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Igado Ilocano

Igado Ilocano is a classic Filipino dish originating from the Ilocos region in the northern part of the Philippines. It is known for its rich and savory flavor profile, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Igado Ilocano is a type of adobo dish, but with a unique twist that sets it apart from other variations.

History and Origin of Igado

Igado traces its roots back to the Spanish colonial era when the Philippines was under Spanish rule. The dish is believed to have been influenced by Spanish cuisine, particularly adobo, which was introduced by the Spaniards. Over time, Igado Ilocano evolved into a distinct dish with its own set of ingredients and cooking methods, becoming a beloved part of Ilocano cuisine.

Ingredients Required for Igado

Meat Selection

The primary ingredient in Igado Ilocano is pork meat, typically using lean cuts such as pork tenderloin or pork shoulder. Some recipes may also include liver, adding a unique texture and flavor to the dish.

Seasonings and Spices

Igado is seasoned with a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and onions, giving it a tangy and savory taste. Additional spices such as bay leaves and peppercorns are often used to enhance the flavor further.


Common vegetables found in Igado include bell peppers, carrots, and green peas. These vegetables not only add tone and surface to the dish but also give fundamental supplements.

Traditional Igado Recipe vs. Modern Variations

While traditional Igado Ilocano recipes stick to the classic ingredients and cooking methods passed down through generations, modern variations may incorporate additional ingredients or tweaks to suit personal preferences. Some cooks may experiment with different types of meat or add extra spices for a bolder flavor.

Step-by-Step Cooking Process


Preparation of Ingredients

  • Begin by slicing the pork meat and liver into thin strips.
  • Marinate the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and onions for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.

Cooking Method

  • Heat oil in a pan and sauté the marinated meat until browned.
  • Add the vegetables and cook until they are tender yet still crisp.
  • Season with bay leaves, peppercorns, and additional soy sauce and vinegar to taste.
  • Simmer the mixture until the flavors meld together and the sauce thickens slightly.

Serving Suggestions and Accompaniments

Igado is typically served hot and enjoyed with steamed rice on the side. It pairs well with other Filipino dishes such as fried fish or grilled seafood. Embellish with cleaved green onions or cilantro for added newness and flavor.

Health Benefits of Igado

Despite its rich flavor profile, Igado can be a nutritious dish when prepared with lean cuts of meat and plenty of vegetables. Pork is a good source of protein and essential nutrients, while the liver adds iron and other vitamins to the dish. Additionally, the vegetables provide fiber and antioxidants, making Igado Ilocano a well-rounded meal choice.

Tips for Cooking Delicious Igado

Igado Ilocano

  • Utilize new, great elements for the best outcomes.
  • Change the flavors as per your taste inclinations.
  • Be careful not to overcook the meat and vegetables to maintain their texture and flavor.

Cultural Significance of Igado in Ilocano Cuisine

Igado holds a special place in Ilocano cuisine, often served during fiestas, family gatherings, and special occasions. It is a dish that embodies the rich culinary heritage of the Ilocano people, showcasing their ingenuity and resourcefulness in creating delicious and satisfying meals.


Igado Ilocano is more than just a dish; it is a culinary masterpiece that reflects the cultural identity and traditions of the Ilocano people. With its bold flavors, hearty ingredients, and rich history, Igado Ilocano continues to captivate the palates of Filipinos and food enthusiasts around the world.

FAQs on Igado Ilocano

  • What does Igado Ilocano taste like?
    • Igado has a savory and tangy flavor profile, with a hint of sweetness from the vegetables. The combination of soy sauce, vinegar, and spices gives it a distinctive taste that is both comforting and satisfying.
  • Can I use other meats besides pork for Igado Ilocano?
    • While pork is the traditional meat used in Igado Ilocano, you can also use chicken or beef as alternative options. However, the flavor and texture may vary slightly depending on the meat used.
  • How long does Igado Ilocano last in the refrigerator?
    • Igado can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days in an airtight container. Reheat thoroughly before serving.
  • Can I freeze Igado Ilocano for later?
    • Yes, Igado Ilocano can be frozen for future consumption. Permit it to cool before moving it to cooler safe holders. Warm tenderly in the oven or the microwave before serving.
  • What side dishes pair well with Igado Ilocano?
    • Igado is commonly served with steamed rice, but it also pairs well with other Filipino dishes such as fried fish, grilled seafood, or sautéed vegetables.


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