Papaitan / Pinapaitan Recipe

Papaitan is one of the famous dishes of the Ilocanos which consist of different goat or beef innards such as tripe, liver, kidney, intestine, pancreas, and heart. Originally, the goat innards were used for this dish but because of the introduction of cooking variation and substitution, beef innards were also used used.

It was believed that this dish already existed among the Ilocanos before the coming of the Spaniards. History tells that the Spaniards were not much successful in their conquest of Ilocos region and because of this, they were not able to teach the Ilocanos most of their ways of cooking. The Ilocanos were the first ethic group to revolt against the Spanish rule in the Philippines, declaring Pedro Almazan as their "apo" or supreme leader. Series of Ilocano revolts followed under the leadership of Diego Silang and his famous wife, Gabriela. Papaitan, therefore, is one of the most authentic Filipino recipes long before Spain colonized the Philippines.

Papaitan  / Pinapaitan Photo

Papaitan Ingredients

  • 1/2 kilo following beef innards; cut in 1" cube
    • tripe
    • liver
    • kidney
    • heart
    • pancreas
    • intestines
  • 1 cup beef tenderloin; cut in 1/2" cubes
  • 1/4 cup bile
  • 1 onion; minced
  • 4 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1 head ginger; minced
  • 1/4 cup onion leaves
  • 5 Philippine bird's eye peppers (siling labuyo)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fish sauce

Ingredients for cleaning and boiling the innards

  • 1 lemon; sliced(optional)
  • 8 kalamansi; sliced (optional)
  • Banana leaves (optional)
  • 1 ginger root; crushed

Papaitan Cooking Instructions

  1. Wash and mash the raw innards with salt and banana leaves to get rid of the odor.
  2. When cleaned, boil in a large kettle with ginger and lemon or kalamasi until tender. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes/lengths. Set aside.
  3. Saute ginger, garlic, and onion. When onion appears translucent, drop the beef innards.
  4. Spice with salt and pepper and continue sautéing until enough broth comes out from the innards. Pour enough water to cover the mixture.
  5. Bring to a boil and then drop the beef tenderloin. Stew the mixture until cooked, then drop the siling labuyo.
  6. Add bile little by little, drop by drop, (be careful not to over bitter taste) and adjust seasoning with fish sauce according to taste.
  7. Serve hot in a bowl and garnish with chopped onion leaves.

Cooking Tips

  • To make it healthy and if you have the time, cook the papaitan long before you intend to serve. Let it cool, then refrigerate. All the fat will solidify, and you can easily scrape it from the surface. The taste will not change, it will even improve as the meat and all the condiments will have blended so well in the broth already.
  • Stewing the mixture in low fire for long hours until it becomes yellowish in color will bring the best result.
  • Calamansi juice will further enhance the taste. And if you want a stronger pepper aroma but not the spice, put some chopped siling haba.