Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pork Belly, Two Ways

Way #1: Philippine Adobo (reprise)
Way #2: Tamarind Series, Post #3

We were trying to think of more "imaginative" ways of cooking these pieces of pork belly. Eventually, laziness got the better of me and I settled on doing "plain old" adobo. However, as per usual, once I get started doing something, I don't end up as lazy as I wish to be. So, I decided that two pieces of the belly would end up as adobo, while the 3rd would be a tamarind-based dish.

Philippine Adobo, reprise

We just did adobo with chicken (which was FANTASTIC!), but pork belly (liempo) is another traditional adobo ingredient.

So easy, yet so tasty. Dump everything into a pot!

soy sauce
bay leaves
black pepper

Our chicken adobo post has detailed quantities.

I only added a dollop of coconut milk to this one. I didn't want the dish to taste coconut milk-ish at all.

After simmering for about an hour or so, it was ready. Next, the skimming of the fat. Definitely not for the faint of heart, as those bellies render out quite the artery-clogging amount of fat. My mother loves to skim fat, so I let her get skim-happy.

I was inspired by the braising-then-grilling action on the chicken adobo, so I thought I'd do the same thing to the pork bellies. With that in mind, I cut the pork bellies into the large pieces seen here. Otherwise, the slices would be a lot smaller. I took them jiggly bellies out of the braising liquid and loaded them onto a pan to put under the broiler. I think I needed to add a bit more water to the braising liquid to make it a nice-tasting "sauce".

Although it looks nice and crackled, the skin didn't really get crispy. Maybe one really does need to deep-fry the bellies for that to happen? Oh well.

It was still fantabulous, nevertheless. Onto rice it went, with the sauce, of course.

Tamarind Series, Post #3

This is also a dump-everything-into-a-pot dish. (We have quite a number of those in our repertoire.) The duo of pork bellies simmered side by side on the stove. How sweet.

tamarind pulp (pulpification seen in our pad thai post)
soy sauce
chile peppers
star anise
black pepper
ground coriander
(The above spices is me faking five-spice powder.)

After simmering for about the same time and the requisite fat-skimming, it was done. This dish -- which has no name -- had a thicker, more luxurious sauce because of the texture of the tamarind pulp.

I didn't bother doing the broiling, since it failed miserably for the adobo. Again, onto rice it went.

This was also good; milder, sweeter. I was surprised that it wasn't that tart at all. It tasted more like Chinese "hong ma/hom ba" in that gelatinous pork hock way. The pull of the adobo was too strong for everybody to resist, though. Everybody ate the adobo first before even casting a glance in the direction of this second dish. I myself also liked the adobo better because of the way the acid definitely neutralizes or complements the fat from the pork. But, you say po-TAY-to, I say po-TAH-to...

Tamarind Series:
#1 Pad Thai
#2 Sinigang
#3 Pork Belly, Two Ways

eatingclub vancouver adobo posts:
Chicken Adobo
Pork Belly, Two Ways
Adobo Kangkong (Adobo Water Spinach)
Adobo Mushroom Tart
"Chinese Adobo" Clams and Oysters
Chicken Adobo in Coconut Milk (Adobo sa Gata)
Coconut Adobo Halibut Tails (Adobo sa Gata)
Roast Chicken Adobo
Brown-braised Pig's Feet
Adobong Baka (Philippine Beef Adobo)

eatingclub vancouver Filipino food
Mama's Ampalaya (Bitter Melon)
Faux Kamote-Que
Philippine-Style Chicken "BBQ"
Fried Hasa Hasa (Mackerel)
"Savory" Chicken Wings
Sinamak (Chile-infused Vinegar)
Pan-roasted Halibut w/ Fava Beans, Potato-Onion Cakes & Bagoong Butter Sauce
Bulalo & Bangus: an even simpler Filipino meal
Baked Tahong (Mussels)
Adobo Kangkong (Adobo Water Spinach)
Oyster Torta (Oyster Omelette)
Chicken Tinola (Chicken Soup w/ Green Papaya & Pepper Leaves)
(Chinese) Roast Pork Belly / Lechon
Tilapia wrapped in Banana Leaves
Pork Belly, Two Ways
Chicken Adobo
Salabat (Ginger Tea)
Lechon Manok (Philippine Roast Chicken) & Lechon Sauce
"Chinese Adobo" Clams and Oysters
Bistek (Citrus Beef with Caramelized Onions)
Beef Kaldereta (Beef Stew with Bell Peppers)
Atsara (Green Papaya Pickle)


  1. Adobo deserves to be the Philippine national dish. So simple to cook but it tastes so goooood!! Adobong balot. That will be the ultimate Pinoy dish. Boil and peel the balot and then cook it in adobo sauce. Yum! The ultimate Pinoy dish. Tastes better than scrambled then pan fried balot.

  2. I was thinking about how adobo works so well with fatty meat, and I started wondering about adobo FISH... does that even exist? I was imagining that perhaps it would be good with something like black cod. Or even, dare I say it, since it is a fatty fish, adobo SALMON?!!!

  3. Tiff, anything can be made into adobo. You have probably heard of adobong kangkong. I used to have fish adobo using hito (catfish) when I was back in the Phils. It's good!! One time I was at T&T Richmond and I spotted a package of frozen Tilapia bellies. That will be excellent for a fish adobo. Fatty fishes are good in adobo. Just add ginger in the ingredients to reduce the fishy taste.

  4. wow - you guys did an amazing job. i love the idea of 2 different types. i need to look into that whole adobo thing. it's news to me!

  5. Hi Claudia!

    We just did adobo with chicken too (and posted about it, that is). As you can see, it seems anybody from the Philippines is obsessed with adobo!

    And yes, adobo kangkong (water spinach is one of the names it's called) is quite a favorite as well!



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