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...


dinengdeng nga uong, papait, kabatiti, patani, nasagpawan iti kaluit (kumukusay)

This particular dinengdeng might somewhat be a weird for some, but this is it, I've done it, just so to prove/show the versatility of the dinengdeng or an Ilokano way of preparing and presenting and designing available vegetables and pair or combine it with almost everything edible, palatable, tasty, easy.

And here's a dinengdeng with a shellfish called kaluit or kalwit (also called sikadsikad, maninikad, aninikad, kumukusay). This is the plicate conch (scientific name: Strombus labiatus) which is abundant along reef coastlines. Its shell is kind of hard and its "meat" wedged deep spirally inside its whorl and spire you have to use a "pick" like that of a pomelo thorn to gouge it out. Some just resort to cracking the shell and simply gather the meat and cook it in a savory soup. But like agurong, suso, leddeg, bisukol, picking/extracting out (sultop or tudok) the meat is a thing to enjoy. Cooking this shellfish is simply boiling it with the usual tomatoes, ginger, onions, lemon grass like that of the usual freshwater clams and mollusk.

But here, it graced my dinengdeng of uong (those are straw mushroom buttons), papait, patani, and kabatiti (what an unusual bunch!):

What a mix! The broth is so tasty, it brings forth the aroma of the sea, the reefs, the seaweeds, and the dinengdeng is heavenly, as it were, as  the kaluit essence is enhanced by the umami of the straw mushroom, the sweetness of the kabatiti, the starchiness of the patani, and the inevitable bittersweetness of the papait.

My rice, please!


More dinengdengs:

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pinakbet a nakaparparia

What makes an Ilokano pinakbet or a pinakbet preferred by Ilokanos is that it is ,and it should be with, and not just with, but full of, paria or bitter melon. Because the Ilokano is known by its food preference for pait or bitterness, the more a pinakbet has paria, the more it is a sumptuous and delightful feast of bitterness and saltiness (of the preferred condiment bugguong--salt-fermented fish and not shrimps, of course!).

I always like my pinakbet to be nakaparparia, nakapapait, full of this beloved Ilokano veggie fruit--the native and wild variety is a must, too, for more bitterness to be rendered, endured, and enjoyed.

This is my recent pinakbet a nakaparparia, as a proof of pinakbet concept and life, the patneng nga Ilokano way:

And here are the ingredients from which I designed this perfect, well, almost, vanity pinakbet:

These are freshly picked/harvested bitter goodies from my container garden. Ilocos species of a paria kind, not the native one, though, but a hybrid of sort.

Some of the obligatory and faithful paria company for a pinakbet: kamatis, tarong, okra, and utong. Sili is not available at the time. And of course no karabasa here ever as it's a no-no for an Ilokano pinakbet to have a karabasa (only Tagalog 'pakbet' variations, with an awkward shrimp paste, has it)

This is it, once again, the by-product:

And this here is my own labay, pardon my gluttony, but this is pinakbet with lots of paria, so, let me just indulge:

And pardon, this is me not bragging about an Ilokano gourmet food but me inviting you to "mangantayon, apo, pagan-anusan ti adda!" let's eat, folks!


More, about pinakbet:

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