It is with a sense of (twisted) amusement that I post this crispy pork belly with pineapple and chili recipe. Crispy pork belly is lechon kawali to Filipinos and the purists say there is only one way to eat lechon kawali — as is, with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce and rice.
Seriously? So narrow-minded?
It’s sad how people can be like that — scared of anything that isn’t familiar. Someone once told me that the right way to cook turon was with brown sugar and langka (jackfruit) in the filling together with the saba banana. I really don’t like that kind of limiting attitude especially when the people who exhibit it get all self-righteous about sticking with the “original” and keeping Filipino dishes “pure” like it’s such a sin and sacrilege to our Filipinoness to do anything differently. I mean, hey, talk about a twisted sense of nationalism. It’s like saying anyone who doesn’t worship Pacquiao or doesn’t openly display foaming-in-the-mouth hatred for the Chinese (at this point in our history) is a traitor to the country.
Plus, I hate langka. So, with Speedy’s help, I went my (wild) merry way and published recipes of turon — with cheese, with bacon and cheese, with dulce de leche, with M&M’s and even baked with apple filling. To actually pull off these turon variations gave me the feeling that I made the purists gasp in horror and, as they did, I had the last laugh.
If you’re a Filipino who knows better than to be a purist, or if you’re not a Filipino who just adores crispy pork belly, this crispy pork belly with pineapple and chili dish is like taking a boat to an exotic island and having a great time.
Crispy Pork Belly With Pineapple and Chili
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- a few slices of ginger
- 2 finger chilies sliced
- 10 string beans stringed and cut into one-inch lengths
- 1 carrot cut into one-inch cubes
- 1 large bell pepper diced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- a small can of pineapple chunks
- 1 tsp corn starch
- cut up crispy roast pork belly (see my no-fry method), as much as you like
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the garlic, onion, ginger and chilies. Saute with a bit of salt and pepper.
- Add the bell pepper, carrot cubes and Baguio beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir fry for a few minutes or until the vegetables are cooked but still crisp.
- Add the drained pineapple chunks. Toss.
- Dissolve the starch in the pineapple syrup and pour into the pan. Cook until thickened and clear (add a little water if the sauce appears too thick — you want something that is still pourable). Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Turn off the heat. Add the crispy pork belly and toss a few times. Serve immediately.