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How to Make Filipino-Style Oyster Ceviche (Kinilaw na Talaba)

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 oyster ceviche is known as kinilaw or kilawin na talaba.

Filipino-style oyster ceviche is known as kinilaw or kilawin na talaba.

Oyster Ceviche From the Philippines

Traditional ceviche is a Peruvian dish that consists of raw fish and lime juice. But different versions of ceviche exist in other former Spanish colonies, including in Latin America and the Philippines. You've probably tried Spanish ceviche. But have you ever tried the Filipino-style ceviche dish called kinilaw or kilawin?

The distinguishing feature of the Filipino version is the use of vinegar instead of citrus, like limes. Vinegar produces a more sour flavor than lime juice, which aligns with the Filipino love for sour, vinegar-based sauces and dishes.

Normally, this dish uses raw fish. But we also use other seafood such as oysters (talaba in Tagalog). Raw oysters are briny and slippery. But cooked oysters are firmer, custardy, and slightly sweet. Depending on your preferences, you can eat the oyster ceviche raw after marinating in vinegar, or you can boil it in the vinegar marinate to cook it first.

Either way, they both taste good to me. If you love ceviche and oysters like I do, then give this dish a try—it's very simple and easy to make!

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

15 min

15 min

4 servings


  • 1 cup shelled oysters, set aside the shells for later
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Datu Puti vinegar, available at Asian stores
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Make the marinade: In a bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic, jalapeños, and shallots.
  2. Add the raw oysters into the marinade and toss.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste.
  5. Place each oyster on an empty shell and serve.


  • 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: For a slightly sweeter flavor, add sugar.
  • Type of seafood: Instead of oysters, you can use fish. We Filipinos commonly use tuna, mackerel, swordfish, and milkfish (aka bangus in Tagalog).
  • Garnish: Top with your favorite garnish before serving.

Datu Puti Vinegar