dinengdeng, glorious dinengdeng!

I'm a typical Ilokano who can't live without dinengdeng, come share my passion...

various authentic, exotic, ilokano pinakbets

Concoction or variations of this kind of exotic Ilokano dish, of this ever ubiquitous vegetable stew...

sinanglaw? paksiw? which?

What do you prefer, Vigan-sinanglaw or Laoag-paksiw? What about pinapaitan and singkutsar?

unnok/ginukan, freshwater shellfish

Want some unnok soup or ginukan bugguong?

baradibud a tugi, lesser yam vegetable stew

Tugi, for some, is only meant to be boiled and eaten simply as is. But for me, it's an indispensable ingredient for yet another hearty Ilokano dish...


manen, idiay tiendaan, talipapa, merkado publiko, market (part 3)

More "marketing" escapades, just so to enjoy my market fascination, I see to it that I'm the one going out to the tiendaan or palengke, or go with someone, to buy the day's or week's supply of vegetables or meat or fish. Or if going places, I always satisfy my curiosity by going first to the public market or stop over at any roadside talipapa...
A potpourri of local veggies, Public Market, Iguig, Cagayan. 


ilocos empanadas: double double the gastronomic fun!

Empanada is simply a pride of the Ilocos. Be it in Ilocos Norte or Ilocos Sur. And be it Vigan and Laoag, and Batac, all Ilocos cities, for that matter. It's as if it defines what a truly Ilocos popular delicacy or merienda (snack) is all about. Besides even sinanglaw or paksiw or miki.
Empanada-Batac at Glory's Empanada, Batac City, Ilocos Norte.


kabatiti tops, flower and fruit dinengdeng

Just like karabasa, the fruit, leaves (tops, shoots) and flowers of kabatiti can be made, three-in-one, into a sumptuous dinengdeng. This is new to some, even to some self-confessed Ilokano dinengdeng connoisseurs. So it's really worth a try, to prove that it's really edible and palatable.

Kabatiti fruit, tops and flowers.


balikutsa, an ilokano candy

Balikutsa from Ilocos Sur.
Balikutsa (balicutsa) is uniquely Ilokano, an ultra sweet candy-like invention made from cooked, molten and sticky sugarcane mollasses stretched white and "curled." It's different from the more usual tagapulot which is brown (hardened muscovado molded in coconut shells) or the sticky palatipot (pulutipot). Sugar products all, which also shows and tells the sweet side of the Ilokanos which are known to be but lovers of pait (bitterness) what with their fondness of pinapaitan, paria, papait, etc.


paltat ken paria, native catfish and bitter melon leaves

Native paltat (catfish), the black ones (the other ones being "African" and/or "Taiwan" which now grows abundantly in fish caged or as "free range" in rivers), is great for the usual paksiw (stewed dry with vinegar or any preferred souring agent), sigang or inalseman (sour soup, with either kamatis, pias, salamagi, mangga, etc.), tinuno (grilled), or prito (fried). Native paltat is now kind of rare and so it's becoming a delicacy of sort.
Fried catfish and bitter melon leaves soup.
Here one palatable way to cook native a paltat, a recipe by my brother Gomer, a patneng nga Ilokano ("native" Ilokano) who's living in a Tagalog territory (Lemery, Batangas):
Native paltat, washed and ready to be cooked. 
Fry the paltat in oil until crisp. Remove fried paltat. Then put in crushed garlic and sliced onions into the frying pan with the excess oil. Sauté the garlic and onions until brown. Then add in sliced tomatoes and sauté it. Put back the fried paltat in the pan and add some water. Season with bugguong juice and simmer.
Just before putting off fire and serving, put in the paria leaves and blanch with the broth. Do not overcook the leaves.

So yummy and tasty with your rice!