Thursday, 25 October 2012

Ilocano Pinapaitan

I've been a little bit under the weather lately because of asthma and allergies :-( that's why a delicious warm Ilocano soup is much to my delight. 

Have you ever heard that those thingy found inside the intestines of carabaos or cows are being used to make delicious soup dishes?  Roll your eyes and puke all you want but it is definitely true.  One would be surprises how this seemingly incongruous and stomach-churning, yucky-gross ingredient (for the squeamish and ignorant/unknowing)  can make a delectable dish that had become a pride among the Ilocanos (aside from the Pinakbet) and had become famous in the Philippine culinary history.

Yep, I'm talking about Pinapaitan cooked the Ilocano way .  How many versions of Pinapaitan came up already?  There's the Tagalog version that is sour, I made a sour and bitter version too and I called it Beef Innards in Bitter Soup.  I stand corrected as it should be "beef innards in bitter and sour soup" instead.  It's not the "real" Ilocano version but it's how I want my pinapaitan to be sometimes :-)  I know pure-blue blooded Ilocanos would shun and snob this sour-and-not-bitter tasting papaitan calling it as "FAKE" and it is true :-)  There are those pinapaitan with mild bitter-taste that may be mistaken for a nilagang lamang loob ng baka (boiled cow's innard soup).  And of course there's the authentic Ilocano pinapaitan.

Pinapaitan - this exotic bitter soup dish is the very quintessential of the Ilocano cuisine.   And what makes it delicious?...  Remember the pinespes and pait or papait as some Ilocanos will call it, in our recipe post on pinapaitan - see Beef Innards in Bitter Soup?  I have learned from the meat vendor that the pespes, the green thick liquid, that serves as the very heart and most important ingredient of an authentic Ilocano's pinapaitan, as it provides the needed bitterness, thickness, and flavor of the soup AND is the very essence of the pinapaitan dish, are actually grass juices or masticated grasses PLUS bile juice from the carabao's small intestines (I really need to cut that sentence into 2 or three right?)  It's a mixture.  And that brothers and sisters, are what it takes to make a great tasting pinapaitan.  It's not just the bile juice or papait, as it will just provide the bitterness only but wouldn't help bring out that great pinapaitan flavor of bitterness and .... something else. But of course the bile juice is still necessary ingredient for the Ilocano pinapaitan.  The taste of an authentic Ilocano pinapaitan is somewhat savory-bitter-sweet like savory-grassy bitter-sweet. Am I making any sense?  And as we have mentioned it in our previous posts on pinapaitan, pinapaitan  is an inherent and acquired taste. 

pespes & papait

My brother-in-law (Richard) often cook delicious authentic Ilocano pinapaitan and this is his recipe. You can check out other recipes on pinapaitan - my recipe Beef Innards in Bitter Soup, specially the one cooked by my husband when we were still in Singapore using a condiment call pait by the Indians/Bangladeshi -Pinapaitan : Frederick's Mutton Version

I may not have been able to enjoy the meat of the pinapaitan but the delicious glistening golden yellow-green soup of this pinapaitan is enough for me to give a two thumbs-up and a hands-down. Like it a lot :-)



Cow's meat and innards, diced - 1 kg
     - Cow's innards (liver, lungs, kidneys)
     - Cow  fat
     - Beef (lean)
Cow's tripe - 250 g.
Papait (bile juice) - 1 to 2 c
Pinespes - 1 to 1 1/2 c

Ginger, diced and crushed - 1 thumbsize
Red Onions, diced - 2 medium
Garlic, crushed - 1 head
Fish  Sauce - 2 tbsp
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Water - 5 cups  ++
Onion Leaves, chopped

 Cooking Procedure:

1. In a pressure cooker, place all of the ingredients inside the cooker except for the liver, water, pinespes, and papait.  Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
2.  Add the papait and the water, cover.  Bring the mixture into a boil under pressure for 30 minutes or until the meat are tender.  Add more water depending on how soupy you want your pinapaitan to be
3. Add the pinespes depending on how bitter you want your pinapaitan to be.  Cover (remove the rubber from the lid) Let the mixture simmer. Season with fish sauce, and ground black pepper.  Bring to a simmer again.  Adjust taste by adding salt.
4.  Add the liver and let the soup simmer.


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 © Fresha-licious (25October2012)

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I have been wondering how a real Ilocano Papaitan taste like. I am so hungry right now :)