dinak Dinakdakan“The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.”

This is what this image seems to say to me when I walked to the park today.  My friend Rowena commented that it is human nature to always think that way.

We should change this mindset, I responded.  The grass is greener where you stand, because you have a better view of it. We always think that the grass is greener on the other side only to find out when we get there that the grass has patches, needing to be mowed and leaving us to do a whole lot of work.

This applies to many facets of our lives, Rowena went on, like our relationships, career, health, etc.  Instead of always looking at the other direction (out of curiousity, discontentment, uncertainty), why not stay focused on what is at hand and make the most of what we have.

Bravo, very well said Rowena!

My husband and I come from different regions in the Philippines.  Growing up, I always wanted to live in the city, while he always wanted to live in the province.  Life throws some humor in our lives that yes, we had lived on both sides – experiencing life in the city and in the province. We learned how to appreciate the beauty of a simple, provincial life in my hometown and also the fun and excitement of living in the city.

So I was thinking out loud on what to cook tonight and he suggested, Why not make dinakdakan?

I was surprised with the request, for dinakdakan is a dish common in my hometown but not in the city.  It was endearing because it felt like my husband grew up with the dish, like it was very familiar to his palette.

Guided by my husband’s suggestion, I made dinakdakan and paired it with a simple veggie dish of dinengdeng.  Both dishes are simple staples from the small town of Tuguegarao.

Dinakdakan is an Ilocano (although I am not Ilocano, but Ibanag) dish made of grilled pig’s ear and face laced with pig’s brain.  Ok, before you fall off your chair, no I didn’t cook my version that way.  Instead I used pork steaks and added mayonnaise in lieu of the soft nervous system organ.  You could use pork belly too if you’d prefer.  Dinengdeng is a simple vegetable dish that is cooked in fish sauce broth.  You could use a variety of veggies but in my version I used spinach.  So I’m sharing the recipe of dinakdakan below and if you want to get its partner here’s my version of dinengdeng recipe.  For comments and suggestions, you may get in touch with me in  Facebook and Twitter! Enjoy!



  • 2 pcs pork steak (belly, butt could also be used)
  • 1 tsp pork bullion (the powder one)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 whole white onions (sliced)
  • green onions chopped
  • 1/4 c calamansi (lemon or vinegar could be used as an alternative)
  • 2 tbsp mayo


  1. Mix garlic powder, onion powder and the bullion together. Rub it on the pork steaks. You could grill it but for me, I pan seared the pork steaks on a cast iron pan. Cook both sides for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the lemon and mayo together. Season with salt and pepper. (Note: not too much salt as the pork steaks are already seasoned with the bullion)
  2. Let the meat rest for five minutes. Slice meat and coat it with the mayo mixture. Sprinkle a generous amount onions.
  3. For those of you who doesn't want raw onions do this:
  4. On a pan, put 2 tbsp butter. Add onions. Stir fry the sliced meat with the mayo mixture. Stir for a few minutes until onions are wilted. Enjoy.


© 2012, Malou @ Skip to Malou. All rights reserved.