Dinuguan is a pork blood stew basically made from blood, meat, and internal organs of pig. It was derived from the Tagalog term "dugo" which is translated as "blood".
There is no clear indication as to the origins of this dish. However, study of the Philippine cuisine shows that it was the Ilocanos who often cook exotic food made from offal during the pre-hispanic era. Ilocano dishes like the Papaitan, Dinakdakan, Singalaw, and Igado have similarities with Dinuguan as all the mentioned dishes use the innards of pig. The Ilocano version of Dinuguan is called Dinardaraan derived from the Ilocano word, "dara" which means "blood". These two dishes can be differentiated as Dinuguan has more liquid while Dinardaraan is almost dry. As to why the name Dinuguan is more popular in the country is because tagalog is the national dialect in the Philippines. Other names of Dinuguan include Tid-Tad in Pampanga, Dugo-Dugo in Cebuano, Sinugaok (Ginulayan) in Batangas, Rugodugo in Waray, and Sampayna or Champayna in Northern Mindanao. Sometimes, this is mistaken by foreigners as a "Chocolate Dish" because of the color of its texture.
Although Dinuguan or Dinardaraan seems to be a unique and exclusive Filipino dish, the Spartans in ancient Greek city of Sparta also used blood and meat to prepare their food. In ancient Greek times, the Spartans call this dish as "Melas Zomos" which is translated as "The Black Soup".
Variations of Dinuguan include the use of beef or chicken as substitute to pork. Other regions only use pork cuts like the pork belly without any entrails, while others add vegetable to it like the slices of papaya. In other Visayan regions, lemongrass, or "tanglad" is added to give fragrance to the dish and "gata" to add coconut cream flavor and to thicken the sauce. Also, instead using vinegar, others use tomatoes to give Dinuguan the souring agent.
- 1 kilo pork belly, ear, intestine, or combinations
- 3-4 cups pork’s or beef’s blood
- 4 cloves garlic; minced
- 1 small onion; minced
- 3 long peppers (siling haba)
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Fish sauce
- Parboil pork and cut into desired sizes. Save a bowl of broth.
- Sauté garlic and onion, then followed by the pork. When meat starts to render fat, add salt to season.
- Allow time for the meat to absorb the seasoning.
- Add vinegar and little broth.
- When all liquid has evaporated, pour pork’s blood stirring regularly for 5 minutes, then add the long peppers.
- Correct seasoning with fish sauce and cook until long peppers are done.
- Add more broth if you want your Dinuguan to be a little soupy.
- Pork loin, shoulder, or butt is a good substitute if you don't like pork belly for your dinuguan.
- Sinigang mix can be a substitute to vinegar but vinegar can preserve your dinuguan longer from spoiling.
- The thickness of your dinuguan liquid or sauce can be manage by the amount of broth you want to add to the dish.