Welcome to The Hot Dish, a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the dishes of the moment. For a special meat week edition, Eater contributor Melody Fury breaks down Qui's dinuguan.
[Photos: Melody Fury/EATX]
"Dinuguan is a traditional Filipino dish that my grandmother made a lot," explains chef Paul Qui, "it's peasant food." Fresh pork blood provides body and complexity to this meaty and savory stew. As with many Filipino dishes, the goal here is to achieve a distinct balance between earthy, sour, and spicy flavors. Over his flagship restaurant's first year, the chef has increasingly incorporated Filipino cuisine into the menu, and the dinuguan has generated a great deal of buzz from critics and diners alike.
Qui's interpretation of this classic comfort dish is essentially a three-step process. He begins by simmering ribs, onions, and garlic into a deeply porky stock. Next, he renders slices of fatback to sweat the peppers and onions in. Once the vegetables are thoroughly softened, he whisks in the pork blood. A bottle of coconut vinegar adds the quintessential tanginess.
To plate, he dresses a slice of seared pork shoulder (that was previously brined and cooked sous vide) with the blood sauce. A quenelle of liver mousse boosts the umami level while a sticky onion jam cuts through richness with a sweet bite. This dish has been on the menu for over 10 months and Qui indicates that it won't budge anytime soon. That said, as with all of Qui's dishes, the dinuguan evolves continuously. Watch him make the current iteration below
Watch Qui compose the dish: