Monday, July 18, 2011

Dinuguan: A Vampire’s Feast


Filipinos make use of anything and everything edible from a pig, that includes pig's blood. Let's begin your introduction to Filipino food ethnicity by delving into one of the most common, well loved, yet unimaginable way of cooking dinuguan (pork blood stew).

The term 'dinuguan' is derived from the Filipino word for blood (dugo). Because of the blood in the dish, it can be shocking to some, but it’s similar to the blood sausage in Europe or even the British black pudding made into a stew. The origins of dinuguan can be traced to that of melas zomos (black soup) which was an ancient Spartan dish that is similar in preparation and ingredients such as pork, vinegar and blood.

When I was a child, my mom and dad were ever so bold as to actually tell me what dinuguan was, which made me squirmish about eating this particular dish. However, as I grew older, I got braver, which got me curious and made me want to try dinuguan. Believe me, if you don’t know what’s in it, you’ll love it.

When preparing dinuguan, you have to get up early, preferably at the crack of dawn so as to get pigs' blood fresh from slaughter (the word alone gives me goose bumps). Its ingredients are the usual basic ingredients in making a common Filipino dish such as pork, pork liver, green finger chili, garlic and vinegar. This is served in most of the Filipino restaurants but I prefer eating my own home made dinuguan (not that I ever made this dish, I leave this particular one to the cook), because I want to be sure of its freshness. The way I like this dish to be made is cooking the blood until it curdles. Others make the sauce really thick. I have the cook put a lot of green finger chilis to make it spicy, I use lean pork and I have the cook put the liver during the last few minutes of simmering so it will still be tender. Dinuguan is served with puto, which is a native sweet sticky rice cake that complements the sometimes sour taste of the stew, or with steamed white rice. My sister’s children in the States love this and they call it brown rice because my sister mixes the dinuguan with their rice. Unlike our parents, my sister and I refrain from telling the kids what’s in the stew because we wouldn’t want to spoil a perfectly delicious dish with bad thoughts.

I often fantasize about having dinuguan for dinner with candle lights with none other than a famous vampire named Edward sitting in front of me, and I am Bella, lest he mistakes me for dinner instead.

No Response to "Dinuguan: A Vampire’s Feast"

Post a Comment