Keeping things raw has great health benefits and on an equally important side note makes the host’s life very easy. The Philippines has a wonderful tradition of preparing raw food but still imbuing their recipes with wonderfully punchy flavours. Once again the world’s most exquisite lime the kalamansi comes to the fore. That tangy tartness adds a level of moreish complexity that makes the palate want to discover ever more. Another key difference to our esteemed friends from South America, is the addition of palm vinegar to this quasi-ceviche. The versatility of Kinilaw is remarkable. You could make a whole menu out of Kinilaw dishes which is indeed what we did when we created our Kinilaw & Buko pop up. Duck egg salad for the vegetarians, bitter melon medley for the vegans and even pork with chicharon for the purists.
Ask Chef Francis and he will explain that back in the Philippines, kinilaw goes with drinks. It directly translates to ‘eaten raw’. Now with the palm vinegar/ kalamansi combination with the addition of fresh chilli, onion and ginger- what do you get? Yes we agree.. The perfect result to balance out a good few rounds of drinks and create an appetite for further feasting. Culturally kinilaw is what bar snacks are to the British… an appetiser of sorts.
Naturally the focus tends to be on fish. At Rapsa we have given a Kinilaw makeover to oysters with avocado, prawns with papaya, Tuna with sesame and ginger, sea bream with mango and coconut and the excellent recent addition of avocado and heirloom tomatoes. You can have them neat sashimi style or add some jasmine rice garnished with our very own kamote sweet potato kanin asawa rice seasoning. The sweet potato is dehydrated into a delicious crumb…because why not?!
So for the sushi lovers- sashimi lovers, californian rollers’ and the nigiri superstars- kinilaw is the hybrid of fish, veg, spice and sticky steamed rice that you have been waiting for. In addition to looking for an excuse to have a couple and be a little social on a school night – again we have just the answer…
Chef Francis has created a platter combo of all the Kinilaw (tuna, sea bream, king prawn & avocado) with rice and 4 oysters for £40 or ten pounds a head for 4 people. Guaranteed to attract hordes of erstwhile sushi lovers that can have a healthy, delicious balanced raw meal with more bells & whistles then you could clad on a horse.
The Pinoy way is a way of joyous sharing and parties. Fortunately for you, you too can experience the joy of Kinilaw at home with remarkably little effort. Ingredients are all readily available and there are suitable alternatives for fresh kalamansi limes. (Because 8/10 people don’t know what a kalamansi is.. just yet) For the month of October and November, we are sharing our Pinoy ways with you in serving Kinilaw boards during happy hour on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays!
That is 5-8PM for those of you who didn’t know we serve 2 house cocktails for £12 every day of the week! We may be cheeky in encouraging you to step straight from the office into Rapsa@100 Hoxton- but we shan’t apologise because living in one of the most vibrant cities in the World..we work hard to play hard; And that means stepping out of one’s comfort zone into the World of a far away (yet accessible) World of new tastes and experiences. So a table for 4?
Kinilaw recipes to follow.. For now, you know where to find us!