One favorite appetizer, pulutan, or even viand among Filipinos is kinilaw or kilawin. In English, this dish of treating raw proteins using vinegar is called ceviche. Here, I am sharing with you my boneless dilis kinilaw recipe, also known as anchovy ceviche. I finished this off with my homemade salted eggs. So nice, fresh, and crisp and most of the nutrients of the fish are preserved. Read more.
Growing Up with Dilis Kinilaw
When I was a child, my mother would often buy fresh dilis from the walking fish vendor who would pass by the house with fresh catch. She would call out “Isda! Isda!” and my mother would call after her. We would buy the freshest fish as well as some other seafood like shrimps and squid. Then prepare them immediately as our viand for lunch or dinner.
Nanay would cook paksiw, sinigang, pinirito, escabeche, cardillo, or yes, kinilaw, depending on the kind of fish that was available for the day. Then we would wait for Tatay to come home from work so that we can have dinner together. Read: Why Family Meals are Important
In our household, however, hubby does not eat a lot of fish. His choices in the kind of fish, as well as the cooking preparations, are limited. However, he eats a lot when the fish is prepared as kinilaw. He loves dilis (anchovy), tuna, or even shrimp ceviche.
We don’t often prepare this at home because our cook does not really have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen for dishes that require several procedures. But it is actually very gratifying to make as well as satisfying for the tummy.
Without further ado, here is my boneless dilis kinilaw recipe.
Boneless Dilis Kinilaw Recipe (Anchovy Ceviche Recipe)
You can create many dishes with dilis (anchovy), however, it is also very good when prepared as ceviche.
The fish is naturally flavorful but it has a nice texture that holds even if you debone it. The fresher the fish, the better.
Despite the size, anchovies are a very nutritious fish. It contains many vitamins and minerals that provide major health benefits. They are best known as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote brain as well as heart health.
Moreover, anchovies also have selenium that, if eaten regularly, may reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
Will divide this recipe into several chapters from marinating to the actual presentation.
- 250 grams Fresh anchovies (dilis)
- Vinegar (coconut or cane vinegar)
- Ginger, sliced into strips
- 1 onion, sliced into strips
- Spicy vinegar
- Green onions, sliced
- Salted eggs (optional), sliced into cubes
- 1 Tbsp. Tao sio (salted black beans, optional)
- Green mangoes (optional), sliced into slivers
- Pancit-pancitan leaves (optional)*
*Read more about pancit-pancitan in this blog.
Important Note: If you like tomatoes in your salad, you may add the green ones that are crisp. If you use the ripe red tomatoes, your kinilaw will become soggy.
There will be several parts to preparing this boneless dilis kinilaw recipe. So you cannot have this if you only have 30 minutes to prepare for lunch.
Cleaning and Deboning
- Wash the fish in water and drain.
- Prepare 2 bowls. Put about 1/2 cup vinegar and salt in them. Mix well until the salt is dissolved. Place the drained dilis in one bowl. Let it stay there for at least 10 minutes.
- After marinating in the vinegar for some time, you will notice that the fish meat will start to become translucent white.
- Now, you can start deboning. Pick each fish one by one. Gently remove the head. Hold each fish with your thumb on the back and the pointing finger on its tummy. Press firmly and the fish will just kind of pop open.
- Pry each fish open and pull the bone from the top to the tail. It will be easily removed.
- Place the deboned fish in the new bowl. Repeat with the rest of the fish. Do you find it boring? Nah… I actually find it therapeutic.
- Soak the fish in the vinegar and salt solution for another 30 minutes.
- Slice your ginger, onions, and chilis. Prepare the rest of your ingredients.
- Take out your new bowl, which could already be your serving bowl. Mix about 1/2 cup spicy vinegar or apple cider vinegar with 1/2 tsp salt. Make sure that the salt is dissolved. Taste the vinaigrette if the salt is enough. If not, you need to add some more, taking into consideration that you will add the fish and the vegetables in there.
- Drain the vinegar from the fish and gently press into the fish to remove excess vinegar. This process cleans the fish and removes the slimy and fishy feel and smell.
- Place the drained fish into the new bowl with the vinegar mixture. Add the vegetables and toss. If the mixture is too dry, add more vinegar and a bit of salt.
Tip: We use Suka Pinakurat because it is already flavorful. For us, the spicier the better.