Dinengdeng na Saluyot at Labong

Dinengdeng na saluyot at labong is ready in under an hour and makes a hearty and nutritious meal. This Ilocano dish is made with mixed vegetables, and grilled or fried fish simmered in a flavorful broth of fermented fish and onions.

Also referred to as abraw or inabraw, dinendeng is a provincial style of cooking from the Northern regions of the Philippines, specifically, Ilocos. It involves a simple process of boiling vegetables in a broth seasoned with fermented fish sauce. Grilled or fried fish is also added at the end of cooking to heighten flavors.

Its name is derived from the word idengdeng, which means “to strain,” as the bagoong monamon is usually strained to extract the fermented juice from the small fish pieces in the anchovy sauce.

Like Longganisa, there is no straight rule of what vegetables to include in inabraw as home cooks usually use whatever fresh produce is abundant in the area. While vegetables such as ampalaya, kamote tops, alugbate, lima beans, eggplant, wing beans, and squash flowers are delicious additions, this recipe is a simple affair of labong and saluyot.

  • Fish – the recipe uses tilapia, but any firm-fleshed fish such as bangus, pompano, and galunggong will do. You can also try shrimp or tinapa.
  • Oil– use oil with a neutral taste and high smoke point suitable for deep-frying, such as canola, avocado, or safflower oil
  • Labong– young bamboo shoots. Are sold whole, already peeled and julienned, or canned.
  • Onion– adds flavor
  • Bagoong Monamon– also known as bagoong isda or fermented fish sauce
  • Saluyot leaves– also called jute mallow, a leafy vegetable known for its mucilaginous properties.
  • Salt and pepper– enhance the flavor.

Adding fish

You can grill the fish for a smoky taste or fry for more texture. Some prefer to serve the denengdeng topped with cooked fish. I like to add and simmer the fish in the broth during the last few minutes of cooking time to infuse the dish with flavor.

Preparing labong

Raw bamboo shoots contain cyanogenic glycosides, which are part of the plant’s defense mechanism and can also be found in lima beans, cassava, almonds, or sorghum. Cutting the labong into small pieces and boiling it in water reduces this natural-occurring toxin. Commercial canning processes also rids of this chemical, making the food safe for consumption.

Dinengdeng na saluyot at labong cooking steps

Cooking Tip

Cook the jute leaves just until wilted as overcooking can make them bitter-tasting.

How to serve and store

  • Serve this abraw na saluyot at labong as a delicious main dish with steamed rice for lunch or dinner.
  • Allow leftovers to cool completely and transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in a saucepan to 165 F or microwave at 1 to 2-minute intervals until heated.

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