Dinengdeng or inabraw is Filipino dish indigenous to the Ilocos region. For me this dish is like a free style vegetable soup dish where you are free to place any exotic vegetables you wish to use some of the most popular ones are bamboo shoots, okra, string beans jute leaves, moringa, bitter melon leaves, alakon blossoms, amaranth leaves and banana blossoms to name some. I lived for quite some time in Baguio where this dish is popular and I never saw this cooked the same way across different eateries and even households, the only similarity among them is the soup base where it is flavoured by bagoong monamon and fried/grilled fish.

Usually this dish is consumed with rice and meat dishes which have high fat content such as sisig, adobo and lechon as its acts as a balancer for unhealthy dishes. Filipinos have this funny belief that when you mix something bad with something good it will balance it out, that’s why we put a lot of garlic in our fried dishes because they say garlic is good for the heart, same goes with grilled fatty meats and offal where it is accompanied with lots of vinegar to melt all the fats away. How about you do you have some funny beliefs with regards to eating food? I know some of the Chinese have as my friend told me why they drink hot tea always after yam cha.

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup bamboo shoots, sliced (1 used the vacuum packed ones)
  • 1 cup saluyot (jute leaves)
  • 1 pack spinach leaves or any leafy vegetables
  • 1 bunch string beans, sliced
  • 10 pcs okra, sliced in half
  • 2 tbsp bagoong monamon or ground anchovies in oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups rice wash
  • fried fish
  • fish sauce or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oil
  1. In a pot add oil then sauté garlic and onions.
  2. Dilute bagoong in rice wash water then pour into a strainer or muslin cloth over to the pot, press to extract all liquid. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add bamboo shoots then simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add okra and string beans then cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add spinach and jute leaves and season with fish sauce and pepper then simmer for additional 2 minutes.
  6. Place vegetables on a bowl then top it with fried fish then serve. You can optionally add the fried fish on step 4 to make the soup richer but I prefer a crispy fried fish on the top.
If you find bamboo shoots to be smelly boil it for multiple times at 5 minutes each to get rid of the smell.



18 Responses

  1. Karen says:

    I like the idea of mixing something good with something bad…it evens things out. 🙂
    I’m sure I would like your soup.

  2. Lourdes Cadiz Aguda says:

    A secret to have a very flavorful dinendeng , boil the fried or broiled fish in water, add bagoong . Let it simmer for a while , then remove the fish . Then add the veggies one at a time , leaves , last . Eat dinendeng while it is hot !

  3. sarap ng isda tingnan…

  4. Picture pa lang, ang sarap na! Nakakatakam at nakakatulo laway.

  5. Amanda says:

    That looks delicious. Are you using sardines there? For some reason, when I make sardines, i always end up choking on the bones, but I’ve had them in restaurants where they’re just wonderful.

    • Raymund says:

      I used fried mackerel, eating it might be a skill and getting used to it. I remember when I was younger I also choke on them. Also frying it extra crispy would helo so you just munch on them easily.

  6. Eha says:

    Well, it just happens I am medically trained and have also studied nutrition for over 25 years [still am!]. A terrible bore, I agree! But I actually agree with the ‘balancing act’: have a little ‘bad’ if you desire it and mix it with a lot of good – enjoy your food, but still feel ‘ virtuous afterwards! Sadly I cannot get quite a few of the vegetables named but that little bit of fish fried will not do anyone any harm: anyways – fry v fish: the fish oils win 🙂 !

  7. Mary Frances says:

    I’ve heard that a glass of wine when eating red meat will help you to not absorb so many toxins. But that might just be silly! Love the look of the dish.

  8. That dish is right up my alley – looks so light and so vibrantly healthy. What fish did you use, Ray ?

  9. oscar says:

    Grilled bangus/milkfish is the best or fry them u can use also tilapia, I’m used of cooking my dinengdeng the way I know, I know different region in our country have different version f dinengdeng ,

    • Maia says:

      Right, Oscar! We always use grilled bangus on top of our dinengdeng, as bangus is abundant in Dagupan City, Pangasinan, where I am from. Tilapia is also great, whether fried or grilled. 🙂

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