imbaliktad soup

Beef imbaliktad with soup.

Right, it's imbaliktad. And yes, it is, and it has, soup. Imbaliktad is usually dry--beef (or carabeef, or goat) tender loin, innards, tripe, cut into strips and sautéed in garlic, onions, ginger, peppercorns and then stir-fried briefly and quickly, pour in some pespes/pinespes ("intestine juice") for it's truly Ilokano bitter flavor, stir it a few times more,  and it's done. The meat should be tender, rare or medium rare, not tough, not overly done.

But it's equally good with a broth or soup, just like pinapaitan. The difference would be, that pinapaitan is cooked longer to soften/tenderize the meat and innards. Imbaliktad as it name implies is a quick fix, just a few stirring of the meat and innards in high heat to let the spices seep in in its raw meat sweet succulence. Imbaliktad with soup is, well, with soup, and it's done when its broth has boiled or bubbled in the process called "pers burek" (the time the boiling broth/soup has bubbled). Upon bubbling, it's done.

Let's do it. First off, cut the meat and innards into strips or bite size:

Boil or scald the pespes and strain it:

In a pan or a wok, sauté the garlic, onions and ginger in oil:

Then pour in the pespes:

Stir and simmer. Sautéing the pespes with the spices will make great flavor and aroma of the imbaliktad truly and uniquely the Ilokano way:

Add in water for the soup:

Boil and simmer:

Now, in the boiling broth, add in the meat and innards:

Stir, stir, stir until it boils and bubbles. This is the "pers burek." It's done. Put off fire:

See, it's real, it's really imbaliktad:

But with soup, see that golden soup, bitter but sweetish, and insanely fragrant:

Good while it's steaming hot, don't let it cool down, the soup is perfect for a hearty labay in your rice:




  1. Idi addaak pay diay pinas before nga nagabroadak agsisidaak ti imbaliktad, ngem idi nagbakasyonak 2001 ket nagluto ni Manang ko ti imbaliktad ket saan ko nga mairusok, siguro ti kabayag nga saanen nga maramramanan ket agbaliw ti pinagramanen ti daytoy nga makmakan... I have no against to this kind of dish, but probably because the use of the very strong scent of the papait that is mixed with it which makes me a little sick..(nauseous)..

  2. acquired taste ngamin a kunada, hehe! ngem optional met ti panangikabil iti papait wenno pespes. next time agawidka, kabsat, ket agpailasinkanto iti imbaliktad nga awan papaitna. thanks for your sharing! :-)

    1. nacaramanacon cadaguiti nadumaduma nga taraon ti entero nga lubong... awan maiyarig cadaguiti taraon ti Ilocano... pinapaitan is one of my favorites... awan ditoy New Jersey...but daguidiay gagayyem ko nga taga Washington State ket thoughtfully send me from time to time... makapatibker... ti biag nga agpayso

  3. This is a fantastic find. Which region or place in the Philippines can I find this? I would like to try.

  4. ^ I just read the title of your blog - this is from Ilocos then.

  5. So good to find this kind of cooking here, keep up the good blog-posting, thank you, love the imbaliktad of Ilocos.

  6. I would love to try this out! This looks like a perfect pair for plain rice and ice cold beer :)

  7. My family in Ilocos knows that I always look forward to eating pinapaitan everytime I go on vacation there. So they would go to the market very early in the morning to buy the ingredients. Nagimas, makapalinget!