My clan loves to eat. Our clan traces its roots from a town called Piat, in Cagayan Valley. Piat is a town most popular for the relic of Our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Piat, which attracts thousands of pilgrims, especially during her feast every July.
Unknown to many people, Piat — and the province of Cagayan — are home to many delicious Ilocano recipes. A number of them have been cooked by our clan for ages.
Just last week, we had a family get together, and I got to see Lola Entay, my dad’s mom. At 85 years old, she’s as kind, caring, and witty as ever. She helped take care of me when I was born. And as her first grandson, I would often think of myself as her favorite grandson. Hehehe. During dinner, she approached me, gave me a folded sheet of paper — a handwritten note — and told me to read the note at home. Before I would wonder — or worry — she told me that the note contains a recipe she’d like to learn.
It turned to be the family’s recipe for Igado, which has been with us for at least three generations. And now, she’s passing it to me. Igado (pronounced as ee-gah-doh) is an Ilocano dish. It’s pork and liver stew, and it’s very tasty.
I have yet to cook this dish, but I am now publishing it for posterity, and to preserve the recipe, with the hope that it gets passed down further to future generations. Or at least, to other cousins of my generation. I do look forward to cooking this soon, and to cooking this with Lola Entay, who has graciously volunteered to teach me one afternoon, one of these days. I’m publishing her recipe in verbatim with a few of my own notes. I’ll post an update once I am able to make this. I hope you too can make this, and enjoy it as much as our clan enjoys it during every get together.
- 1 whole pork liver (note: this would be about half a kilo)
- 1 kilo of pork meat (Note: This would be pork loin with fat and skin. If you’re in the Philippines, you can simply ask your butcher to cut the pork Igado style. If your butcher isn’t familiar with Igado, ask him to cut the pork into 1 or 1.5 cm dices, dicing the pork into strips a little bit thicker than those of French fries)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 big onion
- Ground pepper
- 2 bay leaves (Laurel leaves)
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce