How to Cook the Best Kinilaw Na Tanigue Fish Recipe

The Philippines is a nation surrounded by waters. Because of that, the rivers and oceans are teeming with rich aquatic life: ranging from fishes to different kinds of crustaceans. For this reason alone, we can infer why Filipino cuisine is rich in recipes that are leaning towards seafood. 

Photo Credits to ATPB

And choices for dishes that center on seafood are endless. Filipino dishes can offer just that, from the rustic recipe up to the fanciest that your mind can think of. But for this article, we will be sharing with you something that is not for the picky eater, as this borders on the adventurous side of the food spectrum. 

And if you’re ready as we are, let’s go straight and share with you the things that you need to learn in cooking the best Kinilaw na Tanigue, that you can serve as a new addition to your culinary arsenal. 

What is Kinilaw Na Tanigue Recipe

Tanigue, or chub mackerel, is a fish species that is closely related to the tuna family. Having said that, this variety of fish is very meaty and has large bones, so there is a lot of meat that you can get from it. The usual preparation for Tanigue is to grill them or cook them along with a flavorful sauce. 

But for this article, we will be a bit more adventurous and try something unusual if you happen to know what ceviche is, then good for you. Because that is what Kinilaw na Tanigue is like. 

Ceviche is a delicacy coming from South America, particularly in Peru, where it is hailed as the country’s national dish. 

Photo Credits to Foxy Folksy

The ceviche recipe is simple: fresh raw fish is cured with citrus juices like lime and mixed with chopped onions, chilies, and cilantro to mask the fishy taste. And our very own Kinilaw na Tanigue is just like that, but we Filipinos are good at subverting; that’s why we have made this our own. 

The significant difference between the South American recipe and our very own is that we rely more on vinegar to provide that acidic factor that cooks the raw fish meat. To add a hint of fruitiness, creative Filipino cooks add native citrus fruits such as star-fruit, dayap (lime), green mangoes, and calamansi. 

There is not much cooking involved, as the acid of the vinegar is the one doing the cooking for you. You just have to make sure that you’ve put in enough of the aromatics and the spices that it will neutralize the strong fish scent of the tanigue. 

Ways to Cook Fish Kilawin Recipes

Traditionally, Kinilaw na Tanigue, or any fish kilawin recipes, does not require any cooking process involved. All you need to have is the fresh raw fish, the aromatics, and the chilies, and you’re good to go. 

Photo Credits to Foxy Folksy

But we want to make your cooking experience a bit more convenient, so we gathered other cooking methods that you can cook Kinilaw na Tanigue at home. And if you have this kitchen equipment, then you’re in luck. 

Instant pot

The instant pot is the upgraded cousin of the pressure cooker. It still relies on pressure and steam to cook food faster, but few others have been featured. That made this reliable kitchen equipment even more reliable because of the additional settings that can be toggled. 

These settings are intended for switching the function of the instant pot from just pressure cooking to other functions of the cookware, such as sauteing and steaming. That is how functional this cookware is. And we’ll take advantage of those functions for us to cook our recipe. 

Make sure to have your ingredients ready because this is just a quick cooking process. Set the instant pot to saute, and quickly saute the aromatics like the onions, the chilies, and the fish. Then add in the acids, and take them off the pan quickly, because we don’t want them to be overcooked. 


The crockpot is the original term for the slow cooker. And as the name implies, this cookware uses a slow and steady amount of heat to cook foods at a slower pace. This allows for the ingredients’ flavors to concentrate on every fiber of the protein or any ingredients that you may have. 

And since crock pots do not use high heat, we can use this feature for cooking our Kinilaw na Tanigue. You just have to make sure that you’re using the lowest temperature available in the pot: remember that we’re after the acid cooking process and not fry it all the way through. 

The process is simple and follows the recipe. There are no complicated and fancy techniques needed. Just throw in the ingredients according to the degree of toughness. Again, do not let the fish reach the frying part, as it will destroy the recipe’s flavors. 


If you’re wondering how to use your trusted stovetop for kinilaw, then we can help you with that. The majority of Filipino households rely on stovetop cookers for their everyday cooking. There are newer electric or induction type cookers, but most still depend on the sturdy LPG-fueled ones. 

However, for this method, be wary of the temperature since the stovetop uses direct heat coming from below. This gives a significant amount of risk in overcooking the kinilaw, so be mindful in controlling the heat. 

You’ll be using the stovetop to saute the aromatics, the spices, and the acid-base. Simmer them quickly, and once the flavors are concentrated, simply pour this over the chopped fish. Give the acid-base a few minutes to thoroughly cook the tanigue. 

Other Delicious Variants and Filipino Fish Recipes

Kinilaw is a very versatile dish in its own right. If one is creative enough, the combination of ingredients is endless. The abundance of these ingredients makes it easier to cook, even on a daily basis. 

Photo Credits to Cooking signature

So for starters, let us give you some of the most well-known variants of Kinilaw na Tanigue that you can try at home. 

Fish Kilawin With Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise, most commonly used as a spread, makes any dish taste richer and creamier. Its savory and creamy texture makes it a perfect addition to the Kinilaw na Tanigue. Mayonnaise also masks the fishy smell of the main ingredient. 

Mix in the mayonnaise with the rest of the ingredients aside from the fish. After mixing them well, pour it into the fish and allow the acid and the mayo mixture to seep into the fish’s fibers. 

Kinilaw na Tanigue Fish sa Gata 

Coconut milk, a byproduct of the coconut fruit, adds a beautiful layer of creaminess, richness, and sweetness to any dish that it’s added into. Many Filipino cuisines use coconut milk at their core, making them truly delectable. It’s even added to some drinks to make them even more delicious and irresistible. 

Use coconut milk and coconut cream for mixing with the acid-base. This creates a smoother base for the Kinilaw na Tanigue. It even highlights the spice and the acidity of the ingredients. If possible, use the freshly pressed coconut milk instead of the powdered form. This is to extract the optimal flavor of the latter components. 

Fish Kilawin Topped with Lechon

Lechon, the sinful yet heavenly pork dish that is the star of any occasion. It does not matter if the event is in the city or not. Any major festivity will not be complete without this quintessential pork recipe that everyone will indeed look forward to eating. 

The process is simple and straightforward. Follow the recipe for making Kinilaw na Tanigue as indicated. The last ingredient that you need to add is the lechon bits. Use the lechon as toppings for the kinilaw. 


Kinilaw na Tanigue is the Filipino adaptation of the ceviche, a South American dish. The word Kinilaw comes from the word kilaw, which means raw; hence the term Kinilaw literally means

“to eat something raw.” 

The word tanigue also refers to a wide variety of fish that belongs to the species Scomberomorus commerson

Tips for Cooking these Fish Recipes

We want to make sure that you’ll be able to cook Kinilaw na Tanigue hassle-free. That is why we also included time-tested kitchen tips to help you master this delectable dish. 

  • When purchasing mackerel or any type of fish that you want to use for kinilaw, buy it from the wet market if possible. This is the surest way for you always to procure the freshest catch. 
  • Use sukang tuba (coconut sap vinegar) for a hint of sweetness to the acid-base. 
  • Be generous when using onion. This adds a layer of crunch to the dish. 


Should you encounter problems when cooking Kinilaw na Tanigue, don’t worry because you got you covered. We included some troubleshooting tips that’s been proven effective by many cooks and helped them immensely in the kitchen. 

  • If the fish still gives off an intense scent, add a few citruses to neutralize the smell. 
  • If the kinilaw is lackluster in flavor, add salt to heighten the flavor. 

Best Serve With

And since Kinilaw na Tanigue is essentially an appetizer, it is only fitting that we serve it with an assortment of equally savory and delectable dishes. After all, what’s the point of having an appetizer if we will not follow them through the main course. 

This festive goat dish is the finger food of choice merry-makers due to its spice and richness. And the best way to whet one’s appetite when eating this savory goat dish is none other than Kinilaw na Tanigue.

Adobo is the quintessential Filipino dish, and there are a hundred variants to choose from. One of the many choices is this adobo that folks from the countryside really love.

The acidity of the kinilaw is balancing the rich and savory taste. 

This unique dish made of goat’s innards has an intense and pungent taste, which is why the acidity of the Kinilaw will help balance that out. 


Being adventurous and creative in the kitchen is the key to becoming a great home cook. And there thousands of dishes out there that you can learn. So never stop learning, no matter how challenging, or absurd, or unfamiliar that dish might be. That’s why we’re here: to guide you and to share with you things that you need to know about cooking. 

And with all this information and tips that we share with you, by now, we know that you are more than confident to cook and serve the Best Kinilaw na Tanigue to your family. Until your next cooking session, happy cooking!

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

kinilaw na tinigue in a rectangular serving plate
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Best Kinilaw Na Tanigue Recipe

Kinilaw is a well-known dish in the Philippines and is commonly served with liquor. The fish is served raw and dressed with vinegar.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Seafood Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 35kcal
Cost $5-20


  • 1 kg Boneless Spanish mackerel cut into small cubes
  • 2 pcs Red onion chopped
  • 4 pcs Green chili cut into thin rounds
  • 2 cups Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 6 pcs Cayenne pepper cut into thin rounds
  • 1/4 cup Calamansi juice
  • 2 thumbs Ginger cut into small cubes


  • In a bowl, marinate boneless tanigue in 1 cup of vinegar for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, squeeze the fish meat to remove the excess vinegar and transfer into a bowl.
  • Now add onion, green chili, remaining vinegar, salt, ground black pepper, sugar, cayenne, ginger, and calamansi juice. Mix well.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 624IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
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