How to Make Filipino-Style Ceviche (Kinilaw)

Updated on May 29, 2020
Edwin Alcantara profile image

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Filipino-style ceviche is known as kinilaw or kilawin
Filipino-style ceviche is known as kinilaw or kilawin
5 stars from 1 rating of Filipino-Style Ceviche (Kinilaw)

Ceviche From the Philippines

If you like raw fish, then you've probably tried Spanish ceviche or Hawaiian poke. But have you ever tried the Filipino-style dish called kinilaw or kilawin? The distinguishing feature of this dish is the use of vinegar instead of citrus, like limes. Give this dish a try—it's very simple and easy to make!

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 pound fish of your choice, cubed
  • 1 cup Datu Puti vinegar, available at Asian stores
  • 2 thumbs (about 4 inches) ginger, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the salt, in a bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  3. Transfer to a serving dish and season with salt as needed.


  • Type of vinegar: If you can't find Datu Puti brand vinegar, you can use any type of vinegar desired.
  • Citrus option: Rather than vinegar (or in addition), you can use citrus such as limes, lemons, or calamansi (a round green or orange lime that's available at Asian stores).
  • Chili peppers: Use any type of chili peppers (or omit entirely if you prefer).
  • Sugar: The sugar is optional; it can be omitted.
  • Type of fish: For this dish, we Filipinos commonly use tuna, mackerel, swordfish, and milkfish (aka "bangus" in Tagalog).
  • Garnish: Top with your favorite garnish before serving.

Datu Puti Vinegar

Datu Puti Cane Vinegar (Sukang Maasim)- 33.81 fl. oz.
Datu Puti Cane Vinegar (Sukang Maasim)- 33.81 fl. oz.
This is a very strong Filipino white vinegar made from sugar cane that is commonly used in the local cuisine. In Tagalog, white is "puti." The vinegar was named after Datu Puti, who, according to Filipino folklore, was a leader of 10 chiefs or "datus" from Borneo. He fled to the Philippines in the year 1250 to escape the tyrannical rule of Datu Makatunaw.


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    • Edwin Alcantara profile imageAUTHOR

      Edwin Alcantara 

      4 weeks ago from California

      I couldn't agree more. Thanks.

    • Jack Burton profile image

      Jack Burton 

      5 weeks ago from The Midwest

      Always happy to get back to the Philippines and enjoy the fresh seafood. It's basically right from the ocean to the dinner table at my mother-in-law's home. Kinilaw so fresh you can almost hear the ocean waves in the plate. Mmmmmm......


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