Top 10 Ilocano Foods You Must Try (and how to cook it)

Every travel experience is more pleasurable with an unforgettable food trip. Whether you’re traveling in the Philippines or out of the country, every place has something special to offer.

When you’re in Ilocandia, it is of course given that you must try some Ilocano dish. But what if you crave for it eventually when you get home or when you’re in community quarantine and you can’t travel or dine in your favorite Pinoy restaurant?

We’ve compiled some of the best How-to-Cook videos of some of the most Iconic Ilocano dish. Mangan tayo!

1. Pinakbet. Also called Pakbet, this is one of the best local vegetable dishes that truly embodies the Ilocano cuisine. The veggies include almost everything you can find in the Bahay Kubo folk song.

2. Vigan longganisa. If you happen to visit Vigan, this will surely be served for breakfast. The flavor is brought out by the spices and garlic with tender meat that gives it more seasoned taste.

3. Dinengdeng. This is another soup dish that of the like of pakbet, but dinengdeng only includes the yellow and green veggies such as malunggay, alakon blossoms, and squash.

4. Bagnet with KBL. This delicious pork belly deep fried dish will surely tickle your taste buds. To enjoy more flavors, it comes with kamatis, bagoong, and lasona.

5. Dinakdakan. Because Ilocano folks don’t want to waste any leftovers, the dinakdakan was born. It looks like sisig, but it is cooked with more grilled parts including the liver, ears, tongue, brain, and face of the pig.

6. Empanada. You may find empanadas around the Philippines, but eating it with sukang Iloko is a different kind of experience. This merienda is popular in the Great North as it uses their own vinegar to bring out the main flavor of empanada.

7. Pinapaitan. Pait means bitter hence the name of this dish. But wait, pinapaitan is perhaps the most delicious “bitter” food you will ever get to taste. It is cooked with small intestines, bile, heart, ox tripe, tender beef strips, and topped with green chillies.

8. Sinanglaw. This is also a broth soup like the pinapaitan but with more diluted bile flavor. The meat are mostly of tendon and brisket so you can enjoy this dish like your typical meat dish. The ginger and tamarind bring out more flavor and spice.

9. Insarabasab. This is a grilled Ilocano delicacy cooked with sukang Iloko, pork belly, garlic, calamansi, and red chillies. The smoky flavor comes from the slight sear topped with red onions for an extra spicy flavor.

10. Okoy. If you want some seafood dish to include in your plate, okoy is a must-have. It’s a fried shrimp delicacy that is served with the staple Ilocano vinegar, sukang Iloko, for a yummier flavor.

Don’t forget to try all these when you visit Ilocos region this year or better yet, try cooking them at home! Hope this compilation helps!

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