Simply, Bokchoy With Bacon

IMG_4368Sometimes, we order food from the menu of restaurants and when it comes to our table we wonder what kind of complicated preparation or recipe brought it to its current state.

Like bokchoy.  While it is frequently added as an ingredient to some meat and noodle dishes, bokchoy is best consumed just quickly sautéed in fresh garlic.  The greener the leaves, the better!

But you can also enhance the simplicity of this dish by topping it with leftover crispy, crumbled bacon.  Or you could use your creativity using other enhancements.

Next time I’ll top my bokchoy with roasted garlic chips!

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Lechon Belly (Roasted Pork Belly)

IMG_3826What’s the next best thing to a whole, roasted suckling pig (lechon)?  Roasted pork belly, of course! Pork belly has both the elements of juicy meat and skin that can be roasted to a crisp.  What’s more, you can make it from the comfort of your own kitchen.

You either bake the pork belly or if available, cook it in a rotisserie.  Either way, the roll must be wrapped in aluminum foil to prevent burning the skin and undercooking the meat.

You can purchase pork belly from your favorite supermarket, already rolled and ready for roasting or you can do it from scratch.

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs., pork belly slab

2-3 stems of green onions

1 tsp., garlic powder

1 tsp., salt

1 tsp., ground pepper

1 tsp., Olive oil

1/4 cup fresh milk for basting

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat oven to 360 degrees. Lay the washed pork belly slab on a clean flat surface. Rub both sides of the slab with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place the green onions in the far end (closest to you) of the slab. Roll the slab into a cylinder, securing the roll with kitchen twine or string on several sections of the rolled slab.  Brush the roll with Olive oil.  Wrap the roll with aluminum foil.

Place the wrapped belly in the center wire rack of the oven. Alternatively, use the rotisserie if available. Cook for 2 hours.  Remove the aluminum wrap. Baste the roll with fresh milk and continue to cook for another 30-45 minutes.

IMG_3813Remove from the oven and lay on a cutting board.  Slice the pork belly.  Serve with a garnish of green onions and steamed broccoli, along with lechon sauce or a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, ground pepper and Thai chillies.

 

 

A Soupy, Spicy Spinach Laing

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When one thinks of laing, what immediately comes to mind is that spicy, coconutty delicacy from the Philippines’ Bicol region. It’s basically a stew of gabi (taro) leaves cooked in coconut milk, shrimp paste and other spices.  It usually includes pork slices.

But when taro is not available, one can always use similar leaves like kangkong (water spinach) or alugbati (Malabar spinach) which is what I did for this recipe.

Because I love coconut milk, I made my spinach laing soupy which is a departure from the usually drier recipe.

INGREDIENTS

3 cups kangkong leaves, washed

3 cups alugbati, washed

1 can, coconut milk

1/2 cup, cubed pork belly

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small red onion, peeled and sliced

1 thumb, ginger, peeled and chopped

3 pcs. Thai chillies, thinly sliced

1 tbsp shrimp paste

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp Olive oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large pan, heat Olive oil. Add garlic, ginger and onion and cook for two minutes. Add pork belly and stir-fry until nicely browned. Add coconut milk and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and add shrimp paste and Thai chillies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add kangkong and alugbati leaves and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.

 

 

 

Sisig Potatoes

 

IMG_1442Sisig is a very popular appetizer in the Philippines, usually consisting of chopped pig ears, snout and tongue, pork belly and liver, grilled then cooked in vinegar, soy sauce and spices and enhanced with either pig’s brain or mayonnaise. It is best served sizzling.

This dish is a two-step process, unless you already have some leftover sisig.  First you have to cook the sisig, then complete the process by cooking the potatoes before mixing them together. It is similar to sisig (French) fries sold at many fastfood restaurants, or the Canadian poutine.

I chose to use halved baby potatoes instead of the usual French fries.

SISIG

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb. pig ears

1/2 lb. pig snout

1/2 lb. pork belly

1 large onion, minced

1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

3 pcs. Thai chillies, chopped

3 pcs. dried basil

3 tbps soy sauce

2 tbsps vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

6 cups water

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 cup butter or margarine

DIRECTIONS

Boil the water in a large pan, adding salt, pepper and dried basil.  Add pig’s ears, snout and pork belly and simmer for an hour or until the meat is tender. Remove the boiled ingredients from the pan and drain. Grill the boiled pig ears, snout and pork belly until done.

Chop the meat into tiny squares.

In a wide pan, melt the butter . Add onions and cook until soft. the onions. Add ginger and cook for about a minute. Add the chopped meat and cook for 15 minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar and chillies.  Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add mayonnaise and mix well.

Remove from heat and set aside.

POTATOES

INGREDIENTS

10-15 baby potatoes (skin on) scrubbed and washed thoroughly, cut into halves

1 cup fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons

1 tsp. , dried rosemary

Olive oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil and add potatoes.  Add half the basil. Add rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to cook until the potatoes are tender.  When potatoes are done, add the remaining basil.  Turn off heat.

FINAL PREP

In a serving bowl or platter, place the cooked potatoes.  Top the potatoes with sisig and garnish with green onions.

The Perfect Grilled Pork Belly

IMG_1269Of course, “perfect” is relative, but we all have our own ideas of what constitutes a perfect meal, a perfect menu, or a perfectly-grilled pork belly.

My idea of a perfectly-grilled pork belly is the right combination of meat and fat, the right mixture of marinade, and a cross between medium cooked and a little burnt.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pork belly, sliced pork chop style

1/3 cup soy sauce

4-5 pcs. calamansi (or one medium lime), juiced

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, marinate the pork belly in the soy sauce, calamansi juice, garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Fire the grill. Cook the marinated pork belly in batches, constantly turning them over to make sure they’re evenly grilled.  Allow grill fire to direcly touch parts of the pork, especially the skin and fat. Cook until desired tenderness of the meat with edges a little burnt.

Remove from heat and cut two or three slits on one side of the grilled pork belly.

If desired, sprinkle some extra calamansi juice of the the cooked meat.

 

Pork Adobo Sisig

IMG_0811.JPGWe’ve tried various versions of sisig on MyBayKitchen. This popular appetizer/dish in the Philippines is usually grilled but we’ve prepared pan-cooked sisig using boneless bangus, salmon and pork belly, avoiding use of pig’s snout and liver as in the original dish.

This recipe is yet another of my sisig versions, this time using leftover pork adobo which has been cooked with liver sauce (basically adding liver spread to your usual adobo recipe.)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups leftover pork adobo in liver sauce, sliced  into tiny cubes

1 cup chopped carrots (tiny squares)

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1 cup ground chicharron (pork rinds)

1/2 cup chopped white onions

2 tbsps vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Green or red pepper for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Heat a medium-sized frying pan.  Add pork adobo and stir-fry until it starts to burn.  Add carrots, green onions, white onions and pork rinds.   Mix well. Add vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for another three to five minutes. Add mayonnaise and mix well.

Remove from heat and transfer to a serving platter.  Garnish with pepper.

 

 

 

 

Adobo Pineapple Fried Rice

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Here’s a way to enjoy your pork adobo and pineapple fried rice all in one.  Add in some Chinese sausage and season with turmeric powder to give it that awesome flavor and nice yellow color.

You can mostly use leftover rice and pork adobo to create this entire new dish.  And did I already say complete meal?

INGREDIENTS

4 cups, cooked (or leftover) rice

2 cups, cooked pork adobo, chopped

2 pcs Chinese sausage, thinly sliced

1 cup celery, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup pineapple chunks

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small onion, chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbps Olive oil

 

DIRECTIONS

Heat Olive oil in a large pan.  Add garlic and cook until browned.  Add onions and cook until tender.  Add tomatoes. Add pork adobo, Chinese sausage, celery and raisins.  Cook for about three minutes, stirring constantly.  Add in cooked rice. Add turmeric and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cook until rice begins to turn crisp and yellow. Turn off heat and add pineapple slices.  Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with green onions