There’s no denying that Filipinos love their food, but they also have an affinity for “gross foods” like chicken feet, pig intestines, and even cow tongue.
If you want to try something different from your usual fare, then this deliciously spicy meat stew called papaitan might be just what you need.
It has become one of the most popular Filipino dishes over the years due to its unique combination of flavors.
What Are The Ingredients In Papaitan?
Papaitan is actually quite simple to prepare.
The key ingredient here is the beef innards or tripe.
These parts of cattle are usually discarded after slaughtering them, so it makes sense why they would end up as part of this dish.
The other main component of papaitan is the peanut butter which gives it its distinctive flavor.
Peanuts are native to South America where people traditionally eat them ground into paste before adding water and cooking to create a thick liquid meal.
This is similar to how peanut butter is created today, except it uses roasted peanuts instead of raw ones.
Finally, there’s the chili pepper.
You can find dried red chilies everywhere in the Philippines because of how much they love hot stuff.
They use these to spice up many meals including papaitan.
When you combine all three of those elements together, you get an incredibly flavorful dish that packs a lot of protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Where does papaitan come from?
The name papaitan comes from a Spanish word meaning “stewed guts”.
In fact, when Spaniards first encountered the Philippines during Magellan’s voyage around the world, they were surprised by the abundance of seafood available there.
One of the things that caught their attention was the large number of pigs roaming free throughout the country.
Seeing as how pork wasn’t readily available back home (in Spain), the Spaniards decided to add pork to their diet as well.
When they did, they found out that eating pig intestines was very common among Filipinos who had been consuming them since ancient times.
So, they started referring to cooked pieces of animal intestine as ‘papa’ and added it to stews like papaitan.
That brings us to another interesting tidbit about this dish – it originated from the Visayan tribe on Luzon Island.
However, the dish spread across the rest of the archipelago and eventually became known as papaitan.
How Do You Make Papaitan?
Papaitan (the name translates into Papaya Stew) can be cooked using any type of protein, such as pork or beef.
The traditional way involves cooking the meat until tender, before adding it to the gravy which includes soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, water, garlic, onion, tomato paste, and spices.
You may add a little bit of oil if needed.
Once everything comes together, the mixture should simmer slowly on low heat for about five hours or so.
To serve, use a rice paddle to scoop out portions onto plates and garnish them with sliced green onions, peanuts, and sambal oelek chili flakes.
You can find many variations of papaitan recipes online, and some cooks will add fish balls or ground meat instead of ground beef.
If you don’t want to spend much time preparing it at home, there are several takeout restaurants and fast food chains selling papaitan meals too.
But beware! These versions tend to be very salty.
What Is The History Of Papaitan?
In fact, it was once described as the national dish of the Philippines.
But how did such a simple dish evolve into the culinary delight we know today?
Papaitan, known locally as pakit or paikit, is actually a fusion of two traditional Filipino dishes – adobo (a richly flavored beef stew) and kaldereta (chili).
The latter is traditionally prepared using pork ribs, which gives it a distinctive flavor and makes the dish more palatable to non-meat eaters.
But while both ingredients were used together centuries ago, it wasn’t until the early 20th century when these two dishes were combined into one dish that became papaitan.
The first documented account of papaitan appeared in the year 1924, when Eusebio de Jesus wrote about his visit to Pampanga province during World War II.
He mentioned that he had enjoyed eating a type of stew made from beef, tripe, and other offal, which he referred to as “pakit”.
This dish was reportedly served by Kapisanan ng mga Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (the Philippine National Association of Boy Scouts), which would later become the Philippine Scout Organization, on special occasions such as birthdays or religious festivals.
After World War II, the popularity of the dish grew among locals, who began serving it at barbecues and feasts.
This led to restaurants specializing in making papaitan being established throughout the country.
What Are The Different Ways To Make Papaitan?
Papaitan can take on many forms depending on which region it comes from or how it was prepared.
Some versions may use more tripe while others will include only bile (the yellowish liquid inside the liver).
The main ingredients of papaitan are usually ground pork or ground beef mixed with other spices like garlic, onion, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and ketchup.
- Soy Sauce Papaitan Recipe – This version uses only half the amount of soy sauce as compared to the original papaitan recipe. You can add additional flavor by adding a dash of hot pepper flakes or crushed red peppers.
- Tongue Papaitan Recipe – Tongues come from cows, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, deer, buffalo, etc. If you don’t feel comfortable eating tongues, you can replace them with any other type of animal parts such as heart, lungs, stomach lining, brain, kidney, etc.
- Tripe Papaitan Recipe – Tripe is the name given to the part of the digestive tract that includes the intestine, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, and liver. To prepare tripe, wash all the organs thoroughly before cutting into pieces and removing the fat layer. Chop up the rest of the organ using scissors. Add the chopped up tripe to the mix when cooking.
- Bile Papaitan Recipe – Bile is the fluid produced by the liver during digestion. When preparing papaitan, add extra bile if desired.
- Canned Beef Intestines – These are used instead of fresh ones because canned intestines tend to be easier to handle than those that are freshly cut. Just drain off excess water before chopping the intestines into smaller chunks.
For more information about making papaitan, check out these recipes below!
What Are The Benefits Of Eating Papaitan?
Papaitan is not only delicious, it’s nutritious as well.
The main ingredient here is pork intestine which contains high levels of protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin K, and B12 among other nutrients.
The tripe itself is rich in minerals such as copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and sodium.
The tripe alone can provide up to 30% of daily requirements for calcium, 40% for phosphorous, and 50% for iodine.
Other ingredients found in papaitan include soybeans, garlic, onion, ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, and vinegar.
These help boost the flavor and add more nutritional value to the dish.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Eating Papaitan?
As with other types of cuisine, it is important to note that every person will process certain ingredients differently based on his or her personal preferences.
While many people enjoy papaitan as part of their diet, others may not find it appetizing at all.
There are several ways to prepare papaitan depending on how much time you have available and which version appeals to you most.
For example, if you only have time for making a quick meal, you can make a simple papaitan using ground pork instead of the traditional cut of steak.
This method would require less prep work than the more complicated preparation methods outlined below.
However, those who prefer to spend extra time preparing meals tend to favor these variations because they offer a variety of flavor profiles.
Pork Papaitan Recipe 1 – Ground Pork
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 2 cups water
- 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into strips
Pork Papaitan Recipe 2 – Steak Papaitan
- 2 pounds flank steak, thinly sliced across grain
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Red chili flakes to taste
What Are Some Of The Most Popular Papaitan Recipes?
Papaitan is usually served as part of a traditional meal or during festive occasions such as weddings and baptisms.
The original recipe calls for pork trimmings, but nowadays it could include other types of animal parts (such as ox tail) and vegetables.
The dish originated from the Visayan people who migrated from Cebu island to the Philippines.
In fact, it was originally known by the name Pahitang Papaitan which means ‘beef intestine stewed in coconut milk.’
Over time, however, the word “papaitan” has been used interchangeably with other terms including baka patao and baboy pataong.
While these variations exist, the basic ingredients remain the same – namely beef intestines and tripe cooked with peanut butter and spices.
This delicious mixture is then simmered until tender before being finished off with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and chilies.
In recent times, papaitan has taken on many forms and names across the country.
One example would be the karaoke version where the dish is cooked using banana leaf instead of bamboo baskets.
Another dish involves cooking the papaitan in coconut milk and adding peanuts, while another uses only ground beef instead of the whole intestines.
How Can I Make My Papaitan More Healthy?
Papaitan is made using pork or beef innards (such as liver) and tripe.
Tripe is similar to stomach lining, which makes it a bit harder on our digestive system than other parts of the animal.
However, if done properly, there shouldn’t be any issues at all.
The key is to cook the tripe to perfection before adding it into the stew.
This will ensure that the tripe doesn’t get tough while cooking.
Another important tip would be to use only fresh ingredients because dried ones tend to take longer to cook.
What Are Some Of The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Making Papaitan?
It’s easy to fall into bad habits while cooking—and these habits often affect our favorite dishes.
Here are three things many cooks do wrong when preparing papaitan.
- They don’t use enough oil or water during frying.
- They overcook it.
- They forget about the seasoning process.
So if you’re looking to master the art of papaitan preparation, here is how to cook it properly.
What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Papaitan
The key ingredient is the pork intestine which gives it its name, as well as the tripe (beef stomach) which adds another layer of flavor.
The dish will taste best if you use fresh ingredients so look around your local market or farmer’s market before heading out on your next trip to the grocery store.
You can find these items at any Asian supermarket, and depending on where you live, you may not need to go too far.
If you don’t see them immediately, ask the butcher to order them for you.
They should arrive within three days.
Pork intestines come in small packages of about 2 pounds each.
To prepare the papaitan, cut off the fat end and separate the two halves.
Peel away the membrane and rinse thoroughly under running water until all traces of blood are gone.
Then place both parts into a large pot filled with enough water to cover the pork pieces by 1 inch.
Add a few tablespoons of salt and allow the pork to soak overnight.
This step helps tenderize the meats and makes them easier to digest.
Next, drain excess liquid and discard.
Rinse again and slice the pork into thin strips.
Set aside while you cook up the rest of the ingredients.
To begin cooking the papaitan, add oil to a wok or skillet and heat over medium high heat.
Once hot, carefully add the pork slices followed by the sliced onions.
Cook everything together until the pork starts to turn golden brown.
Next, add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and crushed peanuts.
Finally, pour in the coconut milk and stir constantly until thickened slightly.
Reduce the temperature to low, cover with a lid, and let simmer slowly for 20 minutes.
You can add more peanut butter if desired.
Once done, serve piping hot with white rice and additional accompaniments such as vegetables, fried eggs, and more chili paste.
- 1 lb beef heart cubed
- 1 lb beef small intestine cleaned
- 1 lb beef tripe cleaned
- 1/2 lb beef liver cubed
- 1 lb beef kidney cubed
- 22 grams Knorr Sinigang
- 1 piece onion chopped
- 3 thumbs ginger minced
- 5 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 piece long green pepper sliced
- 8 cups water
- beef bile to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- Wash the small intestine and tripe of beef. 45 minutes of boiling ginger and dried bay leaves. Take it out of the saucepan and let it to cool. Bite-sized portions should be cut.
- In a pan, heat the oil. Ginger, garlic, and onion are sautéed until the onion is tender.
- Add beef kidney and heart. When it turns a light brown, sauté.
- Place the small intestines and tripe in the pot. For two minutes, cook.
- Fill up the pot with water. Make it boil. Reduce the heat. Boil the beef heart and kidneys for an additional few minutes.
- Add bile and beef liver. Stir. 15 minutes of cooking at medium heat.
- Knorr Sinigang sa Sampaloc Recipe Mix should be added.
- Long green peppers should be added to the saucepan along with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir.Cook for 2 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot.