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How to Cook Dinakdakan: An Ilocano Pulutan Dish

I am a chef on a luxury world cruise liner. I love to cook and write recipes that are inspired by foods from all over the world.

Dinakdakan is an Ilocano delicacy

Dinakdakan is an Ilocano delicacy

What Is Dinakdakan?

Dinakdakan is a local specialty from the Ilocos region of the Philippines. Traditionally, it is made with grilled and boiled pig's mask and flavored with pig's brain, which adds a delicious umami creaminess. It's a tasty snack on its own, though it is popularly served as pulutan, or a beer-match food.

Outside of our part of the world, some people may not be comfortable with the idea of cooking with pig's brain; therefore, I have used mayonnaise in this recipe to achieve a very similar flavor.

Dinakdakan ingredients

Dinakdakan ingredients

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

40 min

50 min

2 servings


  • 350 grams pig's mask
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon green chili pepper, chopped
  • 1 kalamansi, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


For the Preparation:

  • 1 medium plate
  • 1 small plate
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 small bowl
  • chopping board
  • knife
  • measuring spoons

For Cooking:

  • pot
  • tongs
  • strainer
  • bowl


  1. Pour water into a pot. Allow it to come to the boil.
  2. Into the pot, add pig's mask, salt, and pepper. Cook until tender.
  3. Once cooked, remove the meat from the boiling water. Set aside.
  4. Heat up the grill. Grill each side of pig’s mask until slightly charred.
  5. Allow it to cool down before slicing.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the sliced meat, as well as the remaining ingredients.
Pork dinakdakan with mayonnaise

Pork dinakdakan with mayonnaise

Tips and Techniques

  • Reserve the boiling water and use as a pork stock.
  • If available, try using the traditional pig’s brain rather than mayonnaise.
  • Replace kalamansi juice with lemon or lime juice.
  • To make it spicier, add more chillies.
  • Experiment with the flavor by adding other seasonings.
  • Enjoy this dish as a beer match food (pulutan) or as a main dish.

More Delicious Pig's Mask Pulutan Recipes

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