Lola Entay's Pork Igado: A Recipe

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.

Pork Igado


  • 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
1) Slice the  pork meat  into stripes separately.  Marinate with vinegar, soy sauce, ground pepper, bay leaves, and garlic.  Wait for 5 minutes (Ralph’s note: I believe you can do a longer marinade.  An hour or two would be good)
2) Saute the onions with 1 cup of cooking oil (which is enough to cook the sliced pork meat).  Don’t burn the onions.  Add immediately the pork meat, stirring constantly until fully cooked and soft.
3) Then add the sliced sliver, stirring it well until all the liver is cooked, for at least 12 to 15 minutes.  Add a little more soy sauce to make it tasty.  Don’t overcook the liver.
Post Script: Since we have talked about food in Cagayan Valley, if you happen to visit the place, make sure to buy milk candy when you are there. They are similar to pastillas, and they’re made from carabao’s milk.  They’re very delicious.  Also make sure you are able to try the very delicious Tuguegarao longganisa (Tuguegarao is the capital of Cagayan).  Certain provinces would say that they have the best longganisa.  I wonder what they would say if they’ve tasted Tuguegarao’s.

16 Replies to “Lola Entay's Pork Igado: A Recipe”

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe! Would really like to try this soon. Yeah I’ve seen green peas and bell peppers in some recipes. Good read! Will try this next week. Thanks again!

  2. You’re welcome, Mike! 🙂 Hope it goes well. My Lola Entay would be happy to know that her recipes are being cooked 🙂

  3. Thanks Ralph for posting the recipe, been eating this kind of dish for a long time but i didn’t bother to ask how is it being cooked, now that i have a family to feed and they were asking for new foods then its time to search for recipes and i saw your blog/post.

  4. Pingback: I’m Back. New Server In, Old Server OUT! « Ralph Guzman // Foodie

  5. It’s Pacquiao fight tonight, and it’s family potluck. My family ask me to cook your Lola Entay’s egado recipe again n again.By the way my family is from Enrile Cagayan. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe! MABBALAT from Vancouver Canada

    • Hi, Anne. Please feel free to reduce the oil. It would depend on how big your pot is. My suggestion is to start small. The objective is to just cook the meat. Unfortunately, I never got to ask my Lola why the oil is an entire cup. Health-wise, it’s always better to less oil, rather than more. 🙂

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