Kinilaw – Spicy Filipino Ceviche

A few years back its a little known fact that I lived in the Phillipines for 4 long months. I say long months because we were in very small village called Padre Burgos (their closest ‘city’ being Maasin) in what was basically a bunker. Dont get me wrong, no technology is a breath of fresh air for a while but put in a bunker with 12 people whom you’ve never lived with before, no window coverings, one locking door, little electricity and water from the roof when it rained and it was basically survivor crossed with big brother. We literally made our beds from bamboo from the surrounding jungle… under the watchful eye of Rick, who out-mans Bear Gryls anyday of the week.

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There were some lasting friendships that came out of that trip, and DEFINITELY some memories (swimming with majestic whale sharks being one of them) but due to the lack of produce there wasnt much in the way of fresh eating. It was here I discovered the rare delight of ‘Kinilaw’ a ceviche (raw cured fish) dish. I dont usually condone the eating of Tuna due to low fish stocks and can assure you in the off  chance we do use it in our recipes that it’s responsibly sourced and line caught at the very least. If you worry about fish stocks this recipe is equally as delicious with white fish which I would urge you to try, but in the Phillipines they use Tuna, so for this recipe I’ve chosen to stay authentic to what I tasted many years ago.

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NB: In the UK you can use the Marine Stewarship Council’s website to check what sustainable fish is in season in the month you’re in.

You will need:

  • 250g Fish
  • 3cm cubed Ginger (finely grated to pulp)
  • 1 clove Garlic (minced)
  • 100ml White Vinegar
  • 100ml Lime Juice
  • 1/2Red Onion
  • Sping onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 Chilli (finely chopped)

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Cut the fish into thick strips, mine were around 1cm thick (and whatever size chunk you like).

Dissolve the salt and sugar into the vinegar, mix in the lime juice.

Mince the ginger, garlic, chilli and stir into the vinegar mixture.

Add both the fish and spring onions to this mixture and save some extra sping onions for garnish.

Leave for around 10 mins, longer if you want the fish to ‘cook’ more in the vinegar solution.

Remove the fish and some of the liquid with the chilli, ginger and garlic, plate up garnishing with extra spring onion and chilli if desired and eat straight away.

Nb. The longer you leave the fish the more then acid in the vinegar and lime juice will continue to cook it, if using a red coloured fish like Tuna (which I advise against) it can turn the fish a grey colour, when using white fish it will just go from opaque to a more cloudy white as if you had cooked it normally with heat.

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We hope you enjoy this recipe and if you want to see what we really look like check us out on film at our Kickstarter (and SHARE SHARE SHARE) where for a limited time you can see footage of us and help us turn this blog into a tv series. 🙂

Hugs & Nonsense


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