Healthy Eating: What's In A "Dinengdeng"- A Pure Blooded Ilocana's Specialty



Being a descendant of farmers. I grew up loving vegetables. In prep school I enjoyed coloring the eggplant purple and the tomatoes deep orange. At home my grandma would prepare the best "dinengdeng" in the world! One of my fondest childhood memories is eating lunch in the farm along the rice paddies under the shade of trees.

Oh boy, to this day no restaurant could give me that feeling of pure joy eating with family- soft wind caressing my cheeks and the smell of new mown hay and the indescribable goodness of vegetables mingling with the taste of fish!

This post is for my beloved Ilocano countrymen who have left home sweet home and are now in different parts of the world most especially my dearest mom now based in the U.S. who misses these dishes so much.  I know you all miss the taste of our original home cooked "dinengdeng"!

You might want to take several gulps of water before scrolling down. This could make you book a flight back home, seriously hehehehe.....

Dinengdeng- a fish sauce soup based vegetable dish specialty of Ilocanos...

Its main ingredients are vegetables which could be anything from string beans, jute, monggo, bitter melon, squash, malunggay etc. The fresher the vegetable the better of course! One must be careful not to overcook them to keep the nutrients active. A dinengdeng could be tasty even without grilled fish and artificial spices enhancing the soup base when the cook is a full blooded Ilocano with magical hands that could extract the natural aroma and glory of vegetables. Whatever their formula is I am afraid my grandma didn't manage to pass on to me, or maybe she did it is just that I seldom really work in the kitchen. What I am certain of was when it came to "dinengdeng" my maternal grandma and my dad were the best of friends! Hmm perhaps when I become a grandma myself, the magical spell will reach my hands.

Here is a series of "dinengdeng" food porn for you to indulge on....Enjoy! "mangan tayun Apo" (let's eat!)

grilled Bangus (milkfish), "malunggay" and "bungon"

string beans, katuday, okra


 Buridibud- a dinengdeng variety (its main ingredient is sweet potatoe making the soup thick and a bit sweet


 Banana blossom "dinengdeng"

monggo and "pritong galunggong"

Now all we need is Rice and we'll be in seventh heaven!

oh add calamansi and fish or soy sauce with pepper and some tomatoes- a full blooded Ilocano is set to conquer the universe!

 Wherever you are in the world, know that someone back home loves you so...
and is longing for that day when you return once more in the arms of our beloved Philippines

shot in Nagsaraboan, Bacnotan, La Union, Philippines

until then....
still fervently working and praying for our country to one day be what our heroes died for..
for now, let's eat and keep our bodies nourished...
please leave a comment and share this to all dinengdeng lovers out there

So what's so special for me in a dinengdeng?- "the memory and love of family and country".


"Naimbag nga aldaw yo amin Apo"
(A blessed day to all of you.)


15 comments

  1. Everything looks so fresh and yummy! Wonderful post. Wishing you a happy weekend!

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  2. Everything I liked!!!!! Nice post, it reminds me sometime in the first quarter of the year 2013, I ate these food during a birthday party.

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  3. You are such a teaser! I could jump into the screen, smell these dishes, and eat them all..They look just delicious!

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  4. feel like eating now after looking at your photos sis Kulasa :) Ang sarap naman ng mga iyan!

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  5. munggo and pritong galunggong! that's how my lunch should be.

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  6. I haven't tried Ilocano food. It looks so delicious! Now I'm hungry.

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  7. No fancy restaurant will ever beat the beautiful nature and a fresh healthy food . Your food photos make me want to go home :)

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  8. my dad still make this kinds of foods and all ilocano foods when ever we're back in Philippines! my dad is ilocano too hehe

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  9. OMG! Ilocano ka met gayam. I didn't know. I really miss all these Ilocano specialties. The last time I had these was in 2011 idi nagawidak. I'm drooling just looking at the pics.

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  10. good and glorious food, those are the food i missed in the philippines. healthy indeed and full of nutrients.

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  11. I am very familiar with this kind of food because both my parents were Ilocanos and I don't recall any week that we don't have this food on our table.

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  12. These are nice pictures of nature! I wish I could spend some time away from Manila too.

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  13. Ading, nagutom naman ako. Nalala ko tuloy ang mother ko each time na magluto siya nito.

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  14. Ang sarap kumain when your surrounding would be all green and relaxing. It made me drool.

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  15. Ateeeeeeeeeeeeee... penge! This looks very yummy and yes, healthy too.

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Thank you so much for visiting. God bless you and your family always.

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