Kinilaw na Tuna

Kinilaw na Tuna or raw fish salad is an appetizer dish that is usually consumed as “pulutan”; it is best served along with cold beer. This recipe does not involve any manual cooking but the tuna meat is semi-cooked once served. This is made possible by the acids in the vinegar (acetic acid) and calamansi or lemon juice (citric acid). These mild acids slowly cook the fish meat when soaked for a few hours.

Kinilaw na Tuna

This recipe is popular in places where fresh seafood is abundant. Why fresh? Only the freshest tuna slices (or any white fish meat) can be used for this recipe for best results. Since the acid does not entirely cook the fish meat the way frying or steaming does, it is possible that an unpleasant taste might develop in the mixture if not so fresh fish meat is used – your mouth and tongue might also feel itchy.

I love to have this appetizer especially when cold beer is around. Just like the Ceviche (a similar dish wherein the fish meat is marinated only in citric acid), there is nothing like a semi-cooked sour fish appetizer to refresh my palate.

Of course, there are several variations of kinilaw around. Some of you might have your own version, how about sharing it with us?

Try this Kinilaw na Tuna recipe and don’t be shy to send-in your feedback.


2 lbs tuna; skinned, deboned, and cubed

1  1/2 cup vinegar

3 tablespoons ginger, minced

1 large red onion, minced

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup lemon or calamansi juice

1 to 2 tablespoons red chilies, chopped

Watch the cooking video:


1. Place the cubed tuna meat in a large bowl then pour-in 3/4 cups of vinegar.

2. Let stand for 2 minutes then gently squeeze the tuna by placing a spoon on top applying a little pressure.

3. Gently wash the tuna meat with vinegar. Drain all the vinegar once done. This will help reduce the fishy smell.

4. Add the remaining 3/4 cup vinegar, calamansi or lemon juice, ginger, salt, ground black pepper, and red chilies then mix well.

5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

6. Top with minced red onions and serve (you may also add the red onions with the rest of the ingredients in step 4).

7. Share and enjoy!


    • says

      Hi bureng, that’s correct but I did not get the tuna from here. I shot the video in the Philippines during my vacation. You can try using fresh frozen tuna from Asian stores near your area.

  1. says

    hi im living in italy but im from philippines, i have a problem all the engredents i need, do you have a shop for filipino food in italy?

  2. says

    this is almost similar to Ceviche sa Latin America. I will try this maybe this week. I remember, my brother usually make this for pulutan. I think for those na di pa apektado ng Oil Spill, samantalahin niyo nang i-try itong recipe na ito.

  3. ReyJ says

    Good day! Just some suggestions about the kinilaw I’m making here in Bacolod..
    Try to add also some of these: pulang itlog, black beans, coconut milk and cashew nuts. Hope it will fit your taste……

  4. trisha says

    hi is there any other tuna dish aside from (Tuna Kilawin) that you would want to share with us po?..
    im planning to prepare appetizer for our pulutan on the 20th..thanks hope to hearing you soon..more power!

  5. says

    This is my all-time favorite food; especially the Malasugi and Bariles. I also had made my own recipe on this on my blog; but I think this one here is far better. :-)

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