“Kilawin is the Philippine equivalent to Italian crudo or Mexican ceviche. In the Southern Philippines, tuna is especially plentiful and fresh and it has become one of the Philippines’ best food exports. It is served very cold, and provides respite from the hot tropical weather the Philippines is known for. My maternal grandmother, Pilar Marco, was a great intuitive cook. She went to the wet market by public transportation every day so she could make sure the food she served her family would be as fresh as possible.”
– Karla Mendoza, Executive Chef Pizzeria Mozza, Singapore
Serves 4 to 6, as an appetizer
1 pound yellowfin tuna, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ½ cup coconut vinegar or palm vinegar
1 red onion, sliced
1 red onion, diced
1 head garlic, sliced
4 slices fresh ginger
1 red bell pepper, small dice
3 red chili pepper (or fresno chili), sliced into rings and de-seeded
1 jalapeno, sliced into rings and de-seeded
¼ cup each lemon juice and lime juice
½ cup coconut cream
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Cut tuna into one inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the vinegar and chill for 2 to 4 hours.
Strain the fish and reserve the juices.
Add the onions, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, chiles, and lemon and lime juice. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Add coconut cream and garnish with cilantro.
Serve very cold.