Pork higadillo recipe with a vinegar and soy simmer
It’s often said that Filipino cuisine is one of the tastiest in the world.
You’d have to agree, what with the numerous tasty recipes that the cuisine has, such as mechado, adobo, tinola, or even chicken inasal.
Filipinos always make sure that everything’s tasty and that it’ll make everyone come back for more. One such tasty recipe is pork higadillo!
The Spanish word for liver (which is “higado”) tells us that this higadillo recipe is a liver-based dish, which is true.
A variant of the original Spanish higadillo uses chicken liver as the main ingredient.
For our variant though, we use pork liver and pork.
As not all people like to eat liver, it’s possible that the pork was added eventually so that the non-liver eaters can still eat the dish without leaving out everything.
Potatoes and carrots, mainstays of Spanish-influenced Filipino dishes, can be used as extenders to the pork and pork liver. However, this can also be skipped.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Pork higadillo recipe preparation tips
- 2 Pork higadillo recipe
- 3 Cooking tips
- 4 Substitute and variations
- 5 What is Pork Higadillo?
- 6 Origin of Pork Higadillo
- 7 How to serve and eat
- 8 How to store leftovers
- 9 Similar dishes
- 10 Conclusion
Pork higadillo recipe preparation tips
This pork higadillo recipe lends itself to many possibilities and is easy to prepare.
A sauteed and one-pot meal, you just add all of the ingredients gradually. And you can choose whether to make it on the brothy side or more on the broth-less side.
As this recipe is similar to igado, you can also add red bell peppers.
You can add more lechon sauce and emphasize the dish by being generous with it; much like lechong kawali.
Pork higadillo recipe
- ¼ kg pork meat
- ¼ kg pork liver
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 large carrot
- 1 tsp sugar (or according to your taste)
- 1 tbsp bread crumbs (if there are no bread crumbs, add another 1 tablespoon of flour)
- 1 onion
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp flour (dissolved in water)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup sliced spring onion
- Saute the garlic and onion, then add the pork meat and liver. Simmer until the pinkish color is gone, then add the soy sauce and vinegar, and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer until the meat is tender. Then add the carrot and potato, mix well, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until tender.
- Stir in the dissolved flour and bread crumbs, then simmer until the soup thickens. Add the spring onion and turn off the heat.
Check out YouTube user Panlasang Pinoy’s video on making pork higadillo:
As I’ve mentioned already, cooking this dish is very easy and even if you’re a complete beginner, you can get this dish done by just following the recipe above.
That’s why I only have two tips to share with you.
The first cooking tip that I can share with you is to get the freshest ingredients possible because it really matters in this dish.
Whether it’s your veggies, seasonings, or the pork and liver itself, make sure that you shop for only the best. Having fresh ingredients will also help you to avoid spoilage.
Another one is if you accidentally put too much amount of salt, add more potatoes to the dish as it will absorb the saltiness.
Substitute and variations
Are you excited to cook your pork higadillo, but there are just some ingredients missing?
Well, check out some of my ingredient substitutes and variations below, so no one can stop you from cooking!
Use cornstarch instead of flour
Adding flour to your pork higadillo will make it thicker and savory. However, there’s no need to fret if you don’t have it or you are on a gluten-free diet.
You can instead use cornstarch as a substitute. You can easily find this at any sari-sari store, so there’s no need to worry.
Moreover, you can also choose not to add all the ingredients here, like bread crumbs or spring onions. They’re not really necessary to make a classic version of pork higadillo.
What is Pork Higadillo?
Pork Higadillo is a classic Filipino dish and an all-time favorite that is made from pork and liver stew that has been slowly cooked with vinegar, lechon sauce, soy sauce, and loads of garlic for a sweet, sour, and savory flavor.
The dish is well-loved by many Filipino families and it can be served in just about any meal paired with a warm bowl of rice.
You can also see this dish often being served in carinderias or kainan, or in any special Filipino occasion, such as birthdays, weddings, or christenings.
Due to its simplicity but suiting Filipino tastes very well, it’s not a surprise why pork higadillo is a sure win!
Origin of Pork Higadillo
Higadillo is of Spanish origin, which means “liver.” Since the Philippines was once colonized by the Spaniards, some words and even foods were adapted even until today.
Based on its name, the pork higadillo dish was once thought to be an all-liver dish.
However, there are some people who, although they like how the dish tastes, don’t like to eat liver. Since then, pork was added, so no one is left out when eating pork higadillo.
Today, the dish is widely adapted in the whole country and is often served on special occasions.
How to serve and eat
Just like the manner of preparing and cooking pork higadillo, serving and eating it also comes the same way—easy and effortless.
Once the dish is cooked, simply transfer it to a bowl and serve it with a bowl of warm rice.
Using a service spoon, scoop your desired amount of pork higadillo and pour it over the top of your rice, and then, with your own spoon, eat.
How to store leftovers
If you can’t finish your delicious bowl of pork higadillo, simply put it inside an airtight container and place it in the fridge.
This will preserve the dish for two to three days.
When you decide to eat the leftovers again, simply heat up a pan and add the preserved pork higadillo dish.
If you wish to increase the amount of soup, simply add a cup of water, but don’t forget to add salt and seasonings as well to maintain its taste.
Can’t get enough of pork higadillo? No worries! There are still other similar dishes to try that are equally mouth-watering.
A classic stew from the Philippines made with pig and sliced liver in tomato sauce with carrots and potatoes is called menudo, also known as ginagmay in Cebuano.
This is very much similar to pork higadillo, but instead of cutting in strips manner, it is cut in squares.
And while pork higadillo employs soy vinegar and occasionally fish sauce, menudo is simmered in tomato sauce.
Another popular stew among Filipinos is called pork paksiw, which is made of brown, thinly sliced pork belly simmered in liver sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, and spices.
This pork caldereta, also known as kalderetang baboy, is a popular beef caldereta version. In Filipino cuisine, there are many different varieties of kaldereta.
In addition to the beef and chicken kaldereta recipes, the pork version of this dish is also very popular.
How are you finding our star recipe today?
Well, I’m pretty sure that you’re more than excited to cook your very first tastebud-blasting pork higadillo!
After all, it’s another easy-to-follow, well-loved Filipino dish that will surely be a part of your list of favorite Filipino dishes.
How about pork jowl & chicken liver? That’s this Filipino sisig recipe!
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.