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Fresh Tuna Kinilaw

This raw fish dish celebrates the seas surrounding the Philippine islands. It is native to the Philippines and has similarities to the Latin American 'ceviche' except that it also uses vinegar to help 'cook' the fish without heat. With over 7000 islands in the Philippines this dish, like many others in Filipino cooking, has a large range of regional variations for example, in Northern Mindanao traditionally the bitter juice from the tropical fruit Tabon-tabon is used as a souring agent. Gene uses sweet potato in his version (a popular ingredient in the Philippines) to balance the tartness of the dish but you can try sweet mango, grated coconut or sugar to help tame the bitter flavours from the citrus and vinegar. Typically kinilaw is eaten before a meal as a snack or with a beer (known as a pulutan dish which you’ll see more of later on in the course).

Time: 30 mins (prep), 15 mins (cook)

Equipment: 1x wooden board, 1x chef's knife, 1x wide frying pan, 1x serving platter, 1x small bowl, 1x tablespoon

Ingredients

  • 15g shallots
  • 10g ginger
  • 5g lemongrass (the base part)
  • 30g radish
  • 30g cucumber
  • 1x sweet potato
  • 25ml calamansi or lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5g chilies, sliced
  • 30ml vinegar
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 120g fresh tuna
  • 20ml coconut cream

Method

Step 1

Let’s go further into the art of souring in the Philippines. Firstly, cut the sweet potato into rounds and then place into boiling water.

Step 2

Now take the cucumber and radish onto your board. Chop the radish into batons and then do the same to the cucumber.

Step 3

Peel the ginger and cut into fine strips (julienne). Peel and slice your shallot.

Check on your sweet potato we want it to hold its shape but be soft enough to eat.

Step 4

Slice a chilli and place to one side. Next, chop the ends off the lemongrass and along with the other vegetables spread over a plate.

Step 5

Slice our tuna into 1cm pieces and top over the vegetables.

Step 6

Now take the citrus fruits and add squeeze the juices into a bowl. Now add the mixture of lemongrass, ginger, shallots and chillis into the citrus juices. Add some black pepper.

Step 7

Pour over the citrus sauce and then top with a dash of coconut cream and then serve.

Gene's Notes

Step 1

Use a variety of sweet potatoes you can get your hands on - I used a purple sweet potato.

Step 2

Remove some of the seeds away from the cucumber as they can add some unwanted bitterness to the dish.

Radishes add a hit of spice and also help carry the citric sauce.

Step 3

Julienne is a thin matchstick like shape that is the length of the head of a tablespoon.

Our ginger will add warmth and fragrance to the kinilaw.

Step 4

Filipinos are not known for their spicy dishes but I like a kick to my Kinilaw.

We want to use the base of the lemongrass. The pale part is ok to eat fresh.

Step 5

Tuna is great for this type of recipe. It’s lean and has a firm texture.

Step 6

This sauce will add flavour to our dish and start to cure the fish.

Step 7

We want to eat this straight away after pouring on our citrus pickle.

Adding the cream helps cut through the acidity of the recipe.

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I'm here to share my love for Filipino food with the world. I'm also the founder and president of the Center for Asian Culinary Studies.