Kinilaw is a Philippine-born, raw seafood dish similar to ceviche. It involves a cooking process that relies more specifically on vinegar and/or acid fruit juices to denature the ingredients. However, it can also be used to prepare meat and vegetables.
Kinilaw based on meat (usually referred to as kilawin) is more common in the northern Philippines. It uses blanched and lightly grilled meat (not raw). Kinilaw dishes are traditionally eaten before a meal as appetizers, or with alcoholic drinks as finger foods (pulutan).
Although some people eat this with rice, it is better to be eaten with beer or liquor. Take note that you can use any type of fish in this technique. Even fish types, such as tuna can be used.
About Filipino-Style Kinilaw
Variants, primarily from the northern Philippines, use meat (usually referred to as kilawin to differentiate them from other kinilaw), including goat meat, beef, carabao, pork, and chicken. Unlike kinilaw, kilawin meat is not eaten raw but is cooked by boiling or grilling, or both. These meat pieces are usually rare to medium-rare, although in some cases, the meat is cooked fully.
Ingredients used in seafood and meat kinilaw must be fresh and properly cleaned because the use of raw seafood and partially cooked meat entails health hazards.
If you plan to have an all Filipino-party at home, include this recipe on the table. For more Filipino-style dishes, click here.
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