Pinapaitan is a very popular dish in the Northern Part of the Philippines more specifically in Ilocos Region, the original dish consists of goat and ox innards and its meat flavoured with bile, tamarind and chillies.

Pinapaitan is a very popular dish in the Northern Part of the Philippines more specifically in Ilocos Region, the original dish consists of goat and ox innards and its meat flavoured with bile, tamarind and chillies. This is not for the faint hearted as this will be up in the ranks of the strangest dishes together with Haggis, Eskimo Ice Cream, Blood Pudding, Frog Sashimi, Dinuguan and Maggot Cheese.

Pinapitan came from the word “pait” which means bitter which in turn uses the animal bile liquid as the flavouring agent. I remember I spent my college days in Baguio (The Summer capital of the Philippines) which is in the northern region and one of my friends Uncle always cook this dish and I really love it, it’s good for cold season specially in Baguio which is relatively cold compared to other parts of the Philippines.

This dish contains a lot of organ meats and during the old days dishes like this were regarded as a prized food source.  Nowadays, eating organ meats became less popular and in fact many people have stayed away from eating these parts of an animal and find the thought of doing so quite disconcerting.  However, organ meats are actually quite nutritious, they are the more nutrient-dense than muscle meat.  All organ meats pack a lot of B-vitamins, such as vitamin B12 and folate plus they are also rich in minerals like  iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc, as well as other vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K.  Furthermore, organ meats are an excellent protein source so if you want to add more protien on your diet plans, then give this pinapaitan a try.

Today in where I live it is hard to get the ingredients specially the bile that’s why we need to improvise some ingredients and in this case we will be using bitter gourds as the bittering agent. By using the improvised ingredients it’s easy to serve it to non-Filipino guests as it would look less like an episode of Fear Factor for them.

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Pinapaitan 1


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 3 reviews
  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Pinapaitan is a very popular dish in the Northern Part of the Philippines more specifically in Ilocos Region, the original dish consists of goat and ox innards and its meat flavoured with bile, tamarind and chillies.


  • 600g ox tripe, cleaned, cooked and sliced into small pieces
  • 250g beef heart, sliced into small pieces
  • 250g beef liver, sliced into small pieces
  • 250g beef brisket, sliced into small pieces
  • 3 pcs medium sized bitter gourd, seeded and sliced into large chunks
  • 1 big packet sinigang mix (tamarind mix)
  • 1 to 1.5 liters beef stock
  • 1/2 cup cane vinegar
  • 1 whole garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb size ginger, crushed and sliced finely
  • 2 medium size red onion, chopped
  • 6 green finger chillies (siling haba)
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • fish sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oil


  1. Marinate liver for 30 minutes in vinegar then set aside.
  2. In a pot sauté garlic, ginger and onion in oil.
  3. Add all meat ingredients except for the liver, stir fry for 1 and brown on all sides
  4. Add beef stock, bitter gourd and chillies (do not slice). Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Drain the vinegar out of the liver.
  6. Remove the chunks of bitter gourd and place them on a blender, blend well.
  7. Place blended bitter gourd into a fine sieve or a muslin cloth, run some hot stock on top while draining directly on the pot, this will get the maximum bitterness of the bitter gourd while making the soup clear.
  8. Add sinigang mix and liver simmer for additional 10 minutes, you might need to reduce the amount of sinigang mix according to the sourness you like.
  9. Flavour with fish sauce (according to your taste) and season with freshly ground black pepper.


Some bittering agent used apart from beef bile that I heard of but not yet tried are fish bile and coffee.
If you have easy access to bile juices then replace the bitter gourd with 1/4 cup of bile juice, cook according to instructions with replacement
Update: During the time I posted this there was no pinapaitan mix available, now that there is you can replace both ampalaya and sinigang mix with it. You might still need some sinigang mix to give it a bit of sourness.



12 Responses

  1. Hmm, it’s just hard to make the word innards sound appetizing. I give you kuddos for trying.

  2. mjskit says:

    My mother used to make tripe in many, many ways. Sometimes it was good and sometimes, not so good! This dish with the brisket and beef stock actually looks good. Sounds rich with flavor.

  3. Kristy says:

    This one isn’t for the faint of heart. There are some interesting ingredients in there. ;)

  4. Wow you aren’t kidding when you say it isn’t for the faint hearted…

  5. I have had a beef heart sitting in my freezer for eons, unsure what to do with it. Pinning!

  6. My immigrant parents came from Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, and Angadanan, Isabela Provinces in the Cayagan Valley of Northern Luzon, Philippines. They were indigenous Gaddangs, not Ilocano. I want to emphasize “Gaddang”, my indigenous ancestral tribe’s name, because whenever I was asked by new Filipino friends where my parents came from and I tell them, they instinctively think I’m an Ilocano, the dominant group of people in those provinces since after 1860.

    My father’s profession was cooking, at our family home (mom cooked at home too). My father was the best known cook among the Gaddangs during his lifetime in San Francisco. When I was a young boy in the 1940s growing up in San Francisco, I used to accompany my father to shop in Chinatown for fresh pork, beef, freshly dressed chickens (father selected the ones he wanted from a cage of chickens) at the only butcher shop he preferred where bile, and blood were also sold, and other markets for fresh Chinese vegetables. At home father always cooked Papaitan (I think the word Pinapaitan is an Ilocano word) and that’s the way father pronounced it without the letters “Pina”. The best description I recall was the kind of tripe father used in his Papaitan which looked like tiny black finger-like protrusions, as in a floor carpet. This black tripe cut in small strips cooked with bile and his special seasonings always turns out to be a tasty treat (masarap). I acquired the bitter taste for papitan, and the taste of bittermelon (an Asian / Filipino vegetable called “Ampalaya”) since my childhood days into adulthood when father was still alive. I’m not certain if my siblings liked papaitan, but I know they do like ampalaya. When I used to tell my children what that black meat was, they made a distorted face cringing at the thought of me eating animal innerds. I have tasted other cooks papaitan, but none as good as my father’s recipe. Since my father’s death in the 1970s, I haven’t eaten any Papaitan. My wives didn’t like it either, only me.

    Chef Pol Nepomuceno, Chef Andy Adra, First Cook Pete V. Liban my father was one of three cooks at the world reknowned Shadows (Bavarian) Restaurant on Upper Montgomery Street, were all Filipinos cooking the German Cuisine.

  7. Maia says:

    When we make this at home, we add kamias to add a hint of sourness. Thank you, Raymund for this great post. :)

  8. It's a Long Way from Hawai'i Nei says:

    The stupidest thing my sister and I ever did was not pay attention to my dad’s cooking when we were younger. Our dad was an awesome cook and we never gave a thought to what would happen when he would inevitably pass. Oh, he tried to teach us, alright, but there was always something more interesting or more important than spending time in the kitchen with him passing those skills down to us. We somehow took it for granted that this great food would always be there. That inevitable day did come to pass and reality shortly hit us like a ton of bricks. It’s been 30 years now since his passing and we have, through trial and error, and reaching back into the fog of our childhood trying to piece together whatever our memory allows us, managed to copy, but not never duplicate, our dad’s time-honed skills in the kitchen.

    Pinapaitan was one of our favorites. I know, this is a “Hard Core” Filipino dish. I think it’s one of those things that you have to have grown-up with to appreciate. My doctor doesn’t really care for me eating this stuff (he kind of recoiled when I told him how much I love this dish!). I gotta laugh, though. I live in a sparsely populated state out West and people like me are very few and far between in these parts. People would be horrified if they ever knew what I concoct on a regular basis in my kitchen. This is true “Comfort Food”, especially this time of year when the snow’s piling up outside and temperatures are south of Zero. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Raymund says:

      It it always hard to recreate home cooked food specially if it was your parents who prepared them, something that cant be replaced by anyone. Its a taste that you grew up with and its different with every family. Hence it will be impossible to find that taste from another household, there might be some hints of what you grew up with but not the exact formula. Dont we just love Mom’s or Dad’s cooking.

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