Ilocos Norte is one of the most sought-for destination of tourists. It is 400 kilometers away from Manila. This region has lots to offer. The nature is awe-inspiring, and the culture will make you love the place instantly!
Aside from the beautiful destination Ilocos Norte offers, they also showcase their amazing cuisines that will excite your taste buds. Ilocanos are fond of vegetables and seafoods, so, their dishes are mostly combination of seafoods and vegetables or variation of vegetables in one dish. They also have some meat dishes that you can enjoy. Other dishes actually originated from Ilocos Norte. Come and check it out.
1. Poki-Poki or Poqui-Poqui
You might be doing this dish, but you just don’t know the name. Well, Poki-poki is its name, and it started in Ilocos. This is also called as Grilled Eggplant salad. First, you need to grill the eggplant to create smoky taste. Remove the toasty skin after. Pan-fry it together with the onions, scrambled eggs, and diced tomatoes. I love eggplant and tomatoes, so this is a great dish for me.
This is another favorite of Filipinos. It is also known as Veggie Delight of the North. Even foreigners love this dish. Pinakbet originated from Ilocos Norte for you to know. This dish is full of delicious combination of vegetables. The vegetables include kabocha squash, long beans, okra, eggplant, and bittermelon. That is the story behind why your parents or grandparents have that vegetables planted in your backyard. Pinakbet will not be completed without bagoong or fish sauce. You may also add bagnet or shrimp to the dish.
Bagnet is what I have stated above. This is also known as the King of All Lechons. The part of this meat is the pork belly, then it is deep fried in its own fat. After cooking it in its own fat, you have to cut it thinly then cook it again in a boiler. That is best served with spicy vinegar. A simple treat for you, and a great food to eat in your cheat day!
This is what they called Igorot Delicacy. Pinikpikan is chicken soup dish, but instead of using the chicken that could be bought in the market, they are using mountain or wild chicken. The chicken color is quite different because it has darker meat. When cooking the chicken, the feather should be roasted until the chicken skin is also torched a bit. That will produce flavorful aroma that added to the delicious taste of this dish. They add pepper leaver or papaya as an option.
Dinakdakan is Ilocanos own version of Sisig. There is something different from Ilocanos Sisig and other Sisig. To cook sisig, they must get the head of the pig, then boil it. They get everything from pig’s head except from the bone. Pork belly might be added depends on the preference of the cook. For additional crispiness, some cook it in a grill. To marinate the dish, they use salt, garlic, onions, calamansi, and vinegar.
If you are fond of dinuguan, you will certainly love this dish. This dish is the combination of pork meat, pork blood, and vinegar. Dinardaraan was named Chocolate Meat Pudding because of its chocolatey color.
Rarely people loves bitter foods, but you will be surprised that Pinapaitan is one of the most favorite dishes of Filipinos. It has unique taste despite pf being bitter. This soup dish is almost the same with Mexican Menudo, it’s just that the seasoning is different. Pinapaitan is made of goat or cow innards and is bile extract. If it is a first time for you to eat goat meat, you might not be used to it, but you can try beef Pinapaitan if you love beef.
8. Ilocos Empanada.
You might have tasted the typical empanada, but Ilocos Empanada is not the usual one. The color of this empanada is orange. To make an orange batter, they put achuete or annatto powder in a mixture. Instead of using meat as a filling, they use longganisa sausage, eggs, shredded papaya or beans sprout. To cook it, they deep-fry it.
Dinengdeng is another dish full of vegetables. It is cooked with bagoong or fish sauce. This dish is also called as bean soup dish. On the top of it, put fried or grilled fish like bangus, tilapia, and galunggong.
We can usually see this dish every festival or Filipino party. This originated from Ilocos. Igado is made of meat strips, liver, and other organ parts. Igado came from the word, “Higado” which means liver. That means, Igado cannot be completed without the liver. There should be carrots, bell pepper, and peas too.
Try these dishes in your next Ilocos travel and indulge yourself with amazing food trips.