Dinengdeng, Ilocos' Specialty
Renzelle Ann Palma
There is a unique variety of Ilocano food, from the healthy to the sinful, but all of it very delicious. One of the more popular and authentic dishes of Ilocanos is the soup based dish called the Dinengdeng (also called Inabraw).
Dinengdeng is very much similar with the more known Pinakbet. While Pinakbet is cooked with fermented shrimp, to make an authentic dinengdeng, the cook should use fermented fish instead. It is also soupy unlike Pinakbet which is more at the saucy side.
This staple bagoong based vegetable stew for the Ilocanos is best topped with grilled fish like milkfish and tilapia. The vegetables used can also be adjusted to your liking.
Here’s a sample recipe
Dinengdeng ng Ilocano Ingredients:
*1 milk fish (bangus); fried or grilled
*1 cup string beans; cut into 2" long
*6 pieces okra
*1 cup squash; cut in cubes
*1 big ampalaya; cut in 2” rectangular lengths
*1 onion; sliced
*2 large tomatoes; sliced
*1 cup jute leaves (saluyot)
*1 root ginger; crushed
*3 cups water
In a casserole, bring water to boil. Add onion, ginger, and tomatoes. Let stand for 3 minutes. Season with bagoong and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove the scum that rises on top of the liquid and then drop the milkfish. Simmer for 5 minutes, and then add vegetables. Cook until vegetables are done. Adjust seasoning according to taste. Serve hot!