Pork Blood Stew (Dinuguan)

Anthony Bourdain has awarded the gold medal to the Philippines in the “Hierarchy of Pork” category.  The Filipinos definitely have a talent when it comes to cooking pork, whether it’s the standard meat parts or the various innards.  The star of this recipe is pork blood.  This is the first time I have cooked this dish and it is definitely a challenge but I give myself a 9 out of 10.  I had a chance to let O” and S”, my foodie neighbors/friends taste it but I had a feeling that I had to let them try the dish before I told them what was in it.  Like with most recipes I tend to look for different recipes of the same dish so that I can pick and choose what methods and ingredients I liked and use the combination to arrive to my desired results. 

Here are the ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds pork picnic (trimmed of as much fat as possible) cut into small cubes (substitute with pork ham if you like)

1 1/2 cups broth – made from simmering pork

1/2 pound pork liver – cut into small cubes

1/2 cup to 5 cups vinegar – depending on your taste ( I think I ended up using close to 5 cups)

4 cups pig’s blood

3 long chili peppers

1 head garlic – crushed and minced

1 onion, 5 shallots  – sliced thinly

1 thumb sized ginger – minced

4 bay leaves

3 tbsp fish sauce


ground black pepper

1 teaspoon sucralose

1 tbsp cooking oil

Sweat out the unwanted pork smell by heating a pan with very high heat ( don’t use oil), stir fry the pork until all sides are no longer red, you will notice that the unpleasant “pork/gamey” smell has left/vanished into the air, add water to cover the pork and simmer for 30 minutes to allow pork to tenderize, separate pork from broth and keep both.

Heat oil, add ginnger, sautee a couple minutes, add garlic, sautee 2 minutes, add onions, sautee until onions are almost transparent

Add pork, liver, bay leaves, fish sauce, sautee for 5 minutes

Add vinegar, bring to boil without stirring, lower heat and simmer uncovered until most liquid has evaporated

Add broth, simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in blood ( I learned the hard way that the I should’ve processed the blood in a blender first to avoid clumps of blood – I had to pick the clumps out later to process them) and sucralose ( next time, I will try it without sweetener)

Add chili pepper and cook five minutes more.

This is the point where the dish becomes either just something to eat or something that is an “experience“.  I wanted this dish to “punch” me with flavor!  I kept adding vinegar until it had just the right amount of “tang” which is alot.  I honestly had to drive to the store in the middle of cooking becuase I ran out of vinegar.  In this case, I ended up using a not so hot pepper so I kept adding ground pepper until it was spicy enough.  I however, don’t like this dish salty (I don’t like anything too salty) so I’m careful in adding salt or fish sauce.  I think my dish ended up being a little sweeter than I wanted because I used two teaspoons of sucralose.  But overall, I was very happy with it.  I might delete the liver in the future.  I’m used to eating this dish with intestines in it so this is already g-rated (so to speak) as it is.  I am starting to shy away from intestines and tripe.  I had some steamed quinoa to go along with the dinuguan.  You should definitely eat this with a grain like brown rice or quinoa.   So what did “O” and “S” think, considering that they are “westerners” and not Filipino? They loved it!  “S” was happy I didn’t tell her that it was made out of pig’s blood before she tried it because she admitted she might not have otherwise tasted.  So there you have it…would you consider this a paradigm shift?  How applicable is this to the rest of our lives? just a thought..till next time…take care and always – think outside the box! 



One Response to “Pork Blood Stew (Dinuguan)”

  1. fortheloveoflovetalesofahopefulromantic Says:

    From S:

    This dish was good. I enjoyed the flavor. It was truly an experience. Until…

    Once you told me the contents, I confess my stomach did a little turn and then with each bite I couldn’t help but think of the blood and innards I was ingesting. I didn’t eat more than a few bites after that and that got me thinking. If you hadn’t told me, I would likely have finished the bowl. What does that say about me?

    I like to think I am adventerous. And as the daughter of an Irish mama, liver and onions were certainly part of our food repertoire growing up. Then again, the Irish aren’t known for their wild cuisine even though I love love love it.

    I will end this by saying I am excited to have tried it. And I look forward to more recipes by Mark.

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