Let me start by bragging that the turquoise surface in the photo above was something I did myself – from the blending of colors to achieve the shade I wanted, to the painting itself. Diba char?
Okay, now that we’ve established that I like to boast… I initially wanted to start this post by saying that Kinilaw na Isda is the one dish that I can eat every single day. However, I then thought of siomai… and lechon baboy… and Mini Stop fried chicken… which are also types of food that I can consume daily. With that said, let’s now consider Kinilaw na Isda to be one of the few dishes that I can eat every single day.
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, Kinilaw na Isda is fish that’s “cooked” in vinegar and calamansi juice. Think of it as the Filipino version of ceviche. I’ve loved it my whole life, which is strange, really, as not a lot of children like the dish, but thinking back, I guess I was a peculiar child. Thank heavens I’ve grown into such a well-rounded and normal adult….. right? Right?
You can generally use fish from the mackerel and tuna family to make Kinilaw, but my favorite one is tangigue/tanigue. My grandmother likes malasugi the most, and makes it a point to bring some back whenever she visits her hometown Davao, because the malasugi there, she says, is white, and has a much better texture than the malasugi we find in Cebu, which is red. Others like to use lamon-lamon, another kind of fish, best, so all I can say is………….
everybody is different.
HAHAHA UNSA DAW? Abi ninyo unsa akong e ingon noh….
Serves: Well, I can honestly consume half a kilo of Kinilaw by myself… but that probably means that this recipe, which calls for a kilo of fish, can serve 5-6 people with normal Kinilaw-eating powers
Time: 20 minutes
1 kilo tangigue; skinned, deboned, and sliced into cubes (or, in short, “cubed” haha)
1 cup coconut vinegar; divided into half cups
1 coconut; meat shredded
3 tablespoons ginger; minced
2 medium red onions; diced
4 medium tomatoes; seeded and diced
2 tablespoons green onion; sliced
2 tablespoons rock salt
8 pieces calamansi
1 small cucumber; peeled, seeded and cubed
*Bird’s eyes chilies if you like it spicy. If you don’t like, then don’t.
“Soak” the fish cubes in half a cup of the coconut vinegar, and leave for about 3 minutes. Rinse well. Add the other half of coconut vinegar to the shredded coconut meat, and squeeze out juice. Add the ginger, onions, tomatoes, green onion, rock salt, cucumber, and, if using, chilies to a bowl. Using a strainer, add calamansi juice and squeezed out coconut liquid to the bowl, and mix all together.