My Dinengdeng Recipe (Filipino Fish and Vegetable Soup)

Dinengdeng Recipe


A flavorful and colorful vegetable soup topped with a golden and crisp fried fish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4 servings


  • 2-4 pieces fish gutted, gills, and scales removed
  • Oil for frying
  • 2-3 cups water
  • ¼ cup fish paste bagoong isda
  • 1 thumb ginger julienned (optional)
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 1 cup sweet potato or squash cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 small bitter gourd or ampalaya cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 cup winged beans sigarilyas or string beans (sitaw)
  • 1 big eggplant cut into batons
  • 5-6 pcs okra medium-sized
  • 2 cups squash flowers
  • 2 cups jute leaves saluyot or 1 cup malunggay


  • Season the fish with salt and fry in hot oil until both sides are golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • In a pot, add water, ginger, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Add fish paste (bagoong isda), running it through a sieve to separate lumps and pieces.
  • Add sweet potatoes and simmer, covered, until just half-cooked.
  • Then, add ampalaya, winged beans, okra, and eggplant. Cook, covered, until almost tender.
  • Introduce squash flowers and jute leaves (saluyot). Finally, arrange the fried fish on top, cover, and cook for several minutes until all vegetables are cooked.
  • Take the fish and place it on the side of a soup bowl.
  • Fill the bowl with the veggie-packed broth.
  • Serve hot and relish the combination of crispy fish and tender veggies!

Details About My Dinengdeng Recipe

Dinengdeng Recipe – Filipino cuisine features plenty of soup dishes and fish dishes. Do you know some dishes combine both? One prime example of this is dinengdeng. Dinengdeng, is a traditional Ilocano dish from the Philippines, made with bagoong (fermented fish sauce) and resembling pinakbet. It has more soup than vegetables, providing a simple and quick-to-make meal for the Ilocano people, known for their labor-intensive agriculture work.

Unlike pinakbet, dinengdeng has fewer vegetables, making it easy to prepare daily with minimal ingredients. Reflecting the salty or bitter flavors common in Ilocano cuisine, dinengdeng pairs well with rice, offering a tasty and nourishing option for everyday meals. The name “Dinengdeng” is derived from the Ilocano term “idengdeng,” meaning “to strain.” This reflects a crucial step in the cooking process where the “bagoong isda” undergoes straining, separating the liquid from the fish bits and contributing to the distinctive flavor profile of the dish.

Additional Notes on my Dinengdeng Recipe

When preparing Dinengdeng, a few helpful tips can enhance the cooking process. Firstly, strive for uniform vegetable sizes to ensure even cooking. Introduce vegetables based on their respective cooking times, adding those with longer cooking durations first and incorporating leafy varieties last, as they cook quickly. To mitigate the bitterness of ampalaya, thinly slice the vegetable and soak it in water with a dash of salt for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. This simple pre-soaking method contributes to a more balanced and palatable flavor in the finished dish.

To store leftovers, use an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Make sure they reach room temperature before storing. When reheating, use a saucepot on a stovetop over medium heat or microwave in a microwave-safe bowl or container until Dinengdeng is heated through.

Other Dishes Like Dinengdeng

If you want to try other soup dishes featuring protein and vegetables, try out nilaga. Nilaga is a traditional Filipino meat stew made by boiling beef (nilagang baka) or pork (nilagang baboy) with various vegetables. The dish varies regionally, using different pork cuts and seasonal vegetables. Some areas add green plantains for a cost-effective meat extender and a regional twist. What sets nilaga apart is its broth base, crafted from tender, meaty, and fatty cuts of beef or pork.

Another option is Cansi. Cansí, or kansi in Hiligaynon, is a delicious Filipino beef soup from Iloilo, popular in the Western Visayas region. The soup involves simmering beef shanks and bone marrow until tender, and it’s flavored with green jackfruit, chili peppers, and the unique taste of batuan (batwan). The orange color comes from adding annatto seeds (atsuete).

For something lighter, check out binakol. Binakol is a Filipino chicken soup with a base of coconut water, giving it a subtle sweetness and a delightful aroma. This traditional dish also includes coconut meat for richness and a noodle-like texture. Often cooked with chayote or green papaya and chili leaves, Binakol is similar to Tinolang Manok, but it stands out due to its coconut elements.

Other Vegetable Soup Dishes

Are you looking for soup dishes that feature vegetables more? There is a list of options to consider. Among the list is ginisang munggo. Ginisang munggo is a tasty Filipino soup made with mung beans, veggies, and flavorful ingredients like garlic, onions, and fish sauce. Traditionally served on Lenten Fridays when many Catholic Filipinos avoid meat, it can be customized with pork, tinapa, or dried fish for a regular meal. Sprinkle chicharon on top for extra crunch. The name refers to sautéing ingredients before adding water and beans for a flavorful soup.

Another soup starring vegetables is Law-uy. Law-uy is a dish featuring a variety of healthy leafy vegetables like moringa leaves, mustard greens, pepper leaves, and pechay. The dish is cooked with onion, tomato, garlic, and ginger in a flavorful broth made with seafood stock or patis. Additional ingredients may include lemongrass and siling haba. Other vegetables like okra, calabaza, eggplant, yardlong beans, bitter melon, calabash, chayote, green papaya, and taro tubers are also commonly used.

Dishes Featuring Fish

Do you want a dish that stars fish more? One option to consider is Pinangat an Isda. Pinangat na isda is a tasty Filipino dish from Southern Luzon. It involves cooking fish and tomatoes in a broth soured with fruits like calamansi, bilimbi, tamarind, or santol. Shrimp can be used instead of fish. Compared to sinigang, another popular sour soup, pinangat na isda is less tart. Sometimes, people may refer to it as “pangat na isda.” However, it’s important to distinguish it from paksiw, which uses vinegar to sour the broth.

For something more on the fried side, check out bangus. A bangus dish is typically made by cutting open a milkfish into a circular shape, filling it with flavorful ingredients, and deep frying it until golden. It pairs nicely with soy sauce and pickled vegetables, and its marinade gives it a tangy and spicy taste. While it’s often enjoyed nearly whole, the fish can also be sliced into smaller portions. If you’ve never tried milkfish before, it’s a simple yet tasty dish.

These are just a few dishes for you to try in Filipino cuisine and there are plenty of categories to explore.

Dinengdeng Recipe

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