Marketman has a dinuguan phobia. There. I finally admitted it. Hopefully that is the first step to a cure. I used to love dinuguan as a kid. That was before I rudely found out what it was made of. One day, still in my single digits, I entered the kitchen just as my mom was pouring some thick dark liquid out of a plastic bag and into the pot with stuff in it. I asked what it was and she said it was â€œpigâ€™s blood.â€ WHAT?! The thick liquid in the dinuguan was cooked pigâ€™s blood??? I probably turned ashen and quickly retreated out of there. I have a thing about blood. It makes me faint. I once accompanied my sister to the Emergency Room of Makati Med when she cut her toe from an exploding coke bottle and as they were sewing it up I promptly keeled over (fainted) and they had to revive me outside the Emergency Room. When my daughter gets bloody injuries, the same thing happens. I knew I couldnâ€™t be a doctor at age 8. My brother-in-law once took us fishing off the Long Island, New York shoreline and they started chumming with fish guts which promptly made me upchuck some of my ownâ€¦ so, no, this dinuguan thing is an imbeded and highly irrational thing. I couldn’t be reincardnated as a vampire. Or vampire bat for that matter.
I eat more and more unusual things as I get older (frogs, rabbits, live octopus, sea urchins, alligator, eels, ostrich), including blood sausages with some trepidation, so I am determined to get over this dinuguan phobia. The first step was to read up on the recipe and understand that it is mostly pigâ€™s innards, blood, vinegar (which I like) and spices. Some of my readers have asked about coagulated blood and I now know that the vinegar is used to keep the blood from hardening too much. The next step was to buy some dinuguan from reputable sellers to make sure I got small doses before cooking it myself (if I ever got to that stage). To dire warnings of â€œyou better be sure that it is clean,â€ â€“ clean dinuguan, an apparent oxymoron considering what the ingredients are, I toyed with the idea of trying chicken dinuguan firstâ€¦ but decided to go all the way with the original version with innards. That is what is in the bowl here. I ate about three spoonfuls mixed with white rice and it wasnâ€™t that bad, really. However, the version I bought was a bit too vinegary for me. I asked other dinuguan experts to weigh in and they concurred. It should have a vinegary taste but not overpowering. Letâ€™s just say the three spoonfuls was enough for now. Will have to wait before we make our own lechon in the backyard before I really think seriously of cooking this myselfâ€¦If you have any helpful comments on how to cook a really delicious dinuguan, kindly leave them here for my referenceâ€¦thanks!