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Recipe: Ilonggo celebration dish Lengua Estofado |

Food and Leisure

Recipe: Ilonggo celebration dish Lengua Estofado

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Recipe: Ilonggo celebration dish Lengua Estofado
Lengua Estofado
'Flavors of Iloilo cookbook', with permission from Rafael Jardeleza Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — Lengua Estofado is of Spanish origin, but it has become, to Ilonggos, a celebration dish that is truly their own. It shows the penchant of Ilonggos for innards and other rare non-meats.

“We, Ilonggos, prepare and serve it whenever there’s a special occasion,” explained Ilonggo chef Rafael "Tibong" Jardeleza, who shares this recipe from his cookbook "Flavors of Iloilo."

Lengua Estofado (Stewed Ox Tongue)


1 kg. ox tongue

Water to cover the ox tongue

1 tbsp. salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 heads garlic

6 pcs. saba bananas

2 pcs. large potatoes

10 pcs. shallots, peeled

1 can pineapple slices (8.25 oz.)

2 pcs. whole red onion

2 tbsps. brown sugar

8 cups water

1/2 cup tuba or coconut vinegar

1 cup anisado (anise wine)

2 tbsps. soy sauce

5 pcs. bay leaves

1 tbsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper


1. Wash the ox tongue thoroughly.

2. In a stock pan, boil ox tongue in salted water until slightly tender. When the ox tongue surface has blisters, which indicates that the skin of the ox tongue will now be easy to peel, remove the ox tongue from the pot.

3. Peel off the skin of the tongue.

4. Put the ox tongue back in the pot with water and boil until tender. Remove the tongue from the pot then pat-dry with paper towels. Discard the water.

5. In a preheated frying pan with oil, fry the ox tongue on all sides until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

6. Peel the banana and cut each into 3 crosswise portions.

7. Peel the potatoes and slice each into 1 1/2-inch squares.

8. Strain the pineapple. Reserve the juice. Set fruit and juice aside.

9. Using the same pan with oil, fry shallots, bananas and potatoes until golden brown. Set aside.

10. Fry the sliced pineapple. Set aside.

11. Wash the whole onion and garlic. Set aside.

12. In the same cooking pot, caramelize the brown sugar slightly, then add water, peeled onion, whole garlic, vinegar, anisado, soy sauce, bay leaves and pineapple juice. Season with salt and pepper, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.

13. Mash 3 to 4 slices of fried bananas.

14. Add the ox tongue and mashed bananas. Simmer until the sauce has reduced by half.

15. Remove ox tongue and cool slightly. Slice the ox tongue into 1-inch thick pieces.

16. Arrange the sliced ox tongue on a serving platter, then garnish with fried bananas, potatoes and pineapple.

17. Pour over the warm sauce before serving.

RELATED: Recipe: Iloilo's Rich and Creamy Ubre

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