In a pot of dinuguan, choice cuts of succulent pork mingle with offal, garlic, vinegar, and green chili peppers. But the star ingredient in this Filipino stew is the dark brown gravy bubbling around the spices and meat. It’s pig blood, and it contributes such a distinct hue and velvety thickness that the dish is nicknamed “chocolate meat.”
Dinuguan is a popular lunch or light, late-afternoon meal (merienda) in the Philippines, where the savory stew pairs particularly well with white rice or a rice cake known as puto. Celebrants also tuck into bowls at special occasions such as weddings.
Although traditional dinuguan comes with pork, there are other regional varieties that use meats such as chicken or beef. The latter, known as cerkely, is popular in the Central Luzon region of Nueva Ecija. Though dinardaraan, the Ilocano style of Northwestern Luzon, is a bit drier, it does feature the added bonus of crispy, deep-fried pork cracklings (chicharon).
Where to Try It
This restaurant serves up dinuguan with crispy chicharon.