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Filipino pork favorites

07 July 2019

This issue we will focus on three of the Filipinos’ well-loved pork dishes: tokwa’t baboy, pata with saba banana, and lechon kawali with a twist. All are easy to cook, with many common ingredients which are found in most Pinoy kitchens: salt and its often preferred alternative, patis; (or fish sauce), soy sauce or toyo, vinegar and pepper, either whole or ground.

For the tokwa’t baboy, the pig ears give the dish an extra crunch, and the tofu, texture. But the one that puts it all together and make it as an all-time favorite among Pinoys is the sauce, which is made up of several key ingredients: salt, sugar, vinegar and soy sauce, and the spices: pepper, onion and chili. Spice as you like, and use the sauce either as a side dip, or pour and combine with the pork and tokwa or tofu before serving.

For the pata, most important is keeping the pork fork-tender so its juices combine well with the sauce, which is essentially the same as what we use for our favorite adobo. The fried saba adds the sweet and tangy taste to the dish so it’s indispensable, even if you’re cooking far from home.

Last on the list is everyone’s favorite, lechon kawali, but given a surprise glazing just before serving. As many kitchen habitués know, lechon kawali is easy enough to cook – boil it with salt, and pepper (garlic is optional) until it has absorbed the spices and becomes tender but firm enough for deep frying. After this initial step people do their own take on how to keep the pork tasty and crunchy just before serving. Some would recommend, as in this recipe, to keep the fried pork in the refrigerator in the freezer for a few hours before re-frying, while others say it’s best fried after boiling. Whatever your preference, adding the extra glaze from the combination of honey, lemon and patis is a must-try.

Have fun, but remember to keep your cholesterol level within manageable levels.

Tokwa’t Baboy 

1 lb pig ears
1 lb pork belly liempo
1 lb tofu extra firm tofu
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon whole peppercorn
1 piece onion sliced
2 stalks scallions cut in 1/2 inch length
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 cups water
2 cups cooking oil

1. Pour water in a pot and bring to a boil
2. Add salt and whole peppercorn
3. Put-in the pig’s ears and pork belly then simmer until tender (about 30 mins to 1 hour)
4. Pour cooking oil in a separate pan and allow to heat
5. When the oil is hot enough, deep-fry the tofu until color turns golden brown and outer texture is somewhat crispy
6. Slice the fried tofu in cubes, then slice the boiled pig’s ears and pork belly into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
7. Combine the sugar, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar in bowl. Stir. Microwave for 1 minute.
8. Add the ground black pepper, onions, green onions, and chili pepper.
9. Transfer the sauce in a serving bowl. Place the sliced meat and tofu in a serving plate with the bowl of sauce by the side
10. Serve hot! Share and Enjoy!

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 6 people
From Panlasang Pinoy

Pata Saba

500 g pork pata
4 pcs fried saba bananas, cut into 2 parts
1 bunch dried banana blossoms
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp peppercorn
1 pc bay leaf
2 cups water
1tbsp patis (for dipping)

How to cook:
1. Place all the ingredients (except saba bananas) in a pressure cooker.Apply heat and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
2. Add the fried saba bananas.
3. Continue cooking, uncovered, until the sauce has reduced to desired consistency.
4. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
5. Serve with patis and steamed white rice. Enjoy!
From Ang Sarap Recipes

Calamansi and Patis-Glazed Lechon Kawali 

1 kilo whole pork belly (liempo)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
oil, for deep-frying
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon patis
calamansi juice, from 3 pieces of calamansi

1. In a pot, pour enough water to cover the liempo. Add salt and pepper, then boil for 30 to 45 minutes until the pork is fork tender.
2. Let the meat cool and rest in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
3. In a pre-heated wok, deep-fry the liempo until the skin is crisp. Drain on a cooling rack.
4. In a separate bowl, put together honey, patis and calamansi until well-combined.
5. Pour the sauce over the lechon kawali before serving.
Source: YummyPH

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