Sep 21, 2012

Pork or Beef Menudo

I bought a big family pack of boneless pork ribs this week so I had been cooking Filipino food like crazy! Adobo, menudo, Asian Bar-B-Q ribs are just some of the recipes on my menu list.

This particular menudo recipe is one which my mom cooks for us especially when I am at home on vacation. She told me that to give the meat a really good flavor you need to cook it with fresh tomatoes and not just dump it with the tomato sauce. Also, she does not use tomato sauce (though that's fine if you prefer to use this instead) but ketchup 'cause it's a little sweeter than tomato sauce (at least the Filipino ketchup!) and enhances the flavor of the whole stew. Another technique that she told me is to make sure that you only put the ketchup towards the end of cooking so it does not overpower the whole dish but "enhance" it. So, my only contribution here really is adding a little lemon juice to perk up the dish - I think that and fish sauce really make this a yummy dish.

Think of this recipe as a basic guide and tweak the seasoning to your liking. This dish is so good that you won't even miss the liver pate that is added in traditional menudo. My hubby doesn't like  liver so am glad that I can make a delicious menudo without it! Thanks, Mom!


2.2 lbs/1 kilo pork (Pork belly, shoulder or boneless ribs), chopped into cubes (1 to 11/2 inch)
2 Onions, chopped
1 head Garlic (or 6-8 cloves), peeled
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 large Plum Tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce*
2 dried or fresh Bay (Laurel) leaves
1/2 cup Water
2 medium to large Potatoes, cubed
2 medium Carrots, cubed
1/4-1/3 cup Ketchup (pref. the Del Monte Tomato Ketchup brand)*
1 Red Bell pepper, chopped (roughly the size of the carrots and potatoes)
1/2 cup raisins (I end up using more 'cause I love raisins on anything!)
Brown sugar, to taste

*If you're not a fan of fish sauce you can replace it with Soy sauce (start with 1-2 Tablespoons) and a little lemon juice (2 teaspoons). You can adjust the taste to your liking. Fish sauce is great though. :-)

*You can also use tomato sauce.


Place the pork cubes in a large pan or Dutch oven and let it cook in medium heat until it changes its color. No need for any oil as the meat will release some of its fat in the process. Add the garlic and onions and sauté. Season with a little salt. Continue to cook until the pork has browned (but not fried all the way) and the onions have softened.

Add the tomatoes and fish sauce and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the bay leaves. Cover and simmer on low until the pork is tender.

When the pork is already tender, add the water, potatoes and  carrots. Cook covered until the vegetables are tender. Add the sweet peppers, raisins and the ketchup (or tomato sauce). Cook for another 5 minutes or just until the raisins are re-hydrated and the sauce is fully heated through.

Adjust the seasoning to your taste. If it's a little tart, sprinkle some brown sugar to balance the taste. Don't make it too sweet as you have raisins to balance the sour and savory flavor of the other ingredients. It should just be a perfect balance of sweet, tart and salty! Have it with rice, of course!

If you wish to print the recipe, there's a print-friendly icon at the end of the post. Click on the "remove images box" for easy printing.

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  1. This looks really good! Can we use any meat other than pork? Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  2. Hi Lea! I think it would be great with beef too. Chicken chunks would be fine too but it would be more like afritada 'cause it doesn't have the liver. You may add bell peppers if you wish to make it as afritada. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Hi! Made this tonight and it was really tasty! I had to add 3 tsp of brown sugar because I think our ketchup brand is not as sweet and since I used low sodium soy sauce, also added some salt to the end. It turned out so good thanks! The raisins were amazing and I'm glad I followed your advice and added a little more

    1. Thanks Yaoli! So happy you enjoyed it and as with any recipe you can always tweak it to your liking! Thanks for stopping by with a feedback, surely appreciate it.

  4. hi, its my 1st time to cook menudo and im planning to cook ds for diner, but i hve a problem, i dont have any lemon here,wat can i replace to lemon? thanks.. =)

    1. Are you in the Philippines? If so Calamansi - just a few drops or lime will do, too and if you have neither then you can leave it out, no problem. :-) Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I rarely eat pork but one of my friend has always suggest to try this...

    1. It's the perfect day and time to make it. :-)

  6. Hi! How many pork cubes do I need to put? And if I decide to use beef meat instead of pork meat, do I still use pork cubes or do I use beef cubes? Thanks. I am cooking this tonight and I found your recipe to be the best out there. :)

    1. The recipe above tells you how much you need and you can do a combo of pork and beef if you like. Thanks. 😊

    2. I think he means the other pork cube or beef cube that we buy to make the dish tasty :-)


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