Sinuglaw is a combination of two cooking methods which are commonly done in Visayas and Mindanao: from “sinugba” or grilled, referring to the grilled pork in the dish cut into chunks, and “kinilaw” or raw, referring to the raw fish or seafood soaked in coconut vinegar with onions, ginger, salt, suwa (native lime) and tabon-tabon fruit extract (native chico fruit).
Kinilaw is actually the main ingredient of sinuglaw, the grilled pieces of pork are just being added. This kind of dish is always present in any occasion especially during summer when families take time to go to the beach to unwind. It’s sour and salty, and also a little bit sweet; tastes that are very distinct and delicious as a whole.
I asked my father for the list of the main ingredients so I can make a bowl of sinuglaw anytime I want. There is no need to cook the ingredients; you simply mix all of them and leave the dish for a couple of minutes to give time for the raw fish to be half-cooked in vinegar. Add pepper and you’ll surely ask for more, as it is indeed a very good appetizer.
If you’re ever in the city of Cagayan de Oro, sinuglaw is one of the dishes you shouldn’t miss. The participants of Kumbira, a culinary show and live competition in the city, never forget to feature this delicacy every year. This has been a very popular dish for tourists who love eating authentic local food.