Explore Filipino cuisine through food Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar

As JaimeInez, the proud owner of Food and Meal, I am thrilled to share with you my personal journey with a dish that has captured my heart and taste buds – Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar. This delightful dish hails from the province of Pangasinan, specifically Dagupan City in the Philippines, and is a beloved street food that has been enjoyed by locals and tourists alike for many years.

The first time I tasted Pigar-Pigar, I was instantly captivated by its simplicity yet bursting with flavor. It’s a dish that is deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of Pangasinan, and it’s not just about the food itself, but also the unique preparation method that makes it so special.

Pigar-Pigar is made from thinly sliced carabao meat, which is then deep-fried along with cabbage and onions. The name “Pigar-pigar” is derived from the Pangasinan language and means “turning over.” This refers to the constant turning of the meat during the quick deep-frying process, which is crucial to ensure that the dish is evenly cooked and has a crispy texture.

Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar Recipe

The vibrant street food scene in dagupan city, where pigar-pigar reigns supreme
Explore Filipino Cuisine Through Food Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar 1

Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar

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Course: Main dishes
Cuisine: Philippines
Keyword: beef
CookingStyle: Frying
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 34 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 1417kcal
Author: Jaime Inez
Cost: $25
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  • Combine beef and beef liver in a bowl together with soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinade for at least one hour or overnight.
  • When meat is ready, heat oil in a skillet or deep fryer over medium-high fire.
  • Stir in meat and cook until crispy.
  • Transfer meat to a serving platter, mix with onions and cabbage, allowing remaining heat to cook both.



Pangasinense cuisine is greatly influenced with the flavors of Ilocos, its
neighboring province. Pigar-Pigar is proof of such influence. This dish is a
staple in every buffet spread in the province. If you are not coming over
during a fiesta, no worries, because this dish is also widely sold in food stalls
at almost every corner It is also a favorite after-work drinking session chow.
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Calories: 1417kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 139g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 64g | Monounsaturated Fat: 37g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 257mg | Sodium: 1724mg | Potassium: 635mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 9601IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 6mg
© Food And Meal

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

Different ways to cook Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar using various kitchen tools

Thinly sliced carabao meat, the star ingredient of pigar-pigar
  • Using a Grill: If you’re looking for a smoky flavor, grilling the thinly sliced carabao meat could be an interesting twist. You can marinate the meat in soy sauce, vinegar, and spices before grilling it over charcoal. Once the meat is almost cooked, add the cabbage and onions to the grill for a quick char.
  • Using a Slow Cooker: For a tender and juicy version of Pigar-Pigar, you can use a slow cooker. Add the thinly sliced meat, cabbage, onions, and your preferred seasonings into the slow cooker and let it cook on low heat for several hours. This method will allow the flavors to meld together beautifully.
  • Using an Air Fryer: If you want a healthier version of Pigar-Pigar, an air fryer can be used to achieve the crispy texture without using too much oil. Just coat the thinly sliced meat with a little bit of oil and your chosen spices, then air fry until crispy. Add the cabbage and onions towards the end of the cooking process to keep them crunchy.

Tips for makingPangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar

The sizzling pan of pigar-pigar, a sight that never fails to make my mouth water.

Cooking Tips for Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar

When preparing Pigar-Pigar, it’s important to remember that the quality of the meat plays a significant role in the overall taste of the dish. Carabao meat is preferred due to its unique flavor profile, but beef can be used as a substitute. The meat should be thinly sliced to ensure that it cooks evenly and quickly.

Another tip is to not overcrowd the pan when frying the meat. Overcrowding can lower the temperature of the oil, resulting in a less crispy outcome. Also, don’t forget to constantly turn the meat during the frying process to achieve that desired crispy texture.

Serving Suggestions for Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar

The joy of cooking pigar-pigar at home, a taste of pangasinan in my own kitchen

Pigar-Pigar is traditionally served with vinegar and fish sauce on the side for dipping. The tanginess of the vinegar and the saltiness of the fish sauce perfectly complement the rich flavors of the fried meat and vegetables. It’s a dish best enjoyed hot and fresh from the pan, making it a perfect choice for gatherings or late-night snacks.

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FAQs about Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar

  • What does “Pigar-Pigar” mean? “Pigar-Pigar” means “turning over” in the Pangasinan language, referring to the constant turning of the meat during frying.
  • Can I use other types of meat for Pigar-Pigar? Yes, while carabao meat is traditionally used, you can substitute it with beef or even pork.
  • Why is Pigar-Pigar popular in night markets? Pigar-Pigar is a quick and easy dish to prepare, making it a popular choice for street food vendors. Its rich flavors also pair well with alcoholic beverages.
  • Is there a festival dedicated to Pigar-Pigar? Yes, the citizens of Dagupan celebrate Pigar-Pigar every year with a big street festival.
  • Can I make Pigar-Pigar at home? Absolutely! With the right ingredients and preparation method, you can recreate this beloved dish in your own kitchen.

In conclusion, Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar is more than just a dish; it’s a culinary experience that tells a story of tradition, culture, and the love for good food. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, I encourage you to try making this dish at home and experience the magic of Pangasinan’s Pigar-Pigar for yourself.

  • Cooking Like A Pro
  • Author Name : Jaime Inez
  • Address: Times Street, West Triangle, 1103, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
  • Phone:  96-2-4108596
  • Email: Contact@cookinglikeapro.net
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