Dinuguan or also known as chocolate meat is a savory dish made with diced pork, pork blood, and spices. Hearty and boldly-flavored, this classic Filipino pork stew is delicious as a main meal with steamed rice or as a midday snack with puto.
I usually make my dinuguan with pork along with other offal cuts, but since I was able to pique G's curiosity enough to give the dish a try, I used only pork belly in this recipe to pare down the fear factor.
He already has to wrestle with the idea of eating pork blood and to add bits and pieces of ears and intestines into the mix might be too much for the poor guy to handle in one sitting.
What is Dinuguan
Dinuguan , which comes from the root word dugo (meaning "blood"), is a savory Filipino stew made of bite-sized pork cooked in pig's blood, vinegar, and spices including garlic, onions, and chili peppers.
Along with choice pork cuts, it also traditionally includes a variety of offal such as ears, intestines, heart, lungs, and kidneys. While pork is the most popular, other versions also use chicken or beef.
Fondly referred to as "chocolate meat", the pork blood stew is also called tid tad in Kapampangan region, sinugaok in Batangas, dinardaraan in the Ilocos area, dugo dugo in Cebuano, and tinumis in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija provinces.
It's commonly served as a main meal with steamed rice or as a midday snack with a side of puto rice cakes to dip and soak up the delicious gravy.
Tips on How to Cook Pork Dinuguan
- I use vinegar in this recipe, but I've tried versions that use tamarind, kamias or tomato sauce instead. Regardless of what you choose to use, these acids serve the same purpose. Along with adding the necessary touch of sourness to the dish, they also keep the blood from curdling. Make sure to stir about one or two tablespoons of the vinegar in the pork's blood before adding to the stew to ensure a smooth, deep brown sauce.
- Allow the vinegar to boil uncovered and without stirring for a few minutes to cook off the strong acid taste.
- No need to thicken the gravy! The protein albumin in the blood coagulates with heat application and will act as a natural thickener.
- The brown sugar added during the last few minutes of cooking might seem out of place in this rich, savory dish but it does help balance the flavors.
Enjoyed this recipe? You might also want to try Batchoy Tagalog which is made of coagulated blood, miswa noodles, and chili leaves. So hearty and delicious!
- 10 ounces pork blood
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 thumb-size ginger (about 1 tablespoon), peeled and minced
- 2 pounds pork belly, cut into ½-inch strips
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 finger chilies (siling haba)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine pig's blood and about 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Stir well.
- In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook until softened.
- Add pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
- Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered and without stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly reduced.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and continue to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until meat is tender.
- Add pork blood, stirring to disperse and prevent lumps.
- Add brown sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Add chili peppers.
- Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with rice or puto.