One of the first Filipino or Pinoy dishes we tried was Kinilaw.  This was at the restaurant in the Hotel Uno during the Kadayawan Festival in Davao City, Mindanao Island in the summer of 2014.  It is a fresh, cool salad of raw tuna "cooked" in a mild acid and then mixed with ginger, garlic, radish, etc.  I was hooked and found it hard to try other cultural dishes during our relatively rare restaurant outings.   There are dozens of published and secret recipes, some even include pork, but I prefer the variations suitable for the "pescaterian" healthy-eating crowd.  Serve with cold steamed rice.


500g fresh yellowfin tuna (or marlin)

1 red onion, sliced, and chopped fine

2 thumb-sized  fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

2 daikon (Japanese) radish, washed, peeled and sliced thinly

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly

1 small sweet red pepper, sliced and chopped in small pieces

2- 4 small hot chilis (the tiny Thai type) - plus a few more for garnish

salt & black pepper to taste

~ cup  apple cider (or coconut) vinegar

cup calamansi juice

~ cup coconut milk (optional - Thanks for the suggestion Hwang!))

3-4 calamansi fruit for garnish



Wash the tuna fish and slice into bite-sized pieces then drain.

Add vinegar and stir gently.  Cover and marinate in refrigerator ~3 hours.

Drain and  squeeze vinegar out.

Add onion, ginger, radish, garlic, cucumber, pepper and chilis together with the tuna.

Mix calamansi juice and coconut juice.  Toss into tuna/veggie mix and add salt & pepper to taste.

Garnish with a whole calamansi pierced with one chili pepper.

Serve on a plate or platter.