How to Cook the Best Papaitan Recipe

The Philippines has rich sources of different meats and innards because of poultry, piggery, and farmland. That’s why there is no doubt that many regions in the Philippines could create their cuisines and recipes from all its resources. 

One particular dish in the country is the Papaitan, an Ilocano dish that pronounces its rich resources. It is a dish that not all of us would love because of the ingredients used in it. 

If you are not familiar with that dish, don’t worry because we would introduce it to you briefly with all the details you have to know about the featured dish.

So, let’s start discovering the regional flavor’s palette in the Northern Part of the Philippines. Let us encounter the exotic recipes like our menu that you might love when you taste and try the dish. 

What is Best Papaitan

Credits To: Tasteatlas

Papaitan is a popular Filipino stew dish that originated in the Ilocos Region in the Philippines. It is an exotic stew made from cow, ox, or goat innards, offal, tripe, flavored with Bile, chilies, and sour agent like tamarind. 

The featured dish’s name is a Filipino word derived from “Pait,” which means “bitter” in English. The bitter flavor of the stew or soup dish comes from the Bile, including the gallbladder and liver part where the bitter juice gets extracted. 

It is a traditional dish commonly served as “Pulutan” and appetizer on any occasion like fiestas, weddings, birthday parties, baptismal, New year, or any gatherings in the Philippines. 

It contains Bile, which produces the bitter juice used as the flavoring agent to the featured dish. However, if you could not find Bile, you could use bitter gourd as the dish’s bitter flavoring agent. 

Many considered the dish to be disgusting because of the ingredients used to make the dish. But this dish is a humble, hearty cuisine that incorporates and introduces the rich sources of spices and seasonings in the Philippines.

It is an Ilocano popular dish that you would be proud to serve. It is enriching because of the other variations and ways of cooking it. 

Ways to Cook

Credits To: lutongbahayrecipe

Cooking Papaitan recipes has varieties of cooking methods. We would introduce you to three of the great ways to cook the featured dish. 

Pressure Cooker

This way of cooking the featured dish is different from cooking it in a cooking pot or stovetop. You have to use a pressure cooker for cooking the dish. 

When you used the pressure cooker, you would put all the ingredients inside the cooker then wait for it to cook the ingredients. Using a pressure cooker is another way to cook the ox or cow meat properly. 

You could also put all the ingredients inside the pressure cooker and let it cook wonderfully.  

Cooking pot

This method is the most traditional way of cooking the featured dish, which you would use a cooking pot to soften and tenderize the meat of the cow or ox that you would be using as the main protein of the cuisine. 

You would use a burner in cooking it. When cooking a stew or soup dish, a cooking pot is a great way to cook the featured dish because you could ensure that the cooked on the stew or soup is perfect when you serve it. 

Slow Cooker

This cooking method allows you to cook the meat or innard you would use for this dish perfectly because you use a slow cooker. The ox or cow’s innard is tough and requires a great amount of time to cook it perfectly soft and tender. 

A slow cooker is a perfect method to use if you have to go outside to work, but you also have to cook the featured dish. You have to set the time of cooking the ingredients, and then you could leave it. It is a much greater way of cooking to use in this kind of dish. 

Other Delicious Variants and Recipes

There are varieties of our menu you could try to cook. Hence, we give you all the possible variants you could discover and explore when cooking the featured dish. 

Cow Papaitan Recipes

It is a version in which our menu’s main protein is the innard of the cow and its meat, which is beef. It is not the traditional dish, but the ingredients are all the same as the classic version. 

Cow innards have a tough texture that needs to cook properly using a pressure cooker or slow cooker. This variant would give you a wonderful flavor since the cow contains incredible flavor, perfect for the featured dish. It is not an ordinary dish. It is an elevated version of this dish. 

Goat Pinapaitan

It is the most popular protein to use in cooking this dish because it has a mild flavor palette, perfect for cooking stew or soup and other recipes. 

It allows you to add ingredients and seasoning to it, which fits the protein. However, the goat has the most strong flavor among all the other proteins used in making this dish. But you could eliminate it depending on the way of preparing it. 

It is adding more ginger to it when cooking the dish is the perfect way to eliminate its innards’ gamey flavor. 

Ilocano Style

Ilocano style is the traditional version of cooking the dish. The most protein they used is the goat or ox, but you could use cow instead of the two. 

The style of cooking the featured dish is closely similar to others. But this style is the authentic way of cooking this dish. And there’s no doubt that this version is the most popular among other variations. 

With Kamias

The Papaitan taste and flavor might elevate and enhance. A traditional papaitan has a bitter flavor, but you could add Kamias to elevate the flavor and also help you to eliminate the gamey flavor of the protein you might use in this dish. 

This version has a bitter and sour flavor, which everybody would love to eat with other main recipes. 

With Sinigang Mix

If you could not find tamarind or kamias to add to the featured dish’s acidity level, you may use the sinigang mix. It also helps you to eliminate the gamey flavor and the strong bitter taste of the featured dish. 

With Bitter gourd

Not everyone could deal with cooking with Bile ingredients. So, bitter gourd is the perfect substitute for the unpleasant Bile ingredients. If you are a first-time cook of this dish, this ingredient is the perfect one for you to use since you don’t know to cook and cleanse the bile right. 

Trivia about this Recipe

Papaitan is a dish considered as the flavor of Ilocos. It is their trademark because this dish originated with them. In the 1800s, the Ilocanos introduced this dish since, at that time, the Spanish gave only the leftovers in the meat cut. 

It is also popularly known as “Beef Innards stew,” “Mutton Innards stew,” or “Chevon innards stew.”

Besides using innards of different animals for cooking the featured dish, you could also use meat like pork and beef if you are not a fan of the animals’ innards. 

Did you know that the animals’ internal organs used in the featured dish contain several benefits? It reduces food waste and has a lower price for those who have a tight budget. 

It is an excellent source of choline, which gives our essential brain nutrients, a great source of iron, which is good for our body to function well. It helps us retain muscle mass and keep us fuller than promotes to increase the metabolic rate and weight loss. 

Tips for cooking these recipes

If you are a first-timer in the kitchen, you might have no experience in this kind of dish. Don’t stress out yourself because we would give some tips to make this exotic dish.

  • Wash and cleanse the internal organ or the innards of the protein you desire to work on to create the dish. 
  • You could rub down with lime juice the innards to eliminate gamey flavor and rinse it off with water afterward. 
  • Sterilize the organ first by boiling it. 
  • Soften and tenderize the meat. Ensure that you check it every 20 or 30 minutes when boiling it. 
  • Sear the meat until it gets brown. 
  • Saute all the other ingredients, then simmer it. 
  • If you want to add liver to the dish, the pork liver is the perfect choice because it is more tender than beef’s liver. 


If you are not sure and confident that you cook the dish perfectly and accidentally make some errors. Don’t stress yourself. Below are the possible solutions to the common errors you could encounter to save your papaitan dish. 

  • If you haven’t tasted any sour flavor in the dish or lack sour flavor, you could use the sinigang mix as a souring agent.
  • If the dish turned out to still have a gamey flavor, you could add more ginger to it. 
  • If it becomes too bitter, add more souring agents, either lime juice or vinegar. 

Best Serve With

Dishes like our menu should not serve alone. Hence, here are the recipes that work perfectly with the dish. 

  • Hot steamed rice– is the perfect partner of the featured dish. 
  • Fish Sauce– is a condiment that is perfect for serving with our menu because it is salty, which helps to balance the bitter-sour flavor of the dish.
  • Beer – is the perfect drink to serve with our menu on every gathering and occasion. 
  • Pineapple juice is another drink perfect for our menu because of its sweet-sour flavor, which complements the dish’s flavor. 
  • Pork Kilawin– is a dish with a sour and fresh flavor perfect to offer with our menu. 
  • Kilawing labanos is a dish that could serve as the side dish to the main dish, highlighting the featured internal organ dish’s bitter flavor. 
  • Sweetened Saba Banana – is a dessert that helps you to eliminate the gamey and bitter flavor of the dish, which helps you to eat more of it. 
  • Alpahor na Kamote – is another sweet, which makes the featured dish stand out. 


Papaitan dish is a Filipino dish that could serve as an appetizer or beer-food “Pulutan.” If you have a weak stomach, you could use meat as the protein of this dish. 

This dish could not serve as a main dish, yet a popular dish which many Filipinos love to eat while drinking alcoholic beverages. It is also perfect during the cold season or rainy days since it is a soup dish. 

This wonderful exotic dish made of different internal organs of animals is a budget-friendly dish. Don’t fear to try this adventurous dish. Discover this dish’s flavors’ palette and serve it with your family. You could elevate this dish as you explore the other ingredients that would complement it. 

Have you ever tried and tested it? If not, come on, and let’s start to recreate this amazing dish.

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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Best Papaitan Recipe

Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Exotic Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 116kcal
Cost $5-$20


  • 1/2 lb Ox tripe
  • 1/2 lb Cow's small intestine
  • 1/2 lb Cow's heart
  • 1 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1 thumb Ginger cut into strips
  • 1 pc Onion cubed
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Bile
  • 2 pcs Red chilies cut into strips
  • 2 pcs Green chilies cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp Calamansi juice extract
  • 1 tsp Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Tamarind juice extract
  • 5 cups Water


  • Heat oil in a cooking pot.
  • Once the oil is hot, saute garlic until brown.
  • Add ginger and onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Put-in ox tripe, cow's small intestine and cow's heart.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
  • Then add 3 cups of water, vinegar, calamansi extract, tamarind extract and bile. Boil for another 5 minutes.
  • Add another 2 cups of water, then put-in the chilies. Bring to a boil.
  • Serve while hot!


Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 369mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 3mg
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