Top 6 Fish To Use For Kinilaw That Will Make Your Taste Buds Dance

Spread the love
Kinilaw is a ceviche-style dish that originated in the Philippines. It consists of raw fish marinated in vinegar and citrus juices, mixed with onion, chili peppers, ginger, and other seasonings. Kinilaw is known for its tangy and refreshing flavor that makes it a perfect appetizer or main course. The key to making an excellent kinilaw lies in choosing high-quality and fresh seafood. Here are the top 6 fish to use for kinilaw that will make your taste buds dance:

1. Tuna – prized for its firm texture and mild flavor.

2. Tanigue (Spanish mackerel) – similar to tuna but has more fat content.

3. Lapu-Lapu (grouper) – meaty white flesh with a subtle sweet taste.

4. Dilis (anchovy) – small oily fish packed with intense umami flavor.

5. Bangus (milkfish) – tender white meat that pairs well with sour ingredients.

6. Tamban (herring) – versatile fish that can be used for both smoked and fresh kinilaw dishes.

“Kinilaw is not just any ordinary Pinoy food fare;” -Emily Medrano, author of “Kinilaw: Philippine Ceviche. “
Whether you’re a fan of seafood or not, trying out these different types of fish in your kinilaw recipe will surely leave you wanting more mouth-watering servings!


When it comes to Kinilaw, one of the most popular fish choices is Tuna. This type of fish has a firm texture and mild flavor that pairs well with the tangy and acidic marinade used in kinilaw.

To make a delicious Tuna kinilaw, it’s important to use fresh, high-quality tuna that has been properly handled and stored. As with any seafood dish, freshness is key for both taste and safety reasons.

In addition to its great taste and texture, Tuna also offers several health benefits. It’s an excellent source of protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12 and D, as well as minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

There are different types of Tuna available that vary in size and taste. The most commonly used species for kinilaw include Yellowfin (Ahi), Skipjack (Katsuo), Bluefin (Hon Maguro) or Albacore (Tombo). Each type offers something unique in terms of taste and texture so feel free to experiment until you find your favorite!

If you’re unable to get fresh Tuna or prefer not to use raw fish in your dishes, you can also try using cooked Tuna instead. Simply sear or grill the fish before adding it to the marinade.

Ultimately, the best fish to use for Kinilaw comes down to personal preference. Whether you choose to go with Tuna or another type of fish depends on what tastes good to you. Regardless of which variety you select though, having fresh ingredients is always essential for making a delicious Kinilaw!

Yellowfin or skipjack are ideal due to their firm texture and mild flavor.

Kinilaw, a popular dish from the Philippines, is a raw seafood salad that’s similar to ceviche. The marinade used in kinilaw is typically made of vinegar (usually coconut vinegar), citrus juices (often calamansi juice), onions, ginger, garlic, chilies, salt, and pepper.

The most important ingredient in this dish is the fish. In general, any type of fresh and high-quality fish can be used for kinilaw. However, yellowfin tuna or skipjack tuna are considered to be the best options because they have a relatively firmer texture compared to other types of fish like bangus or tilapia which may fall apart when mixed with the acidic marinade.

It’s crucial to use sushi-grade fish for kinilaw since it will not only ensure that your ingredients are safe to eat but also make sure that you’re consuming premium quality fish straight from the sea.

The traditional way of preparing kinilaw involves thinly slicing raw fish into bite-sized pieces before marinating them in vinegar sauce. Some serve it as an appetizer while others enjoy it as a main course by pairing it with rice or bread.

No matter what kind of occasion it serves at – whether on special occasions like fiestas or just for casual get-togethers – choosing the best-tasting fish plays a significant role in making this delightful Philippine delicacy more enjoyable!


One of the best fish to use for kinilaw is Tanigue. This fish has a firm, meaty flesh that works well with the acidity of the vinegar in the dish.

When selecting Tanigue, it’s important to choose fresh fish with clear eyes and shiny skin. The gills should also be bright red and free from any slime or foul odor.

To prepare Tanigue for kinilaw, first remove the scales and gut the fish. Rinse it thoroughly under cold running water before filleting. Cut the fillets into bite-sized pieces and place them in a glass bowl.

Kinilaw is all about balancing flavors – sourness from vinegar, sweetness from palm sugar, saltiness from sea salt, and a hint of spice from chili peppers.

Add chopped onions, ginger, garlic, and green chilies to the bowl of Tanigue. Pour in enough white vinegar to cover the fish completely, then add a pinch of sea salt and a teaspoon of palm sugar. Mix everything together well and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Overall, using Tanigue as your main ingredient for kinilaw will bring out all its wonderful flavors and make this dish even more delicious!

Also known as Spanish mackerel, this fish has a delicate flavor that complements the acidity of the vinegar marinade.

If you’re wondering what type of fish to use for kinilaw, consider using Spanish mackerel. This species is commonly used in Filipino cuisine and is a great option for raw seafood dishes like kinilaw. The tender flesh of Spanish mackerel has a mild and slightly sweet taste, making it an excellent choice to pair with the tangy flavors of vinegar and citrus juices.

To make your kinilaw with Spanish mackerel, begin by marinating the thinly sliced fish in a mixture of white vinegar, calamansi juice (a type of Filipino lime), garlic, onions, tomatoes, chili peppers, salt, and pepper. Allow the fish to sit in this acidic marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour before serving.

Another reason why Spanish mackerel is such a popular choice for kinilaw is its firm texture that holds up well even when soaking in the marinade. It provides just enough resistance when eaten yet still melts on the mouth without being too chewy or tough.

“Using fresh ingredients are essential for achieving optimal results for any dish including Kinilaw. Freshly caught fish ensures that there are no added preservatives and retain most nutrients. “

In summary, if you want your kinilaw recipe to have subtle hints of sweetness while keeping its meatiness balanced after soaked in vinegars; choosing Spanish Mackerel should be one worth considering especially because they add nutrition factor due to their packed state full of Omega-3 Fatty. ”


When it comes to kinilaw, one of the best fishes to use is Lapu-Lapu. Also known as grouper, this fish is commonly found in Philippine waters and is known for its firm texture and mild flavor. Its meat is also white and flaky, making it perfect for dishes like kinilaw.

To make a delicious kinilaw using Lapu-Lapu, you first need to prepare your ingredients. This includes fresh Lapu-Lapu fillets, vinegar, onions, ginger, tomatoes, calamansi juice, salt, pepper, and chili peppers if you want some heat. In a bowl or container, mix all the ingredients together with the Lapu-Lapu fillets and let it marinate for at least an hour before serving.

Aside from being a delicious ingredient for kinilaw, Lapu-Lapu is also popular in Filipino cuisine because of its versatility in cooking. It can be fried or grilled as well and can go well with various sauces and spices depending on what you prefer.

“The unique combination of flavors that come together in kinilaw makes it a staple dish not just here in the Philippines but around the world. “

If you’re looking to explore more seafood options for your next kinilaw dish aside from Lapu-Lapu, other great choices include tuna, bangus (milkfish), tanigue (Spanish mackerel), talaba (oysters) and many more.

No matter what fish you choose to use for your kinilaw recipe though always make sure they are fresh so that their flavors will shine through perfectly in every bite!

Grouper fish is perfect for those who prefer a meatier and sweeter taste.

When it comes to Kinilaw, the type of fish used can make or break the dish. Grouper fish makes for an excellent choice as it provides a meaty texture with a sweet flavor that complements well with the acidic ingredients in Kinilaw.

Grouper fish belongs to the Serranidae family, which includes more than 400 species of sea basses found in the tropical waters around the world. This variety allows you to choose different grouper species depending on your location and preference, but all are known for their delicious taste and superior quality that makes them a top pick among seafood lovers.

To prepare grouper kinilaw, first, you need to ensure its freshness by smelling it before cutting into cubes. Next, marinate it in vinegar mixed with salt and other seasonings based on personal preferences such as onions, garlic, ginger or chilies. Letting it rest chilled between thirty minutes up to three hours will result in flavors fully infused into each cube of the fish while preserving its natural sweetness.

Remember always to utilize fresh ingredients when cooking Kinilaw to maximize the flavor potential of this famous raw-fish delicacy.

In summary: If you want a little bit more texture without dealing with bone issues (because grouper has larger flakes) yet still keep extraordinary taste notes and balance for your kinilaw recipe then look no further than one of these varieties of groupers routinely caught from local seas or available via online shops including strawberry hind (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus), coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus), humpback red snapper (Lutjanus gibbus) just name a few. Happy cooking!


When it comes to Kinilaw, one of the top fish choices is Tangigue or Spanish mackerel. It has a firm and meaty texture that holds up well when marinated in vinegar and spices.

Not only does Tangigue taste great in Kinilaw, but it’s also known for its high nutritional value. This fish species is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to maintaining heart health.

To prepare Tangigue for Kinilaw, start by cleaning and filleting the fish. Then cut it into bite-sized cubes and add fresh calamansi juice, onions, ginger, salt, pepper, and chili peppers according to personal preference.

Pro Tip: Make sure to use fresh ingredients when making Kinilaw with Tangigue to bring out the optimal flavor!

As with any type of raw fish dish like Kinilaw, be mindful of food safety practices. Ensure that all utensils and surfaces used during preparation are clean and free from contamination before handling the fish

With its unique flavor profile and significant nutritional value, Tangigue makes an excellent option for those looking for an impressive seafood addition to their next kinilaw party!

Kingfish or wahoo has a slightly oily texture that can hold up well with the acidity of the marinade.

Kinilaw is a traditional Filipino dish that involves cooking raw fish in vinegar and citrus juice. The key to making a delicious kinilaw lies in choosing the right type of fresh fish, which should have firm flesh and mild flavor to absorb all the flavors of the marinade properly.

When it comes to selecting fish for kinilaw, Kingfish or Wahoo are two great choices due to their slightly oily texture, which makes them an ideal pairing with vinegar-based marinades. These fishes also have firm flesh, which reduces your chances of breaking off during preparation and serving.

In addition to Kingfish or Wahoo, you may also use tuna, swordfish, yellowtail snapper, mahi-mahi, or squid as alternatives for kinilaw meat selection. These seafood options come under the category of white-fleshed fishes commonly used in Philippines’ culinary culture.

No matter what type of fish you choose for Kinilaw, make sure it’s fresh from reputable sources such as trustworthy fishmongers who store their products correctly. Using stale or low-grade seafood can spoil your recipe taste and put you at risk for foodborne illnesses like scombroid poisoning.

To conclude this guide on “What Fish To Use For Kinilaw, ” remember that proper care must be taken when de-boning fillets before marinating because small bones may still pose a choking hazard even after been coated with acidic dishes. So always check twice!


If you’re looking for a small fish to use in kinilaw, dilis is a great option. Also known as anchovies, they are readily available and affordable throughout the Philippines.

To prepare them for kinilaw, simply clean them well by removing their heads, scales, and innards. Then slice them thinly and marinate them in vinegar with chopped onions, ginger, chili peppers, and salt to taste. You can also add diced tomatoes or cucumbers for additional flavor.

Some people prefer to lightly fry their dilis before adding the marinade to give it a crispy texture that contrasts well with the sourness of the vinegar. This is entirely up to your personal preference but most commonly served raw.

It’s important to always choose fresh seafood when making any kind of raw dish like kinilaw since there’s no cooking process involved that will kill any potential bacteria.

When purchasing dilis from markets or supermarkets make sure it has clear eyes free of cloudiness and firm moist flesh. Dilis makes an excellent alternative to other types of popular fish used in Kinilaw such as Tanique (Surgeonfish), Tuna, Milkfish etc…

In summary dilis is cheap and accessible fish perfect choice for anyone who wants delicious and easy-to-prepare kinilaw at home.

Small Anchovies are Perfect for Those Who Want a More Pungent Flavor in Their Kinilaw

Kinilaw is a Filipino dish that consists of diced raw fish mixed with vinegar, onions, ginger, chili peppers, and other seasoning ingredients. The acidity of the vinegar “cooks” or pickles the fish and gives it a unique tangy flavor. Filipinos have been making kinilaw for centuries as it’s an excellent way to enjoy fresh seafood.

One crucial factor when preparing kinilaw is choosing the right type of fish. Some popular options include tuna, tanigue (Spanish mackerel), lapu-lapu (grouper), and bangus (milkfish). These types of fish are considered ideal because they’re firm and meaty fishes that can hold up well against the strong flavors of the marinade.

But what about those who want something more pungent? Small anchovies could be your answer! Although these tiny fishes require extra effort in cleaning their bones before being used in kinilaw, they give you a distinctively flavorful result that’s perfect for people looking for stronger tastes. Many Filipinos prefer using small anchovies over larger ones like sardines since smaller anchovies’ taste can penetrate the flesh better due to its size.

“Anchovies provide depth and saltiness to dishes, ” said Chef Beejay Faidiban from ‘Chopped Sweets. ‘ Adding “Filipino cuisine often highlights contrasting flavors – sweet vs. salty; sour vs. rich. ”

In conclusion, there are many types of fish you can use when preparing kinilaw; however, if you’re looking into exploring bolder flavor profiles- opt for small anchovies when selecting which seafood to use in this delightful dish!


When it comes to kinilaw, one of the best fish options is Bangus or Milkfish. This type of fish has a mild and delicate flavor that pairs well with the tangy and sour taste of vinegar used in kinilaw.

Bangus is also readily available in the Philippines as it is considered one of the national fishes. It can be bought fresh from wet markets or supermarkets, making it convenient to prepare for any occasion.

To prepare Bangus for kinilaw, it’s recommended to remove its head and entrails first before filleting it. The skin should also be removed to achieve a smooth texture when marinating in vinegar.

Tip: Use only fresh ingredients and high-quality vinegar when preparing Kinilaw na Bangus to ensure a delicious and safe dish.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a traditional yet tasty option for your next kinilaw dish, consider using Banugs as your primary ingredient. With proper preparation methods and quality ingredients, you’ll surely impress your guests with this classic Filipino delicacy.

Milkfish is a popular choice for kinilaw due to its mild and buttery flavor.

Kinilaw, a traditional Filipino dish, involves marinating raw fish in vinegar or citrus juice along with onions, ginger, peppers, and other seasonings. The acid in the marinade “cooks” the fish without heat while infusing it with flavors.

The milkfish’s delicate yet flavorful meat makes it an excellent candidate for kinilaw. This oily and sweet-tasting fish also pairs well with tangy lime or calamansi juice which adds another layer of flavor to the dish. Additionally, it has tender flesh that soaks up the marinade quickly making the preparation fuss-free.

Other fishes such as tuna, tilapia, or even squid can also be used for kinilaw depending on one’s preference. However, their taste may vary slightly from each other because of differences in texture and oil content.

“Milkfish is commonly used among Filipinos when preparing Kinilaw. Its delectable white meat comes off easily from bones when eaten raw. ” – Philippine News Agency

In conclusion, if you’re looking to whip up a delicious batch of kinilaw at home or planning to introduce someone else into this refreshing delicacy- consider using milkfish! It is not only flavorful but easy to find fresh locally where available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best fish varieties to use for kinilaw?

The best fish varieties to use for kinilaw are those that are firm and have a mild and sweet flavor. Some examples include tanigue (Spanish mackerel), tuna, lapu-lapu (grouper), and bangus (milkfish). It’s important to use fresh fish for kinilaw to ensure the best taste and quality.

Can you use frozen fish for kinilaw?

While fresh fish is preferred for kinilaw, you can use frozen fish if fresh is not available. However, the texture and taste may not be as good as fresh fish. If using frozen fish, make sure to thaw it thoroughly before preparing and using it in kinilaw.

How should the fish be prepared before using it in kinilaw?

The fish should be cleaned and filleted, removing any bones and scales. Cut the fish into small cubes or thin slices, depending on your preference. Marinate the fish in vinegar and spices for at least 30 minutes before serving. Some people also prefer to lightly blanch the fish in boiling water before marinating to remove any fishy taste.

What other seafood can be used in kinilaw besides fish?

Other seafood that can be used in kinilaw include shrimp, squid, and shellfish such as oysters and clams. Make sure to use fresh seafood and adjust the marinating time accordingly, as different seafood may require different lengths of time to fully absorb the flavor of the vinegar and spices.

Is it necessary to use fresh fish for kinilaw or can canned or cured fish be used?

While fresh fish is preferred for kinilaw, canned or cured fish can also be used. However, the taste and texture may be different and may not be as good as fresh fish. If using canned or cured fish, make sure to drain and rinse it before using and adjust the marinating time accordingly.

What is the traditional way of preparing kinilaw using fish?

The traditional way of preparing kinilaw using fish is to marinate the cubed or sliced fish in vinegar, sliced onions, ginger, and red chili peppers. Some variations may also include coconut milk or calamansi juice. The fish is typically served cold as an appetizer or main dish. It’s important to use fresh and quality ingredients for the best taste and quality.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!