Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lenten Recipe: Kinilaw or Kilawin na Tuna

Featured Recipe: Kinilaw or Kilawin na Tuna
Created and prepared by: Ramon Gumapac
Cook at Island Pacific Supermarket

The featured recipe was created and prepared by veteran and seasoned cook, Ramon Gumapac. Ramon, a native of Batangas, has been cooking Filipino dishes for more than 15 years now. He is one of the cooks whipping up sumptuous native Filipino dishes at Island Pacific Supermarket.

WHEN someone mentions about the foods in the Philippines, "odd" usually comes to mind. Such perception is brought about by having Pinoy foods like the world-famous balut (fetal duck egg), adidas (chicken feet), isaw (chicken intestines kebab),  Dinuguan (Pork Blood Stew), and Kinilaw na Isda (Raw Tuna Salad).

To cook in "kinilaw" means to make the meat edible by soaking it in vinegar and adding salt and other spices when the meat becomes opaque in color. The vinegar acts as a cooking agent in this process.

The oddity of Filipino dishes to a foreigner's eye was also observed even during the Spanish period, as published in the book called the Philippine Food and Life narrated by Gilda Cordero Fernando. The book narrated an account where an Ilokano group were sailing along with the English crew of the navigator Thomas Cavendish's ship and "right after the [English]  sailors threw all the intestines of goat into the sea, the Ilokano assistants dived into the sea for these goat intestines so that they could prepare for their kilawin--- dipped or cooked in bile sauce or broth. The chronicler, who was ignorant of what the Filipinos were preparing, described the dish as "a disgusting mess."

The absence of refrigerators back in the olden days also pushed Filipinos to come up with a variety of ways to preserve their food; thus, coming up with the idea to marinate the meat in a vinegar solution . This is where the adobo, paksiw, sinigang, and kinilaw and many other Pinoy foods that are cooked in vinegar solution came about.

 Pork and beef can be used in making kinilaw, but for this week's issue we are sharing with you a recipe on kinilaw na tuna. Aside from being an ideal meatless dish, many  are fond of the  kinilaw na tuna because it is very simple to make and requires no use of heat.

Here for the enjoyment of our kababayans is the Kinilaw na Tuna.

Kinilaw Na Tuna
Prep Time: 30 mins
Soaking Time: 50 mins
Serves 2

1/4 kilo of yellow fin tuna fillets
a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapeño, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 c. of vinegar
salt and pepper

Wash the fillets and trim any remaining skin and bones. Cut into one-inch cubes. Place in a glass bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour in the vinegar and mix well. Cover loosely and chill for about one hour.
Drain the fish. Add the kalamansi juice, chili peppers, bell pepper, ginger and onion. Mix well and chill for another 20 minutes. Mix well and serve cold.

Note: When eating kinilaw, remember to eat each piece of fish with a few pieces of onions as well. It makes the experience of eating kinilaw really memorable.

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