Cooked With Vegetables

Adobong sitaw 2 adobong sitaw (string beans) and ground porkI have an older recipe for adobong sitaw where I used small cubes of pork belly. This time, I used ground lean pork.

Is there much difference? Well, adobo is basically a fatty dish. It just doesn’t taste right unless there is some fat in the meat and the sauce (I have a little trick for solving that problem). So, using ground lean pork does make a difference. I suppose it’s a matter of what is right for you. I didn’t really choose the ground lean pork for health considerations; it was what I had at the moment. And the cooked dish, although not in the league of the usual fatty adobo, was great. Still tasty and tangy and satisfying. I even sprinkled the dish with red pepper flakes just before serving and, oh my, that really perked it up.

Ingredients :

250 grams of ground lean pork
2 bunches of sitaw (string beans), cut into 2-inch lengths
1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 onion or 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
ground black pepper
1/4 c. of vinegar
about 3 tbsps. of soy sauce
2 tbsps. of vegetable cooking oil
1-2 hardboiled eggs
chopped cilantro and red pepper flakes for garnish

Cooking procedure :

Place the ground pork, garlic, onion or shallots, ground pepper and bay leaf in a shallow cooking pan. Pour the vegetable cooking oil over. Because of the leanness of the pork, I didn’t want the meat to turn dry so the purpose of adding cooking oil is to help it retain its succulence.

Pour in the vinegar and cook over medium-high heat until the vinegar starts to boil. Stir, breaking up the meat. Pour in the soy sauce and stir well. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the sitaw, stir, cover and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the sitaw is tender.

The water from the sitaw, the natural juices of the pork, the vinegar and the soy sauce are usually enough to cook everything without the dish becoming too dry. However, the age of the hog (tenderness of the pork) and the maturity of the sitaw are also factors. So, if it looks like either of them is taking too long to cook, you can add about 1/4 cup of water.

When both the pork and the sitaw are tender, transfer them to a serving plate. Garnish with quarters of hardboiled eggs then sprinkle with chopped cilantro and red pepper flakes.

*Note: Red pepper flakes are available in the dried herbs section of most supermarkets.

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