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31 August 2011

Dinuguan (Blood Stew)

I am a bit selective about eating Dinuguan. It's because one of the primary ingredient involves blood, and I want to be sure it was handled and cooked properly. Which is why I go for the home-cooked meal. There were instances, however, when I get my Dinuguan fix from the Red Ribbon Bakeshop in Manila. Strange that a bakeshop actually sells Dinuguan, but it's really good. So they're the exception. I like having their Dinuguan, which they serve with a piece of fresh siling pangsigang (green finger pepper). I cut the pepper open, scrape off the seeds, then cut the flesh into small pieces to go with my rice and Dinuguan.

To the uninitiated, Dinuguan might sound like it's something out of this TV show where contestants eat extraordinary (and sometimes live!) stuff.  But the use of blood in food is also not so strange here in New Zealand, where there is something called blood sausage or black pudding.  In fact, I was amused to hear that some locals have taken a liking to Dinuguan and would in fact look for it in Filipino celebrations!

When we made this recipe, we did not have green finger pepper on hand. It gives a bit of "bite" to this dish, and have incorporated the addition of the sili into the recipe.

1/2 kg pork (with fat), diced
cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 pieces long green pepper
1 small tumbler pig's blood (see photo with tablespoon at right for size comparison)

Place the pork pieces and spread flat on a pan and pour enough water to submerge.  Cook over medium heat.  Mix occasionally to cook all sides.  When it starts releasing its own oil, set aside.  Add cooking oil to the pan and saute the onion and garlic.  Then return the pork pieces and cook til lightly browned.

If your pan is shallow, consider transferring the pork to a pot before continuing.

Add the vinegar.  Do not mix and leave uncovered.  When it starts to boil, lower the heat and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Add the pork blood and mix non-stop for about ten minutes or until the blood thickens and becomes brownish in colour.  Do not stop mixing lest the blood congeals.

Add the sugar and mix, then and  finger peppers.  Do not crush or chop, as it can make the dish too spicy.  Cook for a couple more minutes.

Serve hot with rice, or with puto!