Kapampangan Kilayin is a pork and liver stew cooked in vinegar and spices. It’s nutritious, flavorful, and pairs well with steamed rice.
Ok, folks, I promised you plenty of delicious meal ideas from my last month’s trip to the Philippines and after my mom’s special ginataang seafood, Kapampangan-style kilawin is next up in our line up of new recipes.
It was my favorite growing up and I’m excited it to add to our collection of pork stew recipes on the blog such menudo, pininyahang baboy, and guisantes. Organ meat is not for everyone, but one taste and this dish would be a dinner winner!
Similar to the Ilocano’s igado, kilayin is a classic Pampanga delicacy wherein diced pork and organ meats are marinated and cooked in vinegar and spices until tender and full-flavored.
Like adobo and most foods cooked in vinegar, it is a popular baon or packed lunch for students, workers, or travelers as it keeps well without refrigeration. In fact, Kapampangans will swear by the stew tasting better after a day or two.
Pork lung alternative
Along with pork shoulder, liver, and heart, minced pork lung is also a primary ingredient in this stew. Unfortunately, all animal lungs are banned from U.S. markets as an edible product. Here are other options to use.
- Substitute ground beef and brown in the skillet, breaking apart with the back of a spoon, until no longer pink.
- Replace with pork heart. Mince using a knife and cook until lightly browned.
- Cut the meat in uniform size to ensure even cooking.
- Do not marinate for too long as the acids in the vinegar might break down the protein fibers and make the meat mushy. Plan for thirty minutes to an hour.
- When added to the pan, give the vinegar a few minutes to boil uncovered and without stirring to cook off the strong acid taste.
- As with most Filipino stews, kilayin can be cooked on the saucy side or until almost dry and begins to render fat.
- The recipe below uses pork shoulder; feel free to swap with pork ham if you for leaner meat or belly if you prefer a fattier cut.
- Pepper is a major flavor component in the stew. For best results, use freshly-ground and season the dish liberally.
- Kilayin is traditionally served as a main dish for lunch or dinner with steamed rice.
- It’s a great make-ahead dish and best enjoyed the day after when flavors have begun to meld.
- Due to the food preserving benefit of cooking in vinegar and salt, it’s said to last well at room temperature. However, I highly suggest keeping in the refrigerator for longer, safe storage.
- Reheat leftovers to an internal temperature of 165 F. Since the quality decreases each time food is reheated, it’s best to reheat only the amount needed.
- 1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch strips
- 1 pound liver, cut into 1-inch strips
- 1 piece pork heart, cut into 1-inch strips
- 1 cup vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 pound pork lung, minced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- In one bowl, combine pork and 1/2 cup of the vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Marinate for about 30 minutes.
- In another bowl, combine the liver, heart, the remaining 1/2 cup of the vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Marinate for about 30 minutes.
- After marinating, drain pork from marinade and squeeze excess liquid. Reserve marinade.
- Drain liver and heart from marinade and squeeze excess liquid. Reserve marinade.
- In a pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
- Add minced lung and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and sizzling.
- Add pork and cook until lightly browned.
- Add fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add reserved vinegar marinade and bring to a boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Lower heat, cover and cook until pork is tender.
- Add liver and heart and continue to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until cooked through and sauce is reduced. Serve hot.