Kilawen kalding
Alternative namesKilawen, kinilaw, ata ata, kappukan
Place of originPhilippines
Region or stateIlocos region
Serving temperatureRoom temperature, cold
Main ingredientsMeat, palm vinegar, calamansi, onion, ginger, salt, black pepper
VariationsGoat, beef, carabao, pork, fish
Similar dishesDinakdakan, pinapaitan, sisig

Kilawin is a Filipino dish of chopped or sliced meats, poultry, seafood, or vegetables typically eaten as an appetizer before a meal, or as finger food with alcoholic drinks.[1]

Kilawin is commonly associated with the Ilocano dish "kilawen a kalding" (Tagalog: kilawing kambing), lightly grilled goat meat traditionally eaten with papaít, a bittering agent usually of bile or chyme extracted from the internal organs of the animal.[2][3][4]

However, for Ilocanos "kilawen" is an intransitive verb for food preparation that encompasses all raw and lightly cooked or cured foods including dishes that would be described as kinilaw.[5] Meanwhile, non-Ilocano Filipinos often refer to kilawin only to meats those that are cooked similar to adobo or paksiw.[1][6]


The Ilocano term kilawen is a cognate to other dishes of similar origin. Filipino: "kilaw" (or "quilao") and Hiligaynon: "hilao" meaning "to eat (raw)" also include cognates such as kinilaw, kilayen, kinilnat, kulao, kulawo, kelaguen.[6]

Pre-colonial Filipinos often ate their foods raw or rare. Meats, including fish, were typically rinsed or cured in vinegar.[7] Later, the Spanish compared these kilaw dishes similar to adobo. Pedro de San Buenaventura selected the word “adobo” in the 16th century for kilaw which was a mixture of salt, palm vinegar, and chili pepper into which was put meat until it was tenderized.[8]


Beef, carabao, chicken, fish, goat, pork (or boar), shellfish, and venison are used for kilawin.[8][9] Historically, the meats were cured in vinegar prior to consumption.[10] In contemporary times, the meats can be lightly cooked, typically grilled, before dressing it with vinegar.[11] In place of vinegar, citrus juice from lemons, limes, calamansi can also be used. Onions (or shallots) and ginger are some other popular additions. It may additionally be spiced with pepper or chili.[8][12]

Dinakdakan has similar preparations to other cooked kilawin.[13] Insarabsab is similar to dinakdakan sans pork brain.[14] Another Ilocano kilawin dish is known as ata-ata or kappukan made with rare beef or carabao according to the Glossary of Filipino Food.

Among the Kapampangan people, kilayin uses fully cooked pork, heart, liver, and tripe.[15] A similar dish in Cavite uses fully boiled pig ears known as kulao or kilawin na tainga ng baboy, or tokwa't baboy when mixed with fried tofu cubes.[16] Modern variants of this dish use soy sauce in addition to the other ingredients.[17]


In the late 1960s, kilawin consumption of the gudgeon fish contributed to the intestinal capillariasis epidemic where there were 1,884 cases and 110 deaths.[18]

See also


  1. ^ a b Yusof, S.; Zhao, Y.; Quah, J.; Eu, C. E. Ernest; Wang, L. M. (January 1, 2020). "Amoebic toxic megacolon with poly-helminthic coinfection: Case presentation and review of intestinal polyparasitic infections". International Journal of Surgery Case Reports. 71: 151–154. doi:10.1016/j.ijscr.2020.04.032. ISSN 2210-2612. PMC 7251492. PMID 32450374.
  2. ^ Elena Peña (June 24, 2016). "Wow! Kinilaw". The Philippine Star. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  3. ^ Foronda Jr, Marcelino A (1993). "Regional culture as part of Philippine national culture" (PDF). Transactions National Academy of Science Techno. 15: 55-63. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  4. ^ Alejandro, Reynaldo G. (December 8, 2015). Food of the Philippines. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4629-0545-4. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  5. ^ Golangco, Lauren (February 17, 2022). "Do You Know the Difference Between Kinilaw and Kilawin?". Tatler Asia. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  6. ^ a b "History of Kinilaw". Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  7. ^ Banzuelo, Neil (August 11, 2021). "So, what were we eating before Magellan came?". BusinessWorld Online. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c Alvaro Limos, Mario (April 15, 2019). "Filipinos Were Eating Adobo Before The Spaniards Came, Says Spanish Culinary Scientist". Yummy PH. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  9. ^ Zialcita, Fernando N. (2000). "Why Insist on an Asian Flavor?". Philippine Studies. 48 (4): 523–548. ISSN 0031-7837. JSTOR 42634425. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  10. ^ Fenix, Michaela (October 2, 2017). Country Cooking: Philippine Regional Cuisines. Anvil Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-971-27-3044-3.
  11. ^ Arnaldo, Steph (February 1, 2023). "Kain na! Must-try Filipino dishes at Maginhawa's Provenciano". Rappler. Retrieved February 27, 2023.
  12. ^ Garcia, Joseph L. (June 22, 2022). "Learning about Cavite cuisine through the Tres Marias". BusinessWorld Online. Retrieved February 27, 2023.
  13. ^ Angeles, Mira (June 28, 2016). "Dinakdakan Recipe". Yummy PH. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  14. ^ "Insarabsab Recipe". Knorr. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  15. ^ "Recipe: Pork Kilayin". ABS-CBN. August 25, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2023.
  16. ^ "Kilawing Tokawa't Baboy". FoodRecap. September 24, 2001. Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  17. ^ "Kulao". Lutong Cavite. January 28, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  18. ^ Cross, J H (April 1992). "Intestinal capillariasis". Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 5 (2): 120–129. doi:10.1128/CMR.5.2.120. ISSN 0893-8512. PMC 358231. PMID 1576584.