What Makes ‘Kinilaw’ a Filipino Favorite


What Makes ‘Kinilaw’ a Filipino Favorite

Whether you pronounce it as “Kilawin” or “Kinilaw”, it’s no wonder that this raw meat or fish dish is considered as one of the superstars of the Filipino cuisine.

Kinilaw is basically a Filipino dish made with fresh, raw fish or meat with vinegar or citrus juices and some veggies or herbs. The word kilaw is pronounced and spelled differently across the country but still has the same meaning. It is spelled as “quilao” in the Visayan region, “naghilao” in Bicol region, “maquilao” in Maguindanao area, and “kilawen” for the Ilocanos – all defined as “to eat raw meat or fish.”

It is normally served as an appetizer, a side-dish, or locally dubbed as “pulutan” for beer-drinking sessions, and a perfect baon during family or barkada outings.

Although there is no distinct or exact way of tracing its origin, several historical accounts manifest that the process of making Kinilaw or the dish itself was already served to Magellan’s group when they first landed on our archipelago. The Vocabulario de la Lengua by Juan de Noceda and Pedro de Sanlucar actually illustrated the dish in one of the poetic lines like “Cun ang quilai,i, masair (masaid)” or in English “When the kilawin is consumed.”

Now that you know more of this flavorful dish, here are the other reasons why Kinilaw has captured the hearts of many Filipinos:

Easy to prepare

While a lot of Filipino dishes are best prepared when cooked through stove, oven or pot, Kinilaw is an appetizing recipe that needs no fire to be served. By means of marinating the blend of acids (vinegar or citrus juices), herbs, and seasonings, and letting the meat absorb the flavor for 10 to 20 minutes, you can then serve it to your whole family and friends!

You can have it your way

Since this dish does not follow an exact recipe, you can have it on your own way. You are free to experiment with your favorite ingredients and seasonings. Tuna fish with sesame or salmon with coriander are just two of the best examples. Just make sure that the ingredients you prefer will go well with your meat or fish as well as your taste preferences.

It is very easy to take with you

Most of us are quite anxious about taking cooked dishes during outings due to the tendency of food spoilage along the way, but, taking your Kinilaw with you will not be a problem.

With its glorious past and its delectable flavor, Kinilaw is truly a must-have for every Filipino feast. Taste the authentic Kinilaw na Tanigue at APU Restaurant, the best fine dining Filipino restaurant in the country! Visit us today at the City of Dreams Manila, we’re open until 12 midnight!