Double Treat: Crispy Pork Belly and Pork Binagoongan!
Is anchovy paste the same as bagoong Balayan or guinamos? Would the roasted pig sold in Chinese restaurants (char siu) pass for lechon? For Pinoys (Filipinos) living in Manila, the answer would probably be an inevitable NO. But for Pinoys living abroad, anchovy paste and char siu are second to none. I would often encounter Pinoys living in North America trying to nurse their culture shock or homesickness by cooking and eating Pinoy food. Some would even go to the extent of lining up for a taste of their favorite Jollibee Yumburger despite the presence of McDonald’s or Wendy’s.
But for those who would rather do it their way, nothing beats preparing a home cook Pinoy food and enjoying it with your loved ones. For us, the best thing that happened to Pinoy food is making the recipes of famed Filipino chefs available to all of us. We find the cookbook, Kulinarya (Barretto, Fores, Segismundo, Sincioco, Calalang and Tayag, 2008), very helpful. Complete with pictures and specific instructions and measured ingredients in recipes, cooking for Pinoy dads like us makes life easier. The possibility of having our fill of all-time favorites like binagoongan or crispy pork belly at home is very close to how it once was when we were growing up in the Philippines.
So here is a double-recipe or our featured pares (paired food), crispy pork belly and binagoongan*! Mabuhay ang pagkaing Pinoy! (Cheers to the Filipino cuisine!)
CRISPY PORK BELLY
1.5 kgs. of pork belly ( 5 slabs)
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 bay leaf
1 tbsp of salt
cooking oil for deep frying
1. Place pork belly, garlic, bay leaf and salt in a pot and fill water enough to cover the pork.
2. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Remove any scum found on the surface. Continue cooking for 1 hour or until pork is fork-tender.
3. Remove pork and allow to dry inside the oven at 200 ‘F for one hour.
4. On a separate pot, deep fry the slabs with skin down ensuring the pork is completely submerged in oil.
5. Drain then allow to cool.
6. Cut the lechon kawali into cubes.
7. For the dipping sauce, mix 1 part of Kikkoman soy sauce, 2 parts vinegar and 2 cloves of crushed garlic and 1/2 head of onion, minced.
Postscript: Fellow dad, Tony Ducepec, whose lechon kawali was also featured in a previous blog (A True Pinoy Dish for the Holidays: Lechon Kawali!, December 21, 2011), can also be an alternative to the instructions above as well.
BINAGOONGAN (Crispy Pork Belly in Shrimp Paste)
1/4 cup Barrio Fiesta shrimp paste (or any bottle sauteed shrimp paste)
1 green finger chili
1 recipe of crispy pork belly
1 onion, diced
4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1. Heat pan then pour the oil. Saute onion, garlic, and tomatoes for about 8-10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
2. Add the shrimp paste and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
3. Add the crispy pork belly and green chili. Toss well.
4. Serve with steaming rice. Enjoy!
* Both recipes were partially adapted from Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine (Barreto, Calalang, Fores, Segismundo, Sincioco and Tayag, 2008).