Filipino – Tuna Kinilaw

by Hina Alam


Kinilaw is an Filipino seafood dish which means “eaten raw“. By lookin at the name we can clearly see that this dish is meant to be eaten raw as most of the seafood in the Philippines is eaten raw. Tuna Kinilaw is a version of Kinilaw in which tuna is cut into cubes and then marinated with vinegar, onions, ginger , some spices and kalamansi juice , We can also add some coconut milk over the tuna and let it rest for some time to enhance the already brilliant flavors. Kinilaw is also referred to as Philippine ceviche as it is quite similar to the Latin American dish ceviche. It is starter dish which is eaten before the main course. In the Philippines it is eaten along with a glass of wine and it really lifts up the mood for the afternoon for the people. It is an incredible dish with great flavors. It is acidic and the tuna after marination becomes juicy.

There is another dish which is quite similar to Kinilaw and sometimes they are judged as same dishes but they are not, this dish is Kilawin. The method of making this dish is the same but the main difference is that Kilawin consists of meat not seafood.


Kinilaw was originated in the Philippines and the cutting process used in this dish goes way back thousands of years. The Balangay archaeological excavation site in Butuan discovered remains of halved tabon fruits and fish bones. These both were cut in cubes and suggested that the cube shape cutting technique goes way back. Now to this dish it is said that in 1613 the first Tagalog language dictionary was made named Vocabulario de la lengua tagala and in this dictionary there was a word which indicate that this dish was made at that point. The word was Kilaw which also meant raw dish. This indicates that this dish goes way back to 1600’s and from that time up till now this dish has remained the same and all those flavors have remained the same and still enjoyable.


  • Tuna (cubed) 1 Kg
  • Vinegar 1 Cup
  • Onion (sliced) 1
  • Tomato (chopped) 1
  • Ginger
  • Calamansi Juice
  • Coconut Cream 1/3 cup
  • Salt 1 1/2 tsp.


  • Firstly we need to cut our vegetables.
  • Finely chop the onion.
  • Finely cut the tomato and the ginger.
  • Take the cubes of tuna in a separate bowl and add calamansi juice in it and also some salt.
  • Add your cut vegetables in the bowl.
  • Mix them altogether.
  • Add some coconut milk.
  • Lastly add some vinegar.
  • Mix them altogether and let the tuna rest for 10-15 minutes to make sure it is cooked.
  • Serve and enjoy


  • PREPERATION TIME : 3-4 minutes
  • COOKING TIME : 10-15 minutes
  • TOTAL TIME : 15-20 minutes


  • Calories 152
  • Protein 26g
  • Fat 2.8g
  • Carbs 11g
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