“That stuff with the blood in it.” That’s what other Westerners warn you about if tell them you’re going to the Philippines. My boss went on at some length about a variety of blood-based dishes, until I began to wonder if any Filipino food didn’t have blood in it.
As it turns out, the dish is called Dinuguan, and it’s made out of pork. It was a thick stew, almost gel-like, with dark and meaty flavors and hints of chili and vinegar. It was tasty, though I confess the blood part did put me off a bit.
Vinegar and soy sauce went nicely with this cold half-eggplant with tomato and onion, which I got at a fast-food place. If only McD’s and Burger King served eggplant! That’s a chili sauce on the side, by the way, although as I recall the emphasis was on musky, fermented-fishy flavors as much as on spicy heat.
One problem with blogging too far after the fact is that the details get a bit foggy. I don’t remember what this dish was called, but I’m guessing it was a kind of tapa, which Wikipedia tells us is “a traditional dish of salt-cured beef that is similar to American-style beef jerky.” It certainly wasn’t that salty, but perhaps it was soaked before being cooked up in a sauce. It was a meaty, stick-to-your ribs kind of meal with scrambled egg and rice, served up at another little fast-food joint.