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How to Make Dinengdeng: A Filipino-Inspired Dish

My passion for cooking leads me to travel to different places, eat authentic local dishes, and inspire everybody to enjoy their lives!

How to Make Dinengdeng: A Filipino-Inspired Dish

How to Make Dinengdeng: A Filipino-Inspired Dish

My short vacation with relatives allowed me to discover and eat local dishes. Most of their ingredients were harvested straight from the farm, which made most of our meals special. As a chef, eating a dish with fresh ingredients is more enjoyable than any expensive foods.

Dinengdeng is a native dish in Ilocos Region of the Philippines. This dish consists of any vegetables with fried or grilled fish simmered in fermented fish sauce. There are so many variations of this dish, though mine is quite simple as I used only five ingredients. Check out my recipe below for my own version of how to make dinengdeng, a Filipino-inspired dish.


  • 125 grams jute
  • 8 pieces small bitter melon, sliced
  • 3 slices yellow fin tuna, fried
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup fermented fish sauce
  • salt, for cooking the fish
  • pepper, for cooking the fish
  • water, for cooking the dish


For the Ingredients:

  • 1 Tray
  • 1 Medium Bowl
  • 2 Small Bowls
  • Knife
  • Chopping Board

For Cooking the Dish:

1. For the Fish:

  • Frying Pan
  • Turner Spatula

2. For the Dinengdeng:

  • Pot
  • Cooking Spoon

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

50 min

1 hour



  1. Season and fry the fish. Set aside.
  2. Bring water to boil.
  3. Add garlic, bitter melon and fermented fish sauce. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Put in jute and fried yellow fin tuna. Allow it to boil.
  5. Serve while still hot.
Bitter Melon and Jute

Bitter Melon and Jute

How to Lessen the Bitterness of Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd?

  1. Remove the seeds.
  2. Scrape off the outer layer.
  3. Rub salt on each slice of the bitter melon.
  4. Wash it with water to remove the juice.

© 2018 Travel Chef


Travel Chef (author) from Manila on August 16, 2020:

Hi Gem,

Thank you for dropping by. Both my parents too are Ilocanos. I agree with you that this food can be a comfort food. Plus the fact that it can be a very flexible dish where you can add any vegetables or fish available and you can already call it dinengdeng. I hope you try our other recipes.

Gem on August 16, 2020:

Hi! My parents are pure Ilocanos, and all my life eating dinengdeng is my go to food for me. A comfort food. I suggest, cause for me, I use tomatoes, onions, some left over fried fish or grilled fish and mix and match any green leafy veggies such as kamote tops, bitter gourd leaves, moringa leaves, chayote tops or add eggplant or patola or squash flowers. Or sometimes just the veggies and cooked in fish bagoong sauce.

Travel Chef (author) from Manila on October 25, 2019:

Ah yes. Jute isn't common in other countries. Maybe you could check an Asian store.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on October 21, 2019:

I don't think I have already eaten Dinengdeng before but I heard a lot about this food. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I hope I can find jute here.

Travel Chef (author) from Manila on July 29, 2018:

Hi Mary,

This is really simple recipe. Much tim is needed for frying the fish rather than the actual cooking. Lol

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 29, 2018:

Jute was one of my favourites when I was growing up. I have heard of Dinengdend but have not really tried it. You made it so simple to prepare here.

Travel Chef (author) from Manila on July 28, 2018:

Hi Liz,

Thank you for your kind words. I would love to create one in the future. As I truly enjoy traveling in different places and eating local dishes.

Travel Chef (author) from Manila on July 28, 2018:

Hi Eric,

I agree with your point about fermented fish sauce. But it's really how they call it. Locally, they are using two different kinds of fish sauce. The typical Asian fish sauce is a product out of fermented fish drippings. While fermented fish sauce consists of fermented fish including its brining solution. The latter has stronger flavor and taste than the former.

Are you refering to a Vietnamese Pho? Or a different local dish?

Travel Chef (author) from Manila on July 28, 2018:

Hi Pamela,

Most of the ingredients are commonly found in the place. It is really flavorful, but the odor of the fermented fish maybe quite disturbing if you are not used in eating it.

Liz Westwood from UK on July 28, 2018:

This is an interesting recipe.You could write a recipe book.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 28, 2018:

I had to look up "fermented" fish sauce. I thought all fish sauce was fermented. Ours is nước mắm and comes from Phu Quoc Island. Bitter-gourd tea is a staple for me. We use a variety of fish for this type of dish. Normally ours becomes a Pho'

I like your style of eating. Count me in on all your dishes.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 28, 2018:

I don't have all these ingredients in my home, but could acquire them. This sounds like a unique dish and very flavorful. I love seeing your unusual recipes.

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