Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sinigang Na Baboy (Pork with Vegetables in Tamarind Sour Soup) Revisited


Here is the recipe again. I'm going to list the complete ingredients that should go into the dish.


2.5 pounds pork ribs, pork belly, or a combination of the cuts of pork. Some like lean or fatty combo. Cut in 1.5 inch cubes and 2-3 inch rib cuts. Rinse thoroughly, drain and set aside.
5 cups water
2 cloves garlic crushed, and minced fine
2 bay leaves ripped in quarters.
1 inch ginger root sliced in half and crushed. do not peel.
1 large tomatoes sliced
1 large onion sliced
fish sauce (patis) to taste
4-6 pieces of araimo/daisheen (japanese small taro root) peel and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 medium size white radish (daikon) peel and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
8-12 pieces of okra, cut tops and tips off. Cut into 3 inch sections if large. Leave whole if you want to. Rinse thoroughly and soak in water to prevent browning. Drain before adding to pot.
6 pieces of Filipino sweet chili pepper
1 pound bunch of swamp cabbage (ong choy, ong choi, kangkong) Rinse thoroughly and drain. Cut into 3-4 inch sections from stems to leaves. Trim off hard end stem and discard.
3 packets of Mama Sita's Sinigang Soup mix or similar brand such as Knorr's. You may add more packets if you want it more sour. (my mom loves it real sour!)
fresh cracked black pepper to taste.

Place pork and water in pot and bring to a fast boil. Drain out dirty water and rinse pieces of pork under running water. Clean pot of any scummy residue from the boil. Add drained rinsed pork into clean pot and cover with clean water. Bring to a boil then simmer til pork is tender. Usually takes about 45-60 minute on a nice simmer to get it tender. I used my pressure cooker and cooked it at 15psi for 10 minutes. Cheat yah?? lol but fast! :)

After pork is tender, add sinigang soup powder mix to simmering broth. Add garlic, ginger, onion, and tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add taro root (araimo) and radish (daikon). Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Add ong choy, okra, sweet chili peppers. Cover pot and simmer til vegetables are wilted and hard veggies such as the taro and daikon are fork tender. Add about 2-3 Tbsp of patis (fish sauce) to taste. Add fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
Serve with steamed white rice.

Yields about 4-6 servings.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Lechon Kawali (Crispy Deep Fried Belly Pork) Revisited

Hello again fellow foodies & bloggers!
It's been a while since posting. I've been so preoccupied with other projects in my life that I haven't had a chance to post anything since last year! Holidays and family gatherings have past and gone with so much delicious food and dishes and my beautiful wife Aurora and I have been so busy with work, school and play etc. So today while watching reruns of my Korean soap opera dramas (yah i'm hooked!) and cleaning up the kitchen, I was in the mood to cook but too lazy to go out and buy some ingredients. And all I had was two trays of fresh pork belly in the freezer, my new Circulon anodized wok that I got on Ebay, and my newly bought container of soybean oil from Sam's Club. I also aquired a 8 quart Presto anodized alumimum pressure cooker from ebay for $0.99 and paid $15 for shipping and handling! Not bad since the pressure cooker wasn't used for 2 years and was sitting in the seller's cupboard. When it arrived it was practically brand new. I was so suprised and ecstatic that I cooked Thit Kho (Vietnamese Pork with Eggs in Caramel Sauce) the same day I got it for dinner that night. My wife loved how fast it took and how big the pressure cooker was.

Lechon Kawali (Crispy Deep Fried Belly Pork)
6 C Pork belly or side pork (equal parts fat and meat)
4 C Water Salt to taste
MSG to taste
4 C Cooking oil
1 bottle Mama Sita's Sarsa ng lechon (Sauce for Roasts) or
5 Tbsp vinegar, fresh cracked peppercorns, 1 clove crushed minced garlic, soy sauce, 1 bay leaf crushed and ripped, and patis (fish sauce) and chili pepper slices if you want it spicy. You adjust the ratio of ingredients to your taste.

Cooking Instructions:
Combine pork, water, MSG and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the pork is tender (usually 60-75 mins). This time I used my new pressure cooker and brought the meat to a high boil and covered the pressure cooker lock and cooked it for 15 minutes at 15 psi (pounds per square inch). Drain the pork and cool. Prick skin with fork and rub with salt and MSG. Leave in colander to dry for one hour. Heat cooking oil in a deep fryer or wok at high heat at about 250 degrees Farenheit. Fry pork until golden brown and crispy for about 45 mins to 1 hr. Drain on paper towels and cool in freezer for one hour. Reheat oil in wok and deep fry cold pork a second time at super high heat of 350 degrees Farenheit for 10 minutes to puff up the slices and re-crisp it (THE SECRET!!). Remove and drain on paper towels again. Cut into serving pieces and serve with Mama Sita's Sarsa ng Lechon (Sauce for Roasts) or vinegar/soysauce/patis sauce sauce. Also may be served with fresh tomato slices mixed with harm-ha (fine shrimp paste) sauce as a side salad dish with thin sliced raw round onions and green onions.
Additional comments
Also I would like to mention that the Ilocanos of the Philippines have perfected this recipe and they call it "Bagnet". It usually is a family secret passed down from generation to generation. Same with the "chicharon" (crispy deep fried pork skin puffs) recipes that are mass marketed across the globe. Filipinos love pork and make it an enterprise for everyone to enjoy. Most of the common marketed brands are Lapid's and a few others coming out of the Philippine Islands. Here in Hawaii there used to be Cristina's Chicharon on King Street next to Diner's Drive Inn in Kalihi but has long since closed down ran by good friend Philip Butay. His sister Evelyn Pascua has opened San Nicolas Chicharon & Sausage on King Street near the intersection of Gulick Ave. and King Street and has kept up their family tradition of making fine Filipino delicacies such as chicharon, lechon kawali (bagnet), and longanisa (vinegary pork sausages). I recommend going there if you crave real filipino chicharon and bagnet. They have a deli also at the location where you can order hot filipino plate lunch combos and tables to dine on. It's not a fancy place but there you can sample some good authentic home cooked Ilocano food at a reasonable price!
So enjoy my recipe and the food porn. lol!! But if you're lazy to cook just stop by San Nicolas Chicharon & Sausage at 2130 N King St. Tell Evelyn Reggie the guy who fixed her computer said hello!! :)

I'm glad to be back and hoping to be posting regularly again.
bye for now!
kaukau time!