Dinuguan comes from the word dugo, or blood. It’s funny that I should be posting this recipe at this moment just after posting an entry in the Sassy Lawyer’s Journal about the economic agenda of Bush’s visit on October. Madugo.
This dish is so named bacause the sauce is made with the blood of a freshly-slaughtered pig. Traditionally cooked using a mixture of pork belly meat and pork entrails, my version should make the not-too-adventurous less squeamish. This is a very delicious dish, really. I can only ask that for those reading about dinuguan for the first time, try it first before passing judgment.
I am reminded of a British cookbook author who, during an extensive trip to Japan, became so enamoured of Japanese cuisine (yes, raw fish and raw fish eggs mostly) that he ended up devoting an entire section in his book about Japanese food and encouraging his fellow Britons to try it first before deciding that it was no good.
I should be saying the same about dinuguan.
The blood of freshly-slaughtered pig is available in local wet markets. In Antipolo where we live, the butcher gives it for free with the purchase of meat.
1 k. of pork belly, cut into 1″ x 2″ pieces
350 g. of pork liver
4 c. of pig’s blood
3 chili peppers (siling haba)
1 head of garlic, crushed and minced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
3 onions, halved and sliced thinly
1 pouch of sinigang mix good for 1 liter of broth
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. of cooking oil
Cooking procedure :
Refrigerate the pig’s blood until needed.
Heat a heavy casserole. Pour in the cooking oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add the garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant. Add the pork pieces and cook over high heat until the edges of the pork start to brown. Add the onions, chili peppers, bay leaf and sinigang mix and continue cooking until the onions are transparent. Season with salt and pepper, if using. Pour in just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the pork is very tender. Add more water, a little at a time, if the liquid dries up before the pork is cooked.
Meanwhile, minced the liver. Season with a little salt.
When the pork is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, take the pig’s blood out of the refrigerator. Transfer to a clean bowl. With you hands, mash solid masses to a pulp. Pour the mashed blood and the liquid into the casserole. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add the minced liver and cook for another minute or two. Add more salt if necessary.
Serve the dinuguan hot with puto (sweet rice cakes) or steamed rice.