Deutsch: Fisch-Ceviche / Español: Ceviche de pescado / Português: Ceviche de peixe / Français: Ceviche de poisson / Italiano: Ceviche di pesce

Kinilaw na Isda in the food context refers to a traditional Filipino dish similar to ceviche, consisting of raw fish marinated in vinegar or citrus juices such as calamansi (a small, sour citrus fruit native to the Philippines). The acidity of the marinade "cooks" the fish without heat, resulting in a refreshing and slightly tangy dish. Kinilaw na Isda is seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes chili peppers for heat, and enhanced with other ingredients like onions, ginger, and sometimes coconut milk, adding layers of flavor and texture to the dish.


Kinilaw na Isda is celebrated for its simplicity and the way it highlights the freshness of the seafood. The key to a successful kinilaw is using the freshest fish possible, as the dish relies on the natural flavors of the fish, enhanced by the acidic marinade and seasonings. Commonly used fish include tuna, mackerel, and milkfish, though a variety of seafood can be used, depending on availability and preference.

Application Areas

Kinilaw na Isda is commonly enjoyed as:

  • Appetizer: Served before the main course to stimulate the appetite.
  • Main Dish: Often accompanied by steamed rice or enjoyed on its own as a light meal.
  • Festive Food: A popular choice for celebrations and gatherings, showcasing the Philippine culinary tradition.

Well-Known Examples

While Kinilaw na Isda itself is quite specific, variations can include:

  • Kinilaw na Tuna: Featuring tuna as the main ingredient, prized for its rich flavor and firm texture.
  • Kinilaw with Coconut Milk: Adds a creamy dimension to the dish, balancing the acidity with the richness of coconut milk.
  • Spicy Kinilaw: Incorporates chili peppers for those who prefer a fiery kick to their kinilaw.


A basic recipe for Kinilaw na Isda involves:

  1. Ingredients:

    • 1 lb fresh, sashimi-grade fish, cut into bite-sized pieces
    • 1/2 cup vinegar or a mixture of vinegar and calamansi juice
    • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
    • 1-2 chili peppers, sliced (adjust to taste)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Optional: a small amount of coconut milk
  2. Preparation:

    • In a bowl, combine the fish with vinegar and/or calamansi juice. Let it marinate for about 10 to 15 minutes. The fish should turn opaque, indicating it's "cooked."
    • Drain the fish, removing most of the marinade.
    • Add the onion, ginger, chili peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Mix gently to combine.
    • If using, add a small amount of coconut milk and mix again.
    • Serve immediately, chilled or at room temperature.

Treatment and Risks

It's crucial to use fresh, high-quality fish for Kinilaw na Isda to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses associated with consuming raw seafood. The acidic marinade helps to inhibit bacterial growth but does not eliminate all potential pathogens. Pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems should exercise caution when consuming raw seafood dishes.

Similar Terms or Synonyms

  • Filipino Ceviche
  • Fish Kinilaw


Kinilaw na Isda is a quintessential Filipino dish that exemplifies the freshness and flavors of the sea, combined with the tanginess of vinegar or calamansi juice and the aromatic punch of onions, ginger, and chili peppers. It's a testament to the simplicity and richness of Filipino culinary traditions, offering a unique and refreshing seafood experience.


Kinilaw na Isda also called Kilawin na Isda is the Philippines version of Ceviche

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