Igado— A popular tasty Ilocano pork dish that you can have as a viand with steamed rice.
If you’ve been cooking the same dishes over and over again for a couple of weeks now, maybe now is the time to create something new, and a little bit out of your comfort zone!
This one dish deals with some pig innards, so it is an exciting new dish for you to try. Learn how to make the Igado now by reading the recipe article below!
What is Igado?
The Igado is a famous Ilocano dish and is quite known all over the Philippines. It is a dish made of pork meat, such as tenderloin or pork belly, along with pig innards such as liver, kidney, or heart.
This is then partnered with vinegar and soy sauce and garlic and onions, bringing out unique and distinct flavors from the dish. Aside from that, some greens are also added, like green peas and bell peppers.
How to Cook Igado?
You may think that cooking the Igado seems to be too much and is very intimidating. It’s fine since the dish is not so popular in some areas and it may come off as a hard dish to pull off, and it deals with unusual ingredients like the pork liver, pork kidney, pork heart, etc.
But once you realize it, it is just like any other dish, and it’s just a straightforward process of cooking.
The key thing you need to remember when cooking is to prioritize cleaning the ingredients, especially the innards, since it might affect the overall flavor of the dish.
After cleaning all of the innards, all you have to do is to prepare the cooking pot, saute the garlic and onions, and boil the pork until it is tender, along with the veggies. You can adjust the amount of water you pour in, as It is up to you whether you want the dish to be saucy or a bit dry.
- For the pork meat, you can use any part as long as it has enough fat, to bring out more flavor. Some examples of meats suggested for the igado are tenderloin, pork belly, pork shoulder.
- You can still choose to pick leaner parts of pork if you want less fat content, but it will sacrifice some of the flavors.
- Since we are dealing with pork innards here such as the liver, we have to make sure that the ingredients are properly cleaned.
- What you need to do is wash the liver—or any other parts you want to include in the dish (such as kidneys, heart, etc.)—with running water before you prepare them for slicing. Just soak it enough, so you know it’s clean, but not too much so they won’t lose taste.
- It is important not to overcook the liver once you add them. This is to prevent the ingredient from becoming tough and hard to bite. Cooking it for 5 minutes will come out just fine, as the liquids coming from the liver also helps in thickening the sauce.
- Make sure that you also don’t miss out on the seasonings. The more you put in, the better. The salt and pepper improves the taste of the pork and especially the liver, so you can add extra pepper if you want to.
- Another good ingredient you can also add are chilis if you are up for a spicy dish. That additional heat from the dish will make you want more.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Authentic Igado Recipe
- Cooking Pot
- 1 kg pork tenderloin, cut into strips
- 500 g pork liver, cut into strips
- 1 pc medium-sized onion, cut thinly
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pc small-sized red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 cup green peas
- 3 pcs bay leaves (laurel leaves)
- ½ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a cooking pot, pour in and heat the cooking oil over medium heat.
- Add in the garlic and onions. Saute until soft and aromatic.
- Add in the pork tenderloin. Cook until browned.
- Pour in the soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Simmer the pork for 20 to 30 minutes or until the pork is tender and most of the liquid evaporates.
- Add in the carrots, green peas, and red bell pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add in the pork liver. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes or until cooked and the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving plate or serving tray. Serve and enjoy!
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