Recipe #49: CRISPY PORK BELLY ROAST

I finally got a new oven! And it’s not just any oven, it’s the Breville Smart Oven!

YAYAY! I’m so excited!

I couldn’t be any happier since I got my hands on this gorgeous gadget. God knows how long I’ve been wanting to buy a new oven as I’ve been itching to learn how to bake. Yes, I’ve baked cookies and pasta before, but I’ve never really taken serious time to explore more intricate baked goodies. This means more exciting recipes ahead, so brace yourselves! ūüôā

The¬†Breville Smart Oven is a serious must have if you love baking, but I’ll tell you more about it some time next week. For now, let me share with you this delicious pork dish, which is absolutely one of my favorites¬†in my Asian trips.

My Crispy Pork Belly Roast recipe is actually inspired by a popular Chinese pork belly dish that is usually served in the streets and restaurants all over Asia. I’ve tried so many variations of this dish, which is sometimes served with rice or stir-fried noodles. Many times, pork belly is deep fried to a perfect crisp. But today, we will roast it in the oven.

Crispy Pork Belly Roast

The original Chinese recipe uses five-spice powder, but I replaced it with garlic powder and paprika for some Filipino touch (I personally love the aromatic flavor of five-spice, but some people may not like it).

Hey, use any kind of spice that you like! However, the trick to turning the skin into cracklings is by making sure that it’s free from moisture. Score (or prick) the skin so that the vinegar will be absorbed which will make it ‘pop.’

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Recipe #48: LUMPIANG SHANGHAI (Filipino Pork Spring Rolls)

Among the Filipino foods that are served during birthdays, gatherings, and holidays, there’s nothing more addicting than¬†the tasty, crispy¬†Lumpiang Shanghai. Nope, neither the iconic¬†lechon nor the childhood-favorite fried chicken can beat the allure of the humble pork spring rolls in a buffet popularity contest. Lechon may be the king, but Lumpiang Shanghai is the star.

Why do we love Lumpiang Shanghai so much?

It’s not exactly the easiest dish to prepare, mind you. The mixing part is¬†not that difficult, but it takes a certain level of skill (and courage) to roll and wrap the meat mixture with a¬†lumpia¬†wrapper¬†and to keep them from breaking and unrolling.

Lumpiang Shanghai

But the tedious task does not end there; you also have to carefully heat up a panful of oil, which you will use to deep-fry these glorious rolls while dancing the cha-cha to avoid the scorching hot oil from splattering all over you.

You see, every Lumpiang Shanghai piece was made with love. It may not be as popular as Vietnamese or Chinese spring rolls among the international audience, but for the Filipino palate, it is pure joy.

Lumpiang Shanghai can be served as a main course, a side dish, an appetizer, or as a pulutan (beer food). Learn how to make them by following these steps:

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Recipe #46: THAI CHICKEN SATAY with PEANUT SAUCE & CUCUMBER RELISH

Perhaps, one of my biggest regrets while living in Thailand was not being able to blog about my life there. But then again, I also wanted to detach myself from the usual things that I did before I left Manila. I wanted¬†to experience living in another country with a certain level¬†of immersion into a culture¬†that is similar yet¬†so different from my own, away from the familiar crowd and scenes. Besides, that’s one of the many¬†reasons I decided to take refuge in the¬†the land of smiles anyway.

So, yeah, why regret.

Now¬†that I’m back, and while I can still remember snippets of my¬†life in Thailand, I’ll probably share one or two Thai recipes that I really enjoyed¬†(and definitely going to miss) while I was there. Let’s start with one of my favorite street foods — Thai Chicken Satay.

Thai Satay 1

Here’s the thing — satay or sate (pronounced as sa-t√©) is not originally from Thailand. Its¬†country of origin is in fact¬†Indonesia, historically akin to the¬†Indian kebabs.¬†But because Thailand’s cuisine is more popular than its neighbors,¬†satay¬†became more associated with¬†Thailand.

A photo posted by GJ Coleco (@gjcoleco) on

Thai Pork Satay sold as a street food in Thailand

Aside from Thailand and Indonesia, satay is also a well-known street food in Malaysia and many parts of Southeast Asia. Yes, it can also be found in the Philippines, in the south where it is known as satti.

Just like in any culinary adaptations, ingredients and preparations vary from one region to another. In Thailand, chicken and pork satay are common where it’s served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish. But in Islamic¬†countries, chicken and beef are more¬†preferred, although pork may also be found in non-halal food establishments.¬†

Try the recipe below and let me know what you think:

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