Igado Recipe: A Delicious Filipino Pork Liver and Pork Adobo Dish

Igado Recipe: A Delicious Filipino Pork Liver and Pork Adobo Dish

Hello there, dear reader! Today, we are going to embark on a delectable culinary journey to the heart of the Philippines with a classic Filipino dish called Igado. This mouthwatering recipe combines succulent pork liver and tender pork adobo, resulting in a truly satisfying and flavorsome meal. With its rich and hearty taste, Igado has become a beloved comfort food for many Filipinos. So, grab your apron and let's dive into this delightful gastronomic adventure together!

Traditional Igado Recipe: A Delightful Filipino Dish

Experience the rich, delectable flavors of the Philippines with the traditional Igado recipe. This beloved Filipino dish showcases a harmonious blend of pork, liver, and vegetables cooked in a tangy and savory sauce. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds as we take you on a culinary journey through the heart of Filipino cuisine.

A Taste of Filipino Cuisine

The diverse flavors of Filipino cuisine have captivated food enthusiasts from around the world. With its unique combination of influences from Malay, Spanish, Chinese, and American cultures, Filipino dishes never fail to surprise and delight. One such dish that perfectly encapsulates the essence of Filipino cooking is the renowned Igado.

Igado is a dish deeply rooted in Filipino tradition, often prepared during special occasions and gatherings. Its origins can be traced back to the Ilocos region in the northern part of the Philippines, where it was traditionally cooked as a way to make use of leftover meats. Over time, Igado has evolved into a flavorful delicacy that showcases the creativity and resourcefulness of Filipino cooks.

The Intricate Dance of Flavors

At the heart of Igado is the perfect balance of ingredients, each playing a crucial role in creating a symphony of taste. The main components include pork, liver, and an assortment of vegetables, which are meticulously combined to achieve a harmonious blend of flavors.

The Meaty Melody: Pork and Liver

The star of Igado is undoubtedly the tender and succulent pork, which forms the base of this dish. Thinly sliced pork shoulder or belly is commonly used, oozing with flavorful juices when cooked to perfection. Alongside the pork, chunks of liver are added, creating a heavenly combination of textures and tastes.

The liver serves as the rich and robust element, providing a bold flavor that complements the milder tones of the pork. While some may shy away from the thought of liver, it undergoes a transformation during the cooking process, becoming incredibly tender and infused with the delectable marinade.

The Vegetable Ensemble

To complete the symphony of flavors, a colorful assortment of vegetables is added to the dish. Typically, Igado includes bell peppers, carrots, green peas, and onions, each contributing their unique textures and tastes. These vegetables not only add vibrant colors but also provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the meat.

The vegetables are usually sliced into thin strips, ensuring they cook evenly and retain their crispness. This careful preparation allows the dish to showcase the freshness and natural flavors of each ingredient, providing a delightful medley of tastes with each bite.

Cooking Igado: A Labor of Love

Preparing Igado requires patience, as each step is essential in achieving the desired flavors. From marinating the meat to sautéing the ingredients, every detail contributes to the final masterpiece. While the process may seem intricate, the result is undoubtedly worth the effort.

A Symphony of Aromas

The first step in creating Igado is marinating the pork and liver. This crucial step ensures that the meat absorbs all the marinade's flavors, resulting in a more succulent and fragrant dish. Soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and various spices are combined to form the marinade, infusing the meat with a delightful symphony of aromas.

After marinating the meat, it is then sautéed to perfection. Oil is heated in a pan, followed by the addition of garlic and onions, which lend their aromatic attributes to the dish. The pork and liver are then added, allowing them to cook until tender and juicy.

A Tangy and Savory Sauce

As the pork and liver reach their peak of flavor, a tangy and savory sauce is introduced to the mix. The marinade that was used to infuse the meat is transformed into a delectable sauce, enhancing the overall taste profile. This sauce serves as the backbone of Igado, enveloping the ingredients and immersing them in its irresistible flavors.

Once the sauce is added, it's time to bring in the vegetable ensemble. The vibrant strips of bell peppers, carrots, green peas, and onions are carefully incorporated into the pan, allowing them to cook until just tender, ensuring they maintain their freshness and crunch.

Finally, Igado comes together as a masterpiece of flavors, ready to be enjoyed and savored. This delectable Filipino dish exhibits the artistry and love put into Filipino cooking.


The Igado recipe perfectly exemplifies the rich and diverse flavors that define Filipino cuisine. With its tender pork, flavorful liver, and colorful array of vegetables, Igado brings together a medley of tastes that delight the senses.

Whether you're an avid fan of Filipino cuisine or trying it for the first time, Igado promises to deliver a culinary experience that will transport you to the vibrant streets of the Philippines. So take a leap and embark on a gastronomic adventure by preparing this delightful dish.

With its unique flavors and rich history, Igado represents the heart of Filipino cooking, showcasing the creativity and resourcefulness of Filipino culture. So gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and let the enticing aromas fill your kitchen as you prepare Igado, a true Philippine delicacy.

The Ingredients for a Perfect Igado

When it comes to creating the perfect Igado, there are a few key ingredients that are essential in bringing out the dish's rich flavors. In this section, we will explore the stars of Igado, which are none other than pork and liver.

Pork and Liver: The Stars of Igado

Pork and liver are the main components that give Igado its distinct taste and texture. The combination of these two meats creates a harmonious blend that is both savory and satisfying.

The pork used in Igado is typically derived from the belly or shoulder, as these cuts offer a good balance of fat and lean meat. The fat helps to enhance the overall flavor while keeping the meat tender and succulent. The liver, on the other hand, adds a unique earthy taste to the dish, providing a depth of flavor that sets Igado apart from other Filipino dishes.

It is important to ensure that the pork and liver are prepared and cooked properly. They should be sliced into thin strips to ensure even cooking and better absorption of flavors from the marinade and other ingredients. The thin slices also contribute to the overall tenderness of the dish.

A Symphony of Vegetables and Spices

While pork and liver are the stars of Igado, the dish also boasts a symphony of vegetables and spices that add depth and complexity to its flavor profile. These ingredients work together to create a truly unforgettable culinary experience.

One of the key vegetables in Igado is the bell pepper. Its vibrant colors and slightly sweet taste add a delightful crunch to each bite. The bell pepper also provides a contrast to the rich flavors of the meats, balancing the overall taste of the dish.

Garlic is another essential ingredient in Igado. Its aromatic properties infuse the dish with a delightful fragrance, enhancing the overall sensory experience. Garlic also adds a subtle kick of flavor that rounds out the dish.

Other vegetables commonly found in Igado include carrots, peas, and onions. These vegetables contribute their own flavors and textures, creating a medley of tastes that complement the pork and liver.

When it comes to spices, Igado typically features bay leaves, black peppercorns, and fish sauce. The bay leaves add a subtle herbal note to the dish, while the black peppercorns provide a gentle heat that lingers on the palate. Fish sauce, on the other hand, adds a layer of umami that elevates the overall taste of Igado.

The Secret Sauce: Soy Sauce and Vinegar

One of the secrets to Igado's incredible flavor lies in its sauce. The combination of soy sauce and vinegar creates a delicate balance of tanginess and richness that enhances the taste of the dish.

Soy sauce, with its savory and slightly salty taste, acts as the base for the sauce, bringing out the natural flavors of the pork, liver, and vegetables. It also adds depth and richness to the overall dish.

Vinegar, on the other hand, provides a tangy and acidic component that cuts through the richness of the meats and balances the flavors. It adds a refreshing touch to the dish, making it more enjoyable to eat.

The ratio of soy sauce to vinegar can vary depending on personal preference, but a good starting point is a 1:1 ratio. This ensures that the flavors are well-balanced and neither the tanginess nor the richness overpowers the other.

When cooking Igado, it is important to allow the meat and vegetables to marinate in the soy sauce and vinegar mixture for a certain period of time. This allows the flavors to meld together and infuse into the ingredients, resulting in a more flavorful and delicious final dish.

In conclusion, Igado is a dish that showcases the beauty of Filipino cuisine. With its combination of pork, liver, vegetables, spices, and the secret sauce of soy sauce and vinegar, it offers a symphony of flavors that is both comforting and delicious. So, the next time you're craving a hearty and flavorsome dish, why not give Igado a try?

Preparing Igado: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you curious about how to make the delicious Filipino dish called Igado? Look no further! In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of preparing Igado from start to finish. So gather your ingredients and let's get cooking!

Marinating the Pork and Liver

Marinating the pork and liver is a crucial step in ensuring the flavors are infused throughout the meat, while also tenderizing it. To begin, gather the following ingredients:

- 500 grams of pork tenderloin, sliced into thin strips

- 250 grams of pig's liver, sliced into thin strips

- 4 tablespoons of soy sauce

- 2 tablespoons of vinegar

- 4 cloves of garlic, minced

- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

- 1 bay leaf

To marinate the pork and liver, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Make sure the meat is well-coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in a more delicious Igado.

Sautéing the Ingredients

Once the pork and liver have marinated, it's time to sauté the ingredients. This step is crucial in bringing out the flavors of the different components of Igado. Gather the following ingredients:

- 3 tablespoons of cooking oil

- 1 large onion, sliced

- 4 cloves of garlic, minced

- 2 medium-sized carrots, sliced into thin strips

- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

- 1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

- 1 cup of green peas

- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce

- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce

- Salt and pepper to taste

To start the sautéing process, heat the cooking oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and minced garlic, and sauté until they become fragrant and translucent. Next, add the marinated pork and liver to the pan. Cook them until they are browned and cooked through.

After the meats are cooked, add the sliced carrots, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and green peas to the pan. Stir-fry the vegetables for a few minutes until they are slightly tender but still crispy. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce to enhance the flavors. Don't forget to season with salt and pepper according to your taste preferences.

Cook the mixture for a few more minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Keep stirring to prevent burning. Once everything is cooked to your liking, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.

Serving and Presentation

Now that your Igado is cooked to perfection, it's time to present it beautifully on a plate. The way you serve Igado can greatly enhance the overall dining experience. Here are some tips:

- Use a large platter to showcase the Igado. Arrange the sautéed mixture in the center of the plate, making sure to spread it out evenly.

- If desired, garnish the Igado with some freshly chopped cilantro or parsley. Not only does this add a pop of color, but it also adds a refreshing flavor.

- Serve Igado alongside steamed white rice, as it complements the flavors and helps balance out the richness of the dish.

- For an authentic Filipino touch, consider adding a side dish of atchara (pickled green papaya) or some vinegar as a dipping sauce.

Remember, presentation is key! Taking the time to arrange and garnish your Igado will not only make it visually appealing, but it will also make your dining experience more enjoyable.

And there you have it! A detailed guide on how to prepare Igado, a traditional Filipino dish. From marinating the pork and liver to sautéing the ingredients and presenting it beautifully, you are now equipped with the knowledge to make Igado like a pro. So go ahead, give it a try, and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills!

Enjoying Igado: Pairing and Variations

When it comes to enjoying Igado, the right pairing can elevate the overall culinary experience. While the classic combination of Igado and steamed rice is always a crowd favorite, there are other side dishes that can add an extra layer of flavor and satisfaction.

Perfect Pairings: Rice and Side Dishes

There's no denying that Igado and rice are a match made in heaven. The tender and flavorful meat, combined with the rich sauce, complements the plainness of steamed rice. The combination of the two creates a harmonious balance, allowing you to fully savor the flavors of Igado.

For those looking to add a little more excitement to their meal, garlic fried rice is an excellent choice. The crispy and fragrant garlic bits mixed with the savory Igado make every spoonful a delight for your taste buds. The slight crunchiness of the fried rice enhances the overall texture of the dish, creating a more dynamic dining experience.

If you're feeling adventurous and want to explore other side dish options, consider pairing Igado with fresh greens. A simple salad with a tangy vinaigrette can provide a refreshing counterpart to the richness of the dish. The crispness of the vegetables offers a pleasant contrast to the tender meat, creating a more well-rounded meal.

Vegetarian and Seafood Igado Variations

While Igado is traditionally made with meat, there are creative alternatives for those who prefer a vegetarian or seafood version. These variations allow individuals to enjoy the flavors and textures of Igado while accommodating their dietary preferences.

For vegetarian Igado, replacing the meat with tofu is a popular choice. The tofu absorbs the flavors of the sauce, providing a similar taste and texture to the original dish. Adding a variety of vegetables, such as bell peppers, carrots, and snap peas, can further enhance the vegetarian Igado, creating a colorful and nutritious meal.

Seafood lovers can also enjoy a delightful twist on Igado. Instead of using meat, substitute it with seafood such as shrimp or squid. The tender and succulent seafood pairs perfectly with the tangy and savory sauce, creating a unique flavor profile. Adding a touch of spice, such as chili flakes or hot sauce, can elevate the seafood Igado and give it an extra kick.

Regional Twists: Igado Across the Philippines

One of the fascinating aspects of Filipino cuisine is its regional variations. Igado is no exception, with each province offering its own twists and local ingredients to this classic dish. Exploring the regional differences of Igado provides an opportunity to discover new flavors and culinary traditions.

In the northern provinces of the Philippines, such as Ilocos and Pangasinan, Igado often includes additional ingredients like green peas and liver spread, giving it a richer and creamier consistency. The use of vinegar is also more prominent in these regions, adding a tangy and slightly sour element to the dish.

In the Visayas region, particularly in Cebu, Igado is known for its spiciness. The addition of chili peppers and other spicy ingredients gives the dish a fiery kick, perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat in their meals. Cebu-style Igado is a testament to the diverse flavors found within the Philippines.

Down south in Mindanao, Igado takes on a distinct flavor with the incorporation of ingredients like coconut milk and turmeric. This version adds a hint of sweetness and a vibrant yellow color to the dish, making it visually appealing and delightfully flavorful.

Whether it's the classic combination of Igado and steamed rice, innovative vegetarian or seafood variations, or exploring the regional twists across the Philippines, enjoying Igado is an adventure for the taste buds. The versatility of this dish allows for endless culinary exploration and guarantees a satisfying meal every time.


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