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...


lauya/tinola a kamanokan

Lauya/tinola a kamanokan a nalaokan iti papaya ken bulong sili.

Now that the kamanokan (native free range chicken) is prepared (butchered, dressed, cut and cleaned), here's one most popular dish we can turn a kamanokan into a very savory and sumptuous soup: tinola or lauya with a variety of obligatory veggies like green papayas, sayote, tabungaw, kabatiti, etc. and various leaves of which sili, paria and marunggay are the most preferred.

These are the best cuts for lauya/tinola, the bony parts: head, feet, rib, back, wings (the testicles are here to make the soup even tastier):

First thing, sauté the chicken cuts in little cooking oil and lots of garlic, onions and ginger. Stir fry the meat in high heat until it turns brown and its natural oil oozes out and its distinct kamanokan aroma steaming and wafting garlicky and most of all gingerly. You can season and spice it at this juncture, add some salt or teaspoons of patis, a pinch of cracked black pepper. For a uniquely Ilokano zest and aroma, stir fry it with bugguong juice.

Done stir frying. The meat is melting with chicken and spicy goodness, its fragrance overwhelming the whole kitchen and its heavenly scent whiffing outside tantalizing neighbors' jealous noses. Now, pour in a couple of cup or so of water and season more to taste:

Let it simmer in moderate heat

Boil it for about an hour until the meat is tender enough and the soup a kind of thick. One way to check if the chicken is done is to see its feet,  the karaykay, if it's tender and soft and chewy. When cooking kamanokan, I boil it for over a couple of hours or more for it to render its intense aroma and flavor, adding more crushed ginger for a really spicy soup. For a thicker soup, you can opt to mash the liver into the broth.

And then, when the meat is tender enough, put in the veggies. In this particular lauya a manok, I added papaya, sili leaves and some sili fruit (aruy-oy a sili, siling-haba in Tagalog):

The soup will eventually turn golden or yellowish because of the chicken fat. As this one is boiled in ours, the soup is so insanely savory, tasty and spicy because of the ginger (I used native ginger here, and of course native garlic and onions (the Ilocos varieties)--all "native"!):

And here's it, the blessed tinola, the holy lauya a kamanokan in all it's glorious grace and goodness, the golden digo promising a divine providence, nay, an intervention, of gastronomic proportion:

My favorite tinola parts are here, all bony but the most tasty and delicious of all manok master pieces: ulo (sucking out the mata and the utek is not sacrilegious at all but religious), tengnged, payak, paragpag, kimmol, saka/karaykay...

The papaya is sweet, I prefer sligthly ripened papaya for most of my tinolas as I love the sweet pulpiness of the papaya. The sili leaves and fruit is just as aromatically good. Sometimes, I add but paria leaves just for the scandalously exquisite bitter soup it imparts to tease and please an Ilokano palate in me.


More on native chicken:


papait a naigisa iti itlog, papait omelette

Papait a naigisa sa nalaokan iti itlog.
What's good and delicious about papait, besides the popular salad it is usually known for or associated with? Of course it can be sauteed in onions and garlic and some tomatoes or in just plain soy and/or oyster sauce adobo-style; and it can be the bitter substitute of paria leaves in an inabraw, or in boiled beans (mongo, beans, cowpea, etc.). But what else?

Why, or course, it's perfect for an omelette! But this fact I only recently known and realized courtesy of a friend, Fidel Sambaoa of Anvil Publishing. I used to make an omelette with almost every edible leafy greens like that of marunggay, bilonak, pechay, paria, kalunay, kamotig, saluyot, etc. but I didn't yet try papait leaves.

Cultivated a "hybrid" a nagdadakkelan
a papait a kadawyan a mailaklako iti tiendaan.

First, I sauteed the papait in cooking oil, garlic and onions, stir frying it quickly in high heat with some salt and pepper:

For a ginisa a papait, this could have sufficed:

But I want a papait omelette, so here I am about to pour beaten egg:

Stir quickly and evenly in moderate heat, the egg cooks quickly:

And it's done!

As simple as this, my first papait omelette:

There's this distinct or should I say unique papait aroma that's now blended with the egg that makes this omelette kind of "exotic" and insanely palatable, the bitterness splendidly and subtly subdued rendering it deliciously sweet.

This culinary kind of master dish requires a lot of steamed rice. I spiked it more with some KBL (kamatis-bugguong-lasona) to enhance its bitterness that I adored in its salad state.


More papait dishes: