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How to Make Kilawin na Pugita: A Filipino-Inspired Appetizer

I am a chef on a luxury world cruise liner. I love to cook and write recipes that are inspired by foods from all over the world.

How to make kilawin na pugita

How to make kilawin na pugita

Kilawin is the term for a raw seafood dish in the Philippines. You could say it is like a Filipino version of the famous ceviche of South America. However, kilawin doesn't always refer to seafood that's completely raw. In the northern part of the Philippines, for example, the term commonly refers to lightly blanched or grilled meat.

Pugita is the Tagalog word for octopus. Kilawin na pugita, therefore, is lightly blanched (or grilled) octopus.

I would like to share my simple recipe for how to make this dish. It is commonly served as an appetizer, but it can also be part of the main meal.

Kilawin na pugita ingredients

Kilawin na pugita ingredients


  • 1/2 kilogram pugita (octopus), thinly sliced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 small tomatoes, sliced
  • Water, as needed
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


For Preparing:

  • 1 medium bowl
  • 1 large plate
  • chopping board
  • knife

For Cooking:

  • pot
  • tongs

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

8 min

18 min

3 servings


  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Add octopus, vinegar, and salt. Cook for at least 10 minutes, or until octopus is slightly tender.
  3. Remove octopus from the boiling water immediately. Set aside to let it cool.
  4. Prepare the ginger, onions, and tomatoes. Set aside.
  5. Slice the octopus into small pieces. Place it in a bowl.
  6. For the bowl with the octopus, add the ginger, onions, and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients.

Kilawin na Pugita Step-by-Step Procedure

Tips and Techniques

  • Serve kilawin na pugita as an appetizer or as a part of the main meal.
  • Pair this dish with your favorite ice cold alcoholic drink.
  • Drizzle a spicy vinegar to spice up the flavor.
  • Add chopped chilies for a little spicy kick.
  • Adjust the amount of the sliced tomatoes and onions if desired.
  • Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the octopus. The smaller the octopus, the shorter the cooking time.
  • In a larger octopus, the tenderness of the various parts (e.g., tentacles vs. body) may vary.
Kilawin na pugita

Kilawin na pugita

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