Dinakdakan is a grilled pig's head parts (e.g. ear, nape, face) and offal (e.g. tongue, liver, intestines) blended with pig's brain. It is a very popular dish in Ilocos regions. For the Ilocanos, this Dinakdakan dish is an epitome when it comes to "finger food" (pulutan) to accompany beer, liquor, wine, or cocktail drinks. It is a very authentic dish and hundred percent (100%) Filipino.
The fact that Dinakdakan uses brain as a cream sauce to add flavor to the dish and uses boiling and grilling to prepare it would make you wonder how old the recipes is. The Austronesians, in early period of Philippine history, used simple cooking methods like broiling, boiling, roasting, and grilling to prepare their foods. Austronesian speaking people were believed, based on the study of the evolution of languages, to have come from Yunnan Plateau in China by the use of balangays, a type of wooden watercraft that sails in the sea, or from Taiwan by means of traversing bridges circa 4000–2000 BC. It was believed that the Austronesians pushed the Negritos, earlier migrants, into the mountains when they settle in the region Cagayan valley of Northern Luzon where most of their early tools were excavated. These Austronesians who once migrated in the island of the Philippines was the ancestors of present-day Filipinos. It was not known when is the exact date of origin of Dinakdakan but the method of cooking suggest it's very old. Even the name of the dish is not a pure Ilocano word. It could be that Dinakdakan was an Austronesian word in origin. It could be that this authentic Filipino recipe was handed to us, from generation to generation, by our early ancestors.
Dinakdakan is indeed a great recipe. Even an international chef like Alexius Padillo would agree (comment #19) to its greatness. Variations of this great recipe comes into play when instead of grilling the pig's head parts and offal, you deep fry it; when instead of using the pig's brain, you use mayonnaise; when instead of using citrus fruit juice or vinegar, you omit it; when instead of not using ginger, you add this herbal root to it. To me all these variations are great because it test one's culinary skills, particularly the innovative ways of cooking or trying to develop a recipe in accordance to one's district taste and availability of ingredients. For example here in Los Angeles, I would prefer using mayonnaise because it is readily available in the grocery market rather spending a lot of time trying to find the pig's brain. It's alright with me because, personally, I already have tasted the dish using the pig's brain but for others who haven't, they try to use their resourcefulness to find the pig's brain to have a real taste to it.
Here is Los Angeles, this dish is starting to get recognized. In Goldilacks in Eagle Rock Plaza, Dinakdakan was on their menu recently. Island Pacific, a popular Filipino supermarket here in Los Angeles, made a YouTube video on how to make Dinakdakan.
Photo below: Well done grilled dinakdakan (ear, tongue, liver)
Photo below: Medium grilled dinakdakan (ear, face, tongue)
Photo below: Pulpog Recipe @ comment #7 & #8
Pork’s parts of your choice:
- ear (preferrred)
- nape or batok in Filipino (preferrred)
- small intestine
Onion; thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Calamansi or lemon juice or vinegar
Pig's brain; boiled
Dinakdakan Cooking Instructions:
Parboil pig's parts. Strain and broil or grill. Slice into 1” long by 1/4” thick (or your desired sizes), then place in a large bowl. Mix the slices of onion and boiled brain. Balance seasoning with calamansi juice, salt and pepper according to taste.
If pork's brain is not enough or not available, you may use mayonnaise as a substitute.
Boil the brain in vinegar and same vinegar that you will use in the recipe.
For Pulpog recipe, marinate meat in soy sauce and calamansi before grilling. Also, better to choose pork's part with no much fat.
Leave a Comment:
Naimas talaga ti Dinakdakan as I remember, ni aping ko minong is best cooked I ever knew.
sisig-may soy sauce
pwedeng isarabasab mo na lang sa apoy sa stove mo just to taste like inihaw
pag saute-mamantika,di na masyado hahalo at didikit ang utak
saan ka nga lumakay kidaytoy nga putahe,lakay
yaw yu pinaka mananam...yogad version.....champion
try mo to girl kung wala ka grill(pagtunuan) pakuluan mo yung pork face lagyan mo ng bawang at asin kapag malampot na drain mo muna punasan mo ng tissue..iprito mo hangang maging crispy ang skin..then iwain mo ng manipis ythen lagyan mo ng kalamansi at sibuyas at luya.kung ayaw mo ng utak ng baboy mayonaise na lang gamitin mo timplain mo na lang ng asin at paminta..try niyo din to guys twist ng dinakdakan..
You can use liempo and why not...but it's no longer called dinakdakan but "PULPOG". I have tasted one in La Union province. They use the grilled buttocks (puwit) and tail of the pork (baboy) as the meat.
Naimas latta lakay basta adda partner na nga San Miguel!