LASA’s red snapper kinilaw with plums and lemon cucumbers

Written by

In the Philippines, kinilaw is a traditional dish that can be made using raw seafood or meat. The ingredients vary from region to region but the process is similar to preparing ceviche. Native vinegars, calmansi and other sour fruit juices are used to break down the protein fibers in a process that “cooks” the ingredients called denaturing.

Chef Chad Valencia of LASA, a weekly pop-up in Unit 120 in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, briefly cures his red snapper fillets in a mixture of salt, sugar and lemon zest. He then seasons the slices of snapper, fresh plums and lemon cucumbers with a drizzle of shallot-infused Ilocano vinegar made from sugarcane to bring out the subtle sweetness of the fish. To finish his “Pinoy-California” red snapper kinilaw, Valencia adds a few dabs of fermented Fresno chile pepper purée and crispy shallots.