Kilawin is a Philippine exotic delicacy in which the main ingredient is raw fish or meat marinated in vinegar, pepper, chili (preferably siling labuyo), chopped onions, and garlic and either cooked or served fresh without cooking. Other souring agents like calamansi juice may be used in place of vinegar.
The root word "kilaw" probably comes from the word hilaw, meaning "raw." It is a common dish found in almost every part of the Philippine archipelago. It has been around since at least the 10th century, an excavation revealing remains of cooking ingredients in Butuan City suggests.
The Ilocano version, called kilawen, has the addition of papait (bitter bile juice). In nearby La Union and Pangasinan, there is a version known a "jumping salad" consisting of live shrimps eaten with a sprinkle of calamansi juice.
In the Visayas, it is called kinilaw and the meat, seafood and vegetables in the dish are entirely raw or soured with vinegar or fruit juice. Coconut milk may be used in some recipes.
Among the Tagalogs, a popular main ingredient choice for kilawin is fresh dilis. This may be prepared using the following recipe.
- 1 half kilo of dilis
- Chopped siling labuyo, garlic, onions, and pepper (adjust the amounts according to your preference)
- Clean the dilis by washing with running water and removing the head and innards.
- Put in a serving bowl
- Mix vinegar, and the onions, garlic, siling labuyo, and pepper.
- Pour the concoction onto the fish and mix gently so that the fish will not be damaged.
- Leave the preparation for 20 minutes so that the concoction will seep into the fish meat.
Segismundo, Myrna D. "Cooking Classics: Kinilaw: Serve it Fresh, Serve it Raw." In FOOD Magazine, February 2003, pp. 20-21.