dinengdeng with tinapa [repost with new photos]

I prefer my dinengdengs plain and simple, if I could. I mean, just vegetables, without the usual or even required meat or fish sagpaw (add on). I like it all natural, the all-vegetable savor, aroma and all the goodness (vitamins and nutrients and all) there is, organic and all those hypes of being home-grown and cultivated without commercial fertilizers or pesticides, whatever organic means. I'm no vegan, I'm just used to it since childhood, raised in a poor farming community where vegetables is a staple as rice. I'm not used to a meat or fish diet because meat in those days, even fish, is a luxury. We only slaughter our native chickens, pigs, or goats on rare occasions. And I was taught by my mother and grandmother not to crave or indulge on naimas a masida (ulam, viand), whenever we have a chicken for lunch or dinner, my mother will only cook the bony parts for tinola, the meaty parts she sets aside to be grilled or fried for the next days as a sagpaw for dinengdengs. The same is true with fish, fresh or dried, some pieces like fish head will always be set aside to act as sagpaw to give savor to the broth of the dinengdeng. Typically Ilokano. And I just love being called kuripot with it, I don't care.

And so with tinapa, particularly tinapa a galunggong which is my favorite, fried with kamatis and bugguong plus lasona for a dip...

..with which is just perfect as a sagpaw for dinengdeng like this--uggot ken sabong karabasa, sabong ken bunga ti kabatiti, and kalunay:

The smoky scent and flavor of the tinapa blends so well with the rawness of the veggies and the fragrance of the bugguong, fusing as if magically, to yield a uniquely tasty smoky broth, like what miraculously happened to this dinengdeng--utong, okra, kalunay, marunggay, talinum:

And my favorite pair: ginisa a kamatis with fried tinapa, what else?

And here are more:

Now, where's my rice?


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More dinengdengs:


  1. ..simple ilocano dish common to the table..it represent the very frugal way of life the ilokanos known for... "sabi ng iba, kumakain daw ng damo.." luckily, the "saluyot" is now known throughout the country, and even abroad for its medicianl value...

  2. I live in the boondocks of southwestern USA [with stints in HI and NYC]. And I don't know if you realize the satisfaction AND torture you affect these many miles away by your posts! [satisfaction at being reminded of the dishes i grew up with, frustration and torture at being reminded of the dishes i grew up with AND CANNOT obtain!!!] I was born ilocano and will definitely die ilokano notwithstanding the western/US affectations we've now adopted ;-).

    Oh, and i love the iluko-ingles approach to your posts as they help me NOT forget my mother tongue. good work!


    r. pasion

  3. How To make Those?????? My Goodness Yoi Made Me Crazy With Those Dinenden.I Can Get Those Vegetables Here In TexaS In A MexicanOr Chinese Store.