The Philippines is known for its colorful and intensely flavorful food. The hearty adobo, the noodles and stews. It’s all wonderful.
With Asian and Spanish influences, there’s no type of food as exciting as the one in the Philippines.
Now, if there’s one dish that trumps them all, it is the lechon — the slow-cooked whole suckling pig. Before you get all excited, this recipe is not about roasting an entire suckling pig, but about emulating its flavors with the tastiest part of the pig; we’re cooking pork belly Filipino BBQ-style.
It all starts with a fatty piece of pork belly. We’re cutting it in thick chunks and pan-frying it in a heavy-bottomed or cast-iron skillet.
Of course, if you want the Philippines flavors, you must marinate the meat first, and that’s where things get exciting!
Our marinade comprises white vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar. This is the BBQ base, and the result is an umami-rich, sticky sauce. We’re not done with that marinade yet, though; let’s liven it up with dried oregano and garlic powder, then this pork really tastes like the Philippines!
After grilling our pork belly, you’re left with a fantastic, meaty treat that’s fatty, tangy and sweet. You need to contrast all those intense flavors with something fresh, and that’s where our two-ingredient salad comes in.
Dice onions and tomato elevated with freshly squeezed lime juice and a pinch of salt. Beauty in simplicity right here. You’ll love the combination of the rich pork belly and the refreshing salad. I know I’m throwing in a spoonful of white rice too, but that’s optional. Let’s get cookin’!
Slice your pork belly into desired one-bite sized chunks.
In a mixing bowl, add the garlic, white vinegar, garlic powder, soy sauce, brown sugar, dried oregano, bay leaf and black pepper. Combine.
Marinade the pork belly in the marinade completely coated for at least 30 minutes.
Dice the tomato and onion, combine in a ramekin with the lime juice and a pinch of salt. Reserve.
Over a high flame, preheat a cast-iron skillet or a thick-bottomed skillet and cook the pork belly for five minutes; no oil needed. Flip and cook for three more minutes.
Serve the pork belly with a side of tomato and onion salsa and an optional side of white rice.