menudo (filipino pork stew)

menudo close-up

  • Dish: Menudo
  • Serving Size: 4
  • Source: Family recipe
  • Photos: see photo album


Having recently reconnected with my mom, she and I have started to trade foodstuffs. My mother is an incredible cook but it’s difficult to get a recipe out of her. It’s not that she doesn’t want to share–she just doesn’t measure her recipes. It’s mostly done from memory. This recipe was therefore shared with me a week ago as she dropped off a sample and rattled out the ingredients and steps from what she could remember.

When I attempted this dish last night, there was, sure enough, ratios to edit and a few time estimates to adjust. Below is what I think the baseline recipe should be to get your menudo tasting like my favourite filipino stew from my childhood.

Essential Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of pork (preferably boneless sirloin roast), in 1″ cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 small yellow onion, cubed
  • 1 large russet or idaho (white) potato, cubed
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup water
  • salt to taste

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup large, light-coloured raisins to taste(the more you put in, the sweeter it gets)
  • 1 “small handful” of chickpeas to taste (adds texture)


  1. Boil pork in the soy sauce and water in a medium-sized pot, covered. [Add enough water to cover all the meat. There should be roughly a 1:1 ratio of soy and water, but more water is okay.] Boil for 30 minutes or until meat is fork-tender. Set the pork aside and reserve the sauce.
  2. In a large, deep saucepan, saute the garlic and onion in a little bit of oil.
  3. Add the pork, potato, carrots, and chickpeas (optional) and saute until the meat is browned.
  4. Add the tomato paste and half the reserve broth until you achieve a thick, dark red sauce. It should not be overly dark and have the consistency of thick spaghetti sauce. Adjust with more water or more reserve broth to taste.
  5. Cover saucepan and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10-20 minutes.
  6. Add the bell pepper and the remaining optional ingredients of your choice and simmer until these are tender, about another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add salt to taste and serve over steamed white rice.

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