Adapted from Lanie's recipe in Cooking With My Filipino Helper of 22 Years in Singapore | Eat The World, in collaboration with nOm by Our Grandfather Story
For the lechon kawali (adapted from this recipe here)
250g PORK BELLY
3 BAY LEAVES
some BLACK PEPPERCORNS
1/2 tbsp SALT
OIL for deep frying
For the pinakbet
1/2 tbsp OIL
1/2 packet of LADY'S FINGERS
3 small BRINJALS
1/2 bundle of LONG BEANS
2 GREEN CHILLI PADI
5 slices of GINGER
1 VEGETABLE STOCK CUBE
Preparing the lechon kawali
1. Bring a pot of water to boil.
2. After it reaches a boil, add the bay leaves and peppercorns into the pot for 2-3 minutes.
3.Add the whole slab of pork belly to the pot. Let it cook for 20 mins or until tender over medium heat.
4. Remove pork belly from the pot and let it cool for 5 minutes. Then, evenly salt both sides of the pork belly.
5. Fill wok with enough oil to completely submerge the pork belly. Then, heat oil until it’s roughly around 176°C.
6. Lower the pork belly into the oil and let it fry for about 5 minutes. Then, flip the pork belly over and fry it on the other side for another 5 minutes. You’ll want the pork belly to become golden brown.
7. Remove pork belly from the oil and lay it on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil. Then, let it cool on a wire rack before slicing it up vertically, making sure to get the layers of skin and meat in each piece.
Preparing the pinakbet
1. Heat oil in a pot. Add the ginger slices, diced onion and chopped green chilli padi and fry for 2-3 minutes till fragrant.
2. Add the sliced lechon kawali, then layer the chopped vegetables, with those with the longest cooking time at the bottom. From the bottom of the pot, the vegetables should be layered as such: lady’s fingers, long beans, bitter gourd, brinjal, and tomatoes.
3. Add the vegetable stock cube into the pot, cover with lid and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4. Remove the pot from heat every 5 minutes and toss 3-4 times with the lid on to mix up the vegetables. Over time, the vegetables will release moisture and shrink and the seasoning from the stock cube will be cooked down and absorbed into the stew.
5. Serve with rice (a sunny side up egg is encouraged but not mandatory)!
- For a quicker preparation time, skip the lechon kawali and simply add sliced pork belly directly into the pot.
- Cook a larger slab of pork belly and serve some on the side to enjoy it extra crispy!