It is frequently considered an unusual or alarming dish to foreigners though it is rather similar to European-style blood sausage, or British black pudding in a saucy stew form. It is perhaps closer in appearance and preparation to the Polish soup Czernina or an even more ancient Spartan dish known as melas zomos (black soup) whose primary ingredients were pork, vinegar and blood.
Dinuguan can also be served without using any offal, using only choice cuts of pork. In Batangas, this version is known as sinungaok. It can also be made from beef and chicken meat, the latter being known as dinuguang manok ('chicken dinuguan').Dinuguan is usually served with white rice or a Philippine rice cake called puto.