Kinilaw na Isda(Spicy Tuna Salad)

The key to a superb kinilaw, in my opinion having a fresh fish, good native coconut vinegar, tomatoes, onions, ginger, salt, coconut milk (if using), chillies and a citrus source of acid. I have had the kinilaw that has used tabon-tabon as well, and while equally delicious, I am not sure why one would try to remove the fishy odour from a fish that was just recently alive, and by definition, should have no fishy odour at all. At any rate, here is how to replicate the dish that we made during the eyeball. This includes every single step we took so that you can’t accuse me of leaving out any trade secrets… If you want to do it exactly as we did, you will have to start by crafting this wildly wonderful, 18-inch diameter glass bowl (totally optional, btw) by freezing some water at the base of a bowl, then adding another bowl and filling the first one with water while weighing down the second bowl. We have a huge chest freezer at the office so we got to experiment with this and ended up with wonderful ice bowls for the buffet… that is a “Marketman touch” and I won’t bore you with the details of how to get the ice less cloudy (boil the water, twice) and how long the bowl might last (several hours), etc., etc. 🙂


  • 1 lbs of fresh tuna filet
  • 1 med onion
  • 1 med ginger
  • 3 or more chillies (red)
  • 1 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 10 calamansi or 2 lemons


  1. After deboning, slice the Tuna in small cube filets.
  2. Wash the tuna and after that try to pat the tuna till nearly all moisture is removed from the tuna.
  3. Next is you have to take a bowl and put sliced tuna and add the coconut vinegar mix it well and put it in the refrigerator or in a cool area (1-2 hours just as you want until the fish turns a little white)
  4. Then squeeze off the vinegar from the fish. Mix ginger, onions, lemon or calamansi, chilli peppers, chopped lettuce veggies.
  5. Mix the coconut milk and a tablespoon of fresh coconut vinegar.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.