Waknatoy is Marikina’s take on the classic Filipino menudo. This pork and sweet pickles stew is easy to make and can be doubled for a crowd or make-ahead meals. It’s hearty, tasty, and perfect for family dinners or special occasions!

Waknatoy on a serving platter with a plate of steamed rice on the side

Table Of Contents

  • Ingredient notes
  • Serving suggestions
  • Making ahead
  • Waknatoy

Waknatoy or also called Marikina Menudo is a Filipino pork stew with sweet pickles. As the name suggests, it originated from Marikina and is pretty similar to the classic Filipino menudo but with pickles and sans potatoes and carrots.

The story has it, this pork stew was very popular in Marikina in the old days and was on the menu of almost all the restaurants and roadside eateries in the area. Chinese merchants, who frequented these said diners soon got tired of being served the same dish and would refuse it, “Ito na naman? Wag na to!” (Not this again!). Since most of the Chinese patrons were not fluent in Filipino, they pronounced “wag na ito” as “wak na toy.” So hence, the Marikeños named the pork stew dish “Waknatoy.”

pork cubes, liver, bell peppers, tomatoes, chorizo, oil, soy sauce, tomato paste in bowls


Ingredient notes

  • Pork– the recipe uses pork shoulder or kasim. You can also use pork tenderloin if you prefer for a leaner option or belly for a fatter cut.
  • Pickle juice– used to marinate the pork; adds tangy flavor and helps tenderize. You can swap with calamansi or lemon juice
  • Tomato Paste– enriches the flavor and thickens the sauce. If you’re out of tomato paste, substitute 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce.
  • Chorizo– for a smoky layer of flavor. You can also use hot dogs or Vienna sausages.
  • Roma Tomatoes– use ripe ones for sweeter and juicier sauce.
  • Sweet Gherkin Pickles– this is what differentiates it from Filipino menudo. It lends a sweet-tangy flavor to the dish.
  • Vegetables bell peppers and garbanzos add color, flavor, and texture
  • Liver you can use pork or beef liver for this recipe.
cooking Filipino pork and pickles stew in a pan

  • Traditional Waknatoy does not have potatoes and carrots, but you can add them as a good way to extend servings. Cut in uniform size to ensure even cooking.
  • Do not overcook the liver as it will turn tough and hard to chew. Add during the last 5 to 7 minutes of cook time. Please note that the liver helps thicken the sauce and if omitting, you might want to reduce the sauce longer to thicken.
pouring sauce on a platter of Marikina menudo


Serving suggestions

  • Waknatoy is prefect for everyday family dinners as well as holidays, fiestas, or special occasions. It’s a delicious medley of sweet and savory flavors that’s sure to be a hit with the crowd!
  • Enjoy with steamed rice as a main dish or use as a sandwich filling for a midday snack.
  • Making ahead

    Marikina menudo is a great make-ahead dish, and the recipe can be doubled or tripled to store for future meals. It keeps well for days and actually tastes better when reheated as the flavors meld and develop fully.

    • Allow leftovers to cool completely and transfer them to an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
    • To reheat, place in a saucepan and warm over low heat to an internal temperature of 165 F or microwave at 2 to 3-minute intervals until heated through.

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