Among local summer dishes by the beach, one of the most often served by local shores in even the smallest Philippine resorts is this dish, "Kinilaw na Tanigue" or what would globally be known as fish ceviche. It's a different way of cooking fish without heat, the acid in the vinegar (and calamansi juice if you add it like we do) starts a chemical process that slightly cooks the meat. This particular recipe of Kinilaw was given nods and praise in a home where it was served to some of the most revered chefs in Manila. The big key to the success of this is only preparing it in the minutes before your guests are ready to eat. Don't leave the fish swimming in vinegar before service. After the five minutes of acid cooking, the vinegar is strained and replaced with a wash of calamansi juice. See the step by step process in the gallery above and also below, the ingredients are listed:
"KINILAW NA TANIGUE" Long Jaw Mackerel Fish Ceviche
Serves 3 or 4 as appetizer
1 Fresh Tanigue slice about 1/2 kg. then cut into 3/4 inch cubes or diced slightly smaller
8 shallots /small onions sliced
4 finger chilies (sinigang chilies) sliced
42g of sliced ginger
30g of chopped spring onions/scallions
15g of sliced fresh kaffir lime leaves
8 calamansi for juice (Philippine lemons)
1/2 - 3/4 cup white vinegar (enough to submerge the fish, Silver Swan is preferred)
Small labuyo chilies only 1 or 2 tiny ones cut open and tossed in (optional).
Sea salt or rock salt
1. Begin with the fish and cut into four sections before dicing into 3/4 inch cubes, removing the skin and bones.
2. Begin chopping your vegetables and aromatics.
3. Squeeze the juice out of your calamansi lemons.
4. Prepare enough white vinegar to submerge your chopped fish.
5. Leave your fish in the vinegar for about 5-6 minutes. Don't serve like this.
6. Strain the vinegar (don't try to taste the leftover vinegar, throw it out).
7. Combine the vinegared fish with your aromatics and veggies.
8. Add salt as needed, a strong dash should be enough.
9. Add the calamansi juice, the citrus flavor will brighten the dish.
10. Add a little bit of new vinegar back in to season, about a tablespoon.
Garnish with a couple of whole small chilies to make it look pretty and serve!
ALSO READ: The Six Fix: Takeout Food Your Fave Stars Crave Before The Camera Starts Rolling
Photographs by the author assisted by homecook Ninfa Nochete