The sutukil remains a must-have treat when in Cebu

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By KC Santos

CEBU CITY, CEBU- A visit to Cebu will not be complete without tasting the popular sutukil, a favorite dish of both Cebuanos and tourists.

Sutukil is a combination of sugba which means grilled, tuwa which means simmered or stewed and kilaw, which means raw. The lapu-lapu is often used as the primary ingredient for sutukil.

The sinugba’s great taste can be attributed to the freshness of the fish. The tinuwa is best when simmered with onions, tomatoes and the fragrant tanglad, while kinilaw is best prepared with diced onions, strips of ginger, tomatoes and vinegar.

Filipino overseas often write about their cravings of the sinugba citing its unique taste.

Those who are not big fans of the tinuwa find a combination of sinugba and kinilaw a good alternative. In his blog, Panlasang Pinoy wrote that the combination of the sinugba and the kinilaw called sinuglaw is equally satisfying even without the tinuwa.

The tinuwa, however, remains hard to resist for blogger rapsa especially if the panga ng tuna is used. The meaty quality of the tuna makes the soup richer and tastier.

Kinilaw, meanwhile, is fairly common in the Philippines.  Robyn Eckhardt, in his blog Eating Asia, wrote: “The balance of sour, spicy, and fruity (from the kalamansi) in this dish – not to mention the sparkling freshness of the fish…I could have eaten the whole bowlful, had I been left alone in the room with it.”

The sutukil is not only famous as a food fare but also as an appetizer or pulutan. The many restaurants serving the dish only affirm that sutukil will always be a unique Filipino favorite.

(Photo taken from

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