chili pepper (thai chili or siling labuyo), chopped
  • 8 pcs pcs calamansi (or 1 pc lemon), made into juice
  • 1 ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar, optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a mixing bowl, add-in the cubed tanigue. Pour-in the vinegar and calamansi juice. Add-in the chopped red onion, minced ginger, and chopped chili pepper. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Mix and toss until well-incorporated. Let it stay for 10 minutes.
  • Place inside a refrigerator. Chill and marinate for 1 to 3 hours.
  • Transfer to a serving plate or serving tray. Serve and enjoy!


Don't forget to check out more information like cooking tips, suggestions, and notes on the sections above in case you jumped to this recipe.


Nutrition Facts
Kinilaw (Filipino Fish Ceviche) Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 252 Calories from Fat 92
% Daily Value*
Fat 10.2g16%
Saturated Fat 2.1g13%
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 66mg3%
Potassium 491mg14%
Carbohydrates 2.9g1%
Fiber 0.6g3%
Sugar 1.1g1%
Protein 33.5g67%
Calcium 14mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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