Kilawing Baboy at Labanos/ Filipino Pork and Radish Kilawin

This dish illustrates the simplicity of the Filipino saute. Many Filipino dishes start off with a basic “guisa”, a stir-fried base of aromatics that provides a foundation of flavor that compliments a wide range of ingredients, from seafood to meat and poultry, to vegetables, to noodles. This base, with some variation depending on the end result desired, is the same base upon which other flavors may be built. It can also be used by itself along with a couple of seasoning condiments such as soy sauce or fish sauce.

Kilawin is a dish that takes its primary flavor from vinegar. After the basic saute is done, the meat and vegetables are added, along with vinegar. The dish is finished with fresh grindings of black pepper. A touch of sweetness is desired by some, hence the optional brown sugar. Though sometimes used interchangeably with the other Filipino word “kinilaw”, a term that refers also to a dish often characterized by some component of sourness coming from limes, lemons or vinegar, “kilawin” more accurately typifies the cooked dish, as opposed to “kinilaw” which is usually made with raw ingredients, such as fish, shellfish or seaweed.

To make kilawin, you need

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (optional)
1 pound pork, cut into strips (a cut with a bit of fat is desirable here)
1/3-1/2 cup vinegar
3/4 pound daikon, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry until just beginning to turn color. Add onion and continue to saute until limp and translucent. Add tomatoes if using and cook, stirring frequently until tomatoes are cooked through. Add pork and vinegar and cook 10 minutes, decreasing heat to maintain a simmer. Add daikon and cook another 10 minutes or until completely cooked through but not soggy. Add brown sugar if using, and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Stir and cook an additional 5 minutes to meld flavors. Serve hot.


This dish can also be prepared without pork, making it a vegetarian dish. As such it is also a great accompaniment to grilled fish.
Instead of black pepper, chopped bird chilies can be used to provide the heat for this dish.

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    • armie

      this is one of my most loved filipino dishes… others find it odd coz labanos taste mapakla… i myself cant explain why did i liked it… all i know is that i cant wait to go back to philippines and have a taste of my dear mom’s kilawing labanos…

    • Daisy Juquiana

      I have my own version of Kilawing Baboy with Labanos. Being an Ilokano, we love to prepare kilawin. A well-known dish among Ilokanos is the “Dinakdakan” which is kilawing baboy with the pig’s brain para pampalapot (usually the ear part but I prefer the part with taba).

      In kilawing baboy with labanos, you have to boil the pork. After boiling, drain then mix with the grated labanos. Just add kalamansi extract (the best), pamintang durog, grated onion, and salt.

      It’s good as ulam and best for pulutan.

      Enjoy eating!

    • Vanj

      I’m from San Pedro, Laguna. Our family adore this dish. We have a slightly different version of the dish. We add pig’s blood then sinner it until 2/3 of the blood evaporates

    • blue

      I’m from San Pablo Laguna,my mom and dad also cook this in their own version, we call this viand, kilawin labanos. ingredients are labanos, pork,pig’s liver or you can use chicken balunbalunan and chicken liver but we prefer pig’s para d malansa khit pa lumamig…hehe vinegar,soysauce, sugar,konti lng,mas masarap matamis ng konti.reno or dinurog na liver ng baboy para mas maging malasa. pepper,garlic and onion… hmmmm yummy! sarap tlga nito! the best tlga to! thanx inay and tatay for this simple yet great dish! -proud to be pinoy!- cn