Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pork Adobo

I had heard of pork adobo before making this recipe, but I didn't really understand what it was or the flavors involved.  When I was paging through Brought, Borrowed and Stolen by Allegra McEvedy, I found this recipe based on her travels in the Philippines.  Once I saw that it contained pork belly I knew I had to give it a try since pork belly is one of the most delicious things I have been eating recently.  I fell in love with pork belly when I first tried it in Hong Kong.  I didn't realize that fat could have so much flavor and literally melt in your mouth.  That being said I became obsessed with trying it again.  It is not something to eat frequently, but it is absolutely wonderful to eat if cooked well.

This is a very rich dish so a little goes a long way.  Also, because of the high fat content of pork belly, I would ration it out because it will melt in your mouth, but also is difficult on the stomach if you aren't used to eating a lot of fat.
This recipe serves 4 easily, but again because it is rich, serve it with plain rice.  A nice green salad would help balance it out as well.
This is the most delicious pork belly.  Make sure you cut it in small enough pieces to enjoy, but not become overwhelmed.  Also, when you cook it up you want it to be crunchy.

Pork Adobo
2 tablespoons peanut oil
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
10 ounces of pork belly cut into chucks (I recommend 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch x 1 inch)
1 red onion, peeled and sliced (length shouldn't be more than 1.5 inches)
1 red pepper, cut into large bit sized pieces
1.5 inches of ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 bay leaves
about 10 peppercorns

Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over a medium high heat.  Put in half the garlic slices, make sure they are covered and remove once they are golden brown.  These will be your garnish, but also balance out the rich flavors.  Blot the garlic on a paper lined plate.

Add the pork belly to the pan and let them cook for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Add cut onions, pepper, ginger and the rest of the garlic slices.  Mix it all together, cover, turn down the heat and cook for about 6 more minutes, stirring once or twice, until the peppers and onions are starting to softened.  Add the paprika and mix again.  Pour in the vinegar and soy sauce and about 1 cup of water.  Also add the bay leaf, peppercorns and some salt.  Turn up the heat to bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down again so it is simmering consistently.  Cook for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with the fried garlic before serving.

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