How to Cook the Best Kinilaw Na Tuna Recipe

What is Best Kinilaw na Tuna 

Nothing beats parties in the Philippines! We all know Filipinos love to celebrate all kinds of parties. They are very known for their festive and fun celebrations. Aside from serving the best cuisines at every party, a drinking session is a must! 

Photo Credits to Yummy

The “Inuman” or drinking sessions always end up in an unforgettable experience, but if you drink hard, I bet you will remember only half of the night. You will always find beer bottles on the table and expect the very popular Karaoke machine, and most especially, it will never be complete without the “pulutan.” Pulutan is a small amount of food best served with alcoholic drinks like beer.

Kinilaw na Tuna is one of the best, not just the best but also considered a fancy kind of pulutan. This dish is not cooked directly over the Flame. It is made from cured raw fish with vinegar or lime juice and mixed with other spices like oil, onion, chili, and more, to counterbalance the fishy taste.

Ways to Cook 

There are many ways to cook this mouthwatering dish. The traditional way to cook this dish is simply by combining all the ingredients. But if you are not used to eating raw, here are the three popular ways to cook that will still preserve the authentic taste of “Best Kinilaw na Tuna”.


This way of cooking, from the word itself, “Stovetop” literally means to cook on the top of the stove or burner. Since it is cooked by heating the skillet, you will need a cast-iron skillet to do this method. In the Philippines, they cook and serve it on a sizzling hot plate.


A crockpot is a type of slow cooker which uses moist heat to cook food slowly. This crockpot is one of the easiest ways to cook; you plop every ingredient in the pot, close the lid, and wait. The crock pot is best to use if you use chunks of meat on your Kilawin recipe that usually require slow cooking to tenderize it.

Instant pot

The Instant pot cooks six times faster compared to your ordinary way of cooking method. It is a multi-purpose cooking appliance. You can tender any meat for under an hour, meaning you can save more time and energy.

Other Delicious Variants and Kinilaw na Tuna Recipes

There are many different versions of Kinilaw recipes all over the Philippines. Most recipes are based on the local product of the province. Filipinos are very ingenious enough to make their recipe. Here are the top five recipes from different provinces:

Kinilaw with mayonnaise recipe

IDavao Recipes

Davao is a place known for being rich in tuna. The town of General Santos City is the country’s Tuna Capital. Tourists and locals love the tuna because it is very delicious and cheap. The kinilaw recipe here is a simple version compared to other recipes. 

With Gata Recipe

Gata or coconut cream is also perfect for Kinilaw na Tuna. If you prefer eating something very creamy, this is the perfect recipe you are looking for. Gata or Coconut cream will give extra creaminess to our simple Kinilaw na tuna dish.

With Cucumber Recipe

Kinilaw na Tuna with Cucumber is just simply refreshing. Cucumber gives extra flavor and a crunchy feeling every bite. This combination is unbelievably perfect!

Bisaya Style Recipe

Bisayan cuisine is one of a kind. The island of Visayas has a little bit of everything, from desert to seafood. Roxas City is the seafood capital of the Visaya Region. This province also has its authentic recipe of Kinilaw na Tuna.

Trivia about this Tuna Recipe

Did you know that this dish was introduced by the Spanish colonizers? Kinilaw is most often associated with the South American ceviche. The origin theory for ceviche is that a group of Moorish people may have brought to Peru who had accompanied Spanish colonizers. 

Two thousand years ago, people used salt to ferment fish. Later on, the locals of Peru may have moved to the Spaniards’ use of citrus fruits. Years after, Spaniards colonized the Philippines and introduced our ceviche. In the Philippines, vinegar is the ceviche’s primary souring agent, distinctly different from Peru’s ceviche.

Troubleshooting for these Recipes

To avoid ruining your dish too much, here are some of the certain measures:

  • If the Kinilaw smells very fishy, rub with some salt and then rinse the tuna with water. 
  • To get rid of the unpleasant aroma soak the fish in the milk for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse. You don’t need to measure every single ingredient, trust your instincts.

Tips for Cooking these Recipes

The best thing about Kinilaw na Tuna is that you will not cook it literally, you will just simply mix and combine every ingredient together. Here are some tips to make this recipe perfect.

  • Use good quality tuna, fresh tuna is always the best.
  • Always look for a slightly translucent appearance with firm flesh of tuna. Also, the gills of the tuna should be bright red.
  • Cook the fresh tuna immediately, but if you need to cook it the next day make sure to top them off with a couple more ice.
  • If you want to achieve a nicely firm tuna on the outside but still tender and moist inside, let it sit for not more than 10 minutes.
  • Always keep the marinating process short.

Better Serve With

To highlight its taste, texture, and flavor, here are some of the best partners of this recipe. 

Photo Credits to ATPB
  • Beer (Serbesa) – in the Philippines is more flavorful than other beers in Asia. It helps eliminate fishy taste.
  • Rice – Filipinos can’t eat without rice! It is the most common staple food in the country
  • Chicken Dynamite Lumpia – It is filled with ground pork wrapped in a thin crepe-like wrapper that is then deep-fried and served with a dipping sauce.
  • Calamares – It is deep fried squid’s ring coated with breading and flour usually dipped with spicy vinegar.
  • Chicharon Bulaklak – or Fried pork mesentery marinated with vinegar or calamansi.
  • Papaitan – It is a stew dish that is made from the Bile with seasonings and various spices. 


This dish is a mirror of the Filipino culture and history. It has unexpected flavors that you may want to try. You can make this recipe at home whenever you want because the ingredients are very easy to find. You could also serve this dish any time of the day.

I bet that even if you’re not born in the Philippines, you will surely love this dish because it’s easy and quick to make. You could never go wrong with this dish. 

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

kinilaw na tuna on a bowl with chopped red chili on top
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Best Kinilaw Na Tuna Recipe

This is considered as Philippine's sushi but in a different way. Kinilaw is only cooked using vinegar, served with lots of ginger, and best with any type of liquor.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Seafood Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 279kcal
Cost $5-20


  • 1 kg Tuna Boneless, cut into cubes and cleaned
  • 1/4 cup Cayenne pepper chopped
  • 3/4 cup Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Calamansi juice
  • 2 pcs Green chili cut into thin rounds
  • 1 tsp Sugar


  • In a large bowl, pour in half of the vinegar then add the sliced tuna. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, remove the tuna meat from the bowl and squeeze it to remove the excess vinegar.
  • Now transfer the tuna cubes into another bowl and season it with cayenne pepper, remaining vinegar, salt, ground black pepper, calamansi juice, sugar, and ginger. Mix well and top it with green chili. Serve with your choice of liquor and enjoy!


Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 916mg | Potassium: 763mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6295IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 5mg
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