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Kilawin na Isda- a Simple and Delicious Filipino Appetizer

Filipinos are known for food loving as the kitchen is the most important place in the house. Rice is commonly the main staple in the table along with meat and seafoods, our country was so blessed to have one of the longest coastline in the world and it is very evident because Philippines is compose of more than 7,100 island. Due to its natural environment, Philippines has become one main producer of sea foods, we are a major exporter of seafood product to other. Because our country was rich with different kind of sea products, the price of sea food or sea by products is so affordable compare with other country, I remember that during the time that I work in Alberta Canada I miss mussels so much that I have to buy a pack (250 grams) with a price of $ 25.00, in Philippines a kilo of mussels is only Php 30.00 ($0.75) and our mussels is freshly caught from the sea.
Seafood is a popular appetizer in Philippines, we usually grill fresh fish during drinking session, appetizer is locally known as Pulutan, it is a type of food and recipe that usually prepared during drinking session with family and kids. We usually prepare seafoods as our pulutan is among them is grilled bangus (Milkfish), Tilapia, Cat or Mudfish. Aside from grilled fish, we usually prepare Kilawin Isda, kilawin Isda is any kind of fish or seafoods eaten raw, the fish is being using the acidity of vinegar so it is very important to use newly caught fresh fish to avoid diarrhea and other intestinal disease, Kilawin is popular appetizer on Visayan province especially for fisherman, they usually prepare kilawin as they celebrate good harvest when fishing. Kilawin is comparable with Japanese sushi as it both use raw fish. I have here a recipe of Kilawin that you could always try, but please don’t try this recipe if you have a sensitive stomach to avoid abdominal sickness.
Ingredient for Kilawin :
1 kilogram Spanish Mackerel (Tanigue), slice into cube
100 grams Ginger, slice finely
200 grams of onion, slice finely
1 cup vinegar
¼ cup of calamansi juice
Salt to taste
Red bell pepper
1 small cucumber, slice into small cube
¼ cup Coconut milk (Optional)

How to Prepare Kilawin na Isda:

Cut and wash Tanigue, put into strainer to drain excess water, transfer in clean bowl, add vinegar and marinate for 15 minute then drain again using strainer. Transfer fish to a platter, and then add Calamansi juice, 3-4 tbsp vinegar, ¼ tsp of salt, ginger, onion, red bell pepper, cucumber and coconut milk (Optional). Let it stay and refrigerate for 30 minute. Kilawin na isda is best served with ice cold beer or any alcoholic beverages. Other kind of fish and sea foods such as Oyster can be also use alternately aside from tanigue.

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