Try this Pulpog recipe, shared by Come Forth Kitchen at the Maya Kitchen cooking class for its Top Eats edition. This Filipino grilled pork dish is perfect for a Saturday night with friends coming over for a couple of bottles of beer.
There’s a chef I know who literally gets crazy whenever someone refers to our Kinilaw as the Philippine’s Version of Ceviche. She’d be foaming in the mouth whenever a recipe is titled “The Philippine Version” of something. She’d like to believe, and I fully agree with her that our cuisine suffers a lot because it is always being compared to some other foreign dish. And the sad thing is, mostly, it is us who who makes these comparison.
I’m sure she’s going to find fault with this article if she reads it too. Because Pulpog is definitely not Kilawin.
Pulpog (not to be confused with Insarabasab or Dinakdakan) is an Ilocano delicacy that has grilled pork liempo and pork blood (like Betamax Isaw)- which is the main difference with Kilawin (I think). Insarabasab is also Kilawin but uses mostly the pigs face (like sisig) while Dinakdakan also has vinegar but it is boiled and not grilled. Whew.
Come to think of it, I think she (the chef) also explained the difference of Kinilaw and Kilawin – which should never be interchanged. Kilawin is cooked in fire, kinilaw is cooked in liquid fire (acid).
Hence, Pulpog is Ilocano Kilawin version. It’s very easy to learn how to cook Pulpog. Just grill it lightly and finish the cooking with the vinegar. If you can, grill it in an open wood fire as I find that that also lends to the overall authenticity of the dish.