How to Cook Dinakdakan: An Ilocano Pulutan Dish

Updated on March 21, 2020
dredcuan profile image

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 | Source

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 | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: 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, to taste
  • 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 | Source

Tips and Techniques

  1. Reserve the boiling water and use as a pork stock.
  2. If available, try using the traditional pig’s brain rather than mayonnaise.
  3. Replace kalamansi juice with lemon or lime juice.
  4. For more spiciness, add more chillies.
  5. Adjust the taste by adding other seasonings.

© 2020 Travel Chef


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    • dredcuan profile imageAUTHOR

      Travel Chef 

      4 months ago from Manila

      Hello Kyler,

      Same here. This isn't a good part of dinner date menu! I would suggest to serve this during parties. At least everybody can enjoy it with a cold alcoholic drink!

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 months ago from Corona, CA

      Definitely not something I would order on a first date, lean in for a kiss and then accidentally let out a red onion burp!


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