Simple and Easy Kinilaw na Tuna Recipe

Simple and Easy Kinilaw na Tuna Recipe

Tuna kilawin or kinilaw na tuna is an appetizer dish popular in the Philippines. Kinilaw, a regional cuisine originating from Visayas, is a food cooked without using a fire or heat. Instead, the meat is marinated in acids (could be vinegar and calamansi or lemon juice), then eaten cold and raw.

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Kilawin Recipe

Preparing kinilaw na tuna (or any seafood, for that matter) dish is recommended only if the main ingredient is fresh (frozen fresh seafood is also acceptable). Generally, this is not a problem as fresh seafood is abundant in the country.

This dish is very simple and easy. The only requirement is a fresh catch chopped into cubes or bite-size and a few basic ingredients. The challenges are in the mixing of proper fish to citrus juice ratio and the duration of marinating. But don’t worry because for this recipe, we’ll provide you the proper proportion.

Fish Recipe

They say that to produce a good result, kinilaw na tuna should be marinated just right. Some do it for at least an hour while others do it overnight. But regardless of how long you cure your fish, it’s important to keep it in the ref to maintain its freshness. You will know if the fish used in making your kinilaw is not fresh because it will taste unpleasant and your tongue gets itchy, not to mention getting an upset stomach.

Remember, kinilaw na tuna tastes best when fresh ingredients are used. Of course, there are several versions of kinilaw, here’s one you will surely like.

Kinilaw na Tuna Recipe


  • 10 ounces fresh (or fresh frozen) ahi tuna, bite-size
  • Juice squeezed from 3 pieces lemon
  • 6 pieces chopped Thai chili
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp granulated white sugar
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • A dash of ground black pepper (optional)


  1. Mix the following ingredients: lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, ginger powder, and sugar.
  2. Place the cubed ahi tuna in a large bowl. Add the lemon mixture and gently stir until all the ingredients are completely blended.
  3. Throw in the chopped chili and ground black pepper. Stir. Cover and keep in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Share and enjoy! (Tip: it is best served chilled.)

Watch the video below


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