pork belly

Pork Sinigang (Sinigang na Baboy)

Yesterday  I had a long-standing wish fulfilled 🙂
(Mind you, there are “BIG WISHES” in life and then there are “small wishes” This was a small wish, but nevertheless, I am happy that it finally came through)
For years, I wished there’d be a good Filipino restaurant in my neighborhood, but there is only one that I know of within a few miles around, and frankly, that one sucks!
I don’t want to go into details, but believe me, if it would be halfway decent I would still go there. I have tried it three times, but all three times it was VERY disappointing, so I stopped going there and gave up hope. Whenever I needed a Pinoy food-fix, I had to prepare it myself.
So yesterday I went to do some errands in a close-by shopping center to which I have been going for more than 15 years. Much to my surprise, I saw a “new” restaurant named Manila Grill&BBQ  tucked away in a corner. (I asked an employee how long they’ve been open and he said more than two years)
I had never noticed it before, maybe because what sticks out on the sign is  Grill & BBQ,  so one does not quickly associate this with Pinoy food………..
The place is very clean, simply but nicely appointed and the employees are very friendly, attentive and professional.
The food, THE FOOD 🙂 – it was absolutely delightful, very authentic, nicely presented and wonderfully tasty. The prices are moderate and overall, it was one of the best lunch experiences I had in any restaurant in Miami in years.
You can read more about it here: Manila Grill & BBQ, Pembroke Pines, Florida
So now, back to the dish at hand,  Sinigang Na Baboy
Sinigang is a sour soup native to the Philippines. Beef, pork, shrimp, fish, and even chicken (sinampalukang manok) can be used. The one featured here today uses pork as the main ingredient. One can use boneless pork, though bony parts of the pig known as “buto-buto” are usually preferred. Neck bones, spare ribs, baby back ribs, and pork belly all can be used.
The most common vegetables used are egglant, okra, onion, green beans, tomato and taro root.
The most common souring agent is tamarind juice, (sampalog), but if not available, you can use calamansi, lime, lemon,  guava, bilimbi (kamias), green mango, pineapple, and wild mangosteen (santol) To go an even easier route, you can buy instant “Sinigang Mix” ready to add to the stock while cooking. (For my personal taste this is too salty and not sour enough)
Today I went to look-up the sinigang I posted before on ChefsOpinion, but much to my surprise I could not find a single post, although I cook sinigang quite often. I then checked my folder of unpublished posts and low and behold, there was a bunch of pics of a sinigang I cooked about 6 years ago but never published. Looking at the quality of the pics I understand why I hesitated, but what the heck, here it is:
Sinigang na baboy from the distant past 🙂
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Masaya Ang Buhay !   Kainan Na !
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Sinigang Na Baboy  (Pork Sinigang)

Sinigang Na Baboy (Pork Sinigang)

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Sinigang Na Baboy  (Pork Sinigang)

Sinigang Na Baboy (Pork Sinigang)

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Sinigang Na Baboy  (Pork Sinigang)

Sinigang Na Baboy (Pork Sinigang)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Braised Pork Belly In Ginger, Garlic & Soy

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Braised  pork belly – one of the finest culinary blessings God has bestowed upon us 🙂
I like to prepare pork belly in many different versions, both Western style and Asian style (one of them being the famous Hong Shao Rou),  but one of my most-loved variation is the one featured here. It resembles Hong Shao Rou a bit, but I keep the sauce more liquid and spicy, without adding rock sugar, red coloring, shaoxing wine or tofu puffs. The outcome is a much lighter, less complex version which I sometimes enjoy better than the more complicated and heavy Hong Shao Rou, especially when pairing with rice. On the other hand, if I forgo starch and pair the pork belly with vegetables such as bok choy, cabbage or broccoli only, I prefer to accompany it with Hong Shao Rou, since it’s thicker sauce is more suitable. Aren’t we fortunate that we can choose? 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pork Belly  on  ChefsOpinion
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Braised Pork Belly In Ginger, Garlic & Soy

Braised Pork Belly In Ginger, Garlic & Soy

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Braised Pork Belly In Ginger, Garlic & Soy

Braised Pork Belly In Ginger, Garlic & Soy

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Hans’ Pork Buns (Not David Chang’s Pork Buns)

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David Chang’s  pork buns have achieved a mythical status only American “foodies “would allow to be bestowed upon a simple steamed bun, smeared with hoisin sauce and topped with salt and sugar seasoned pork belly and pickled cucumbers.
When I had these wonderful little sandwiches a few years back in New York I was truly smitten by their delicious simplicity, but I never understood their immense cult following. My only explanation would be that pork belly, pickled cucumbers and steamed buns are fairly new to most folks who fall all over them self touting these “innovative” ingredients and combinations. (Kind of making fools of them self by flaunting their lack of experience with international cuisine while considering them self “foodies” and “experts”). Steamed pork buns are a traditional staple in many Asian cuisines, especially in China. There are infinite numbers of great variations out there, one better than the next.
Today, I want to introduce you to my own version of the pork bun. For this version, I am using kaiser roll (a very light version) instead of the traditional steamed bun and introduce my pork to a lot more flavor and texture. I consider my pork buns not necessarily to be better but definitely tastier and more textural interesting. You’ll be the judge 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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top pork with cucumber/radish and coarsely chopped cilantro

top pork with cucumber/radish and coarsely chopped cilantro

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Preparation :
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season porkbelly with salt and saute until golden brown

season porkbelly with salt and saute until golden brown

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when brown, remove pork and set aside

when brown, remove pork and set aside

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 saute onions in garlic oil  until lightly caramelized

saute onions in garlic oil until lightly caramelized

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add hoisin sauce, grated ginger, garlic paste

add hoisin sauce, grated ginger and garlic paste

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add oyster sauce

add oyster sauce

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add say sauce

add soy sauce

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add sriracha

add sriracha

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return pork to pan, add water

return pork to pan, add water

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simmer covered until pork is tender but NOT falling apart, remove pork, set aside, reduce sauce until thickened and onions are very soft, check / adjust seasoning

simmer covered until pork is tender but NOT falling apart, remove pork, set aside, reduce sauce until thickened and onions are very soft, check / adjust seasoning

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meanwhile, slice radishes and cucumber into julienne, season with kosher salt, let sit for 20 minutes, squeeze dry, discard juices

meanwhile, slice radishes and cucumber into julienne, season with kosher salt, let sit for 20 minutes, squeeze dry, discard juices add rice wine vinegar and white pepper, check / adjust seasoning

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cut pork into bit sized pieces

cut pork into bite-size pieces

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cut kaiser rolls in half, toast lightly

cut kaiser rolls in half, toast lightly

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top both halves of buns with onion/sauce

top both halves of buns with onion sauce

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add pork to bottom half of bun

add pork to bottom half of bun

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top pork with cucumber/radish and coarsely chopped cilantro

top pork with cucumber/radish and coarsely chopped cilantro

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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Embarrassing secret revealed below. Continue to scroll if you think you can take it………..
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Hans' Pork Belly Bun The actual dinner portion :-) :-(

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun
The actual dinner portion 🙂 😦

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Hans' Pork Belly Bun

Hans’ Pork Belly Bun

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Carnitas Of Pork Belly

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Pork Belly  in any form or shape, what’s not to love   🙂
For today’s early lunch,  I prepared these simple yet mouthwatering, great looking  carnitas. (I have been up since 4.00am, so 10.30am  seemed like a good time for a good meal). I enjoyed them with flour tortillas,  guacamole,  salsa mexicana,  sour cream and a cold  “Negra Modelo“. Now, after posting this, a ” Siesta ” in the back of the house under the cool mist of the lake fountain, Bella chasing geckos, I’ll be having a few more negra modelos and a bit of a nap.  Aaaaaa…….Life is Good !
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Carnitas Of Pork Belly

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Ingredients :

Pork belly,   cut into cubes
Tomatoes,
Onions,   diced
Bell peppers,   diced
Garlic,   paste
Chicken stock,   substitute with other stock if preferred
Cayenne pepper,
Cumin,   crashed
Smoked paprika,
Chili powder,
Kosher salt,
Lard,   to saute ( same as you use to make your tortillas)

Method :

Saute pork until golden brown, add onions and most of the peppers, saute until translucent. Add garlic and cumin, saute until fragrant. Add most of your tomatoes, stock and seasoning and simmer until pork is very soft and falls apart under pressure. Now add the remaining peppers and tomatoes for eye appeal (color) when serving . Simmer for two more minutes, remove from heat. At this point you can either pull the meat apart or serve in cubes as is.
Serving suggestions:  See pictures.

Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !

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” Spicy Yee Mee Soup, Pork & Vegetables “

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Yesterday I simmered some pork belly and used half of it to make ” Pork Belly Tacos ”
I saved the other half of the belly and the stock for today’s Dinner.
The result was just  as delicious as I expected. In must fine dining in Europe and
the United States we usually don’t use pork stock. In Asia on the other hand, it is a
common soup base  and widely appreciated for its richness and debt.
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Life is Good !   Bon Appetit !
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” Pork Belly Tacos “

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Híjole ! Que sabroso !    🙂 

This is one of my versions of pork belly tacos. I like the texture and taste better
than the usual carnita preparation. Simmer the belly slowly in salted water until
tender, then saute in olive oil with garlic and onion.
When golden brown, remove from heat and add sour orange juice. I also used
sour orange juice together with olive oil and salt and pepper for the salad dressing.

Bon Appetit ! Life is Good !
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