Wednesday 12 November 2014


Menudo is as synonymous to Filipino fare as adobo. It is one of the heritage dishes that has remained a classic. It is cooked with regularity in households and served as a staple in carinderias (eateries). 

Menudo is a Spanish word which simply means small or minute. While there is a Spanish or Mexican dish made with innards with the same name, the Filipino menudo is very different. The characteristic tomato sauce is there as usual. In my town, there are two types of menudo. One version has potatoes and one has garbanzos, both used in the the dish as meat extenders.

The menudo with potatoes is more frugal. Menudo con garbanzos has more ingredients in it and has a richer deeper flavour because of the pork liver. I have added smoked paprika and sherry to intensify the flavours further.

Although usually served with steamed rice, it is also eaten on bread as a sandwich filling. Every Filipino child has memories of menudo sandwiches in their school lunch.


600 gms. of pork shoulder or collar meat, cut into 1" cube
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime or 2 calamansi
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbsps. tomato puree (paste)
150 gms. of pork liver, cut into 1" cube
2 medium carrots, cubed
1/2 c. sultanas or raisins (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/4 c. dry sherry
1 tin 400 gm. tin of garbanzos (chick peas), drained (240 gms. when drained)
1 tbsp. fish sauce (or to taste)
1 tbsp. brown sugar


Season the pork with the lemon or lime juice, soy sauce, paprika and black pepper. Mix well and leave aside for about 15 minutes.

Heat up a pan and add in the olive oil.

Sauté the  garlic in the oil on low heat until medium brown. 

Add in the onions and sauté until translucent.

Increase the heat then add in the seasoned pork. Stir through until the meat is sealed and most of the juices have evaporated.

Add in the tomato puree, pork liver, carrots, sultanas or raisins (optional) and bay leaf. Stir through until the liver is sealed and the juices have evaporated. Add in the sherry and 1/4 c. of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat until the pork is fork tender (40 minutes to an hour).

With dishes like this, the key is in sautéing the dish well then adding the liquid a little bit at a time, around the ingredients, not on top. This allows a rich flavour to develop as the ingredients caramelise together. Adding too much water results to a "washed taste" because the ingredients are boiled instead of stewed.

Add in the garbanzos and simmer for 10 more minutes.

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