Igado or Dinaldalem

(Adobo Variation with Liver)

This dish from Ilocos, north of Manila is similar to adobo except it has liver in it, thus called “Dinaldalem”, Dalem means liver in Ilocano.  I don’t know where “Igado” name came from or what it means.  For practical purposes, I call it “adobo with liver”.

I had this dish years ago cooked by a friend from Pampanga.  She cooked it often for her husband from Ilocos and she told me how to cook it.  I haven’t had this dish in years and I have forgotten about it but when I went shopping one day I saw liver on the shelf and suddenly, I could almost taste this dish.  I bought the liver and some pork, went home and tried to cook it.  It was so good even if I am not a fan of liver.

  • ½ to 1 lb. lean pork cut in cubes or diced
  • 2 slices liver cut in cubes or diced
  • 2 to 3 large cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBS light soy sauce
  • 1/4 c white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. Aji Mirin or 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup canned Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), drained
  • ½ red or green bell pepper julienned
  • Cooking oil
  • Dash of Msg (optional)
  1. Heat a couple of tablespoons oil in a skillet
  2. Drop in the diced liver and cook while occasionally stirring until the liquid has dried completely.
  3. Remove the liver from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Add a little more oil in the skillet (about 1 tablespoon), heat the oil and sauté the garlic, followed by the onions in med. heat.  Stir until the onions are soft and transparent.
  5. Drop in the diced pork and cook until no more trace of pink. 
  6. Mix together the vinegar, water, soy sauce and salt in a cup or bowl.  Stir until salt is dissolved.  Pour in to the pork. Add the bay leaves and cracked black pepper.
  7. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes or until the pork is almost tender.  Add the liver, cover and simmer for about 15 more minutes. 
  8. Add the Aji Mirin or the sugar, the chickpeas and the red bell pepper.  Simmer for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally. 

The dish is supposed to be dry but you may add a little water if it gets too dry.  The liver is what makes it thick. This is very good eaten with white rice because it is a rich dish.


I use light soy sauce in all my recipes.  Use less salt or reduce the amount of soy sauce if you use regular soy sauce.

Still cooking

This is how it looked just before it was done. The bell peppers, red or green or both are important ingredients in this dish. You can add hot chilies to it if you like it spicy. I think that would be good.

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