Think Bicol Express. Sauteed pork, chilies, shallots, garlic, ginger and lemongrass simmered slowly in coconut milk until quite dry. Now add the sweetness of pineapple chunks to balance the heat from the spices. And that is what this spicy pork and pineapple a la Bicol Express is all about.
But why add pineapple chunks? If you haven’t discovered it yet, adding fruit to stews is an extraordinarily wonderful thing. The juices add flavor to the sauce, the pieces of fruit provide textural contrast to the meat and, depending on what fruit you’re using, it can add color to the dish as well. See the list of more meat and fruit combos after the recipe.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 500 grams pork belly cut into one-inch cubes
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- one-inch knob ginger minced
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 3 to 4 finger chilis thinly sliced
- patis (fish sauce) to taste
- 1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 2 cups pineapple chunks (I used canned but fresh will be infinitely better)
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Add the pork cubes and cook over very high heat until lightly browned.
- Add the garlic, ginger, onion, finger chilis. Season with fish sauce. Continue cooking until fragrant.
- Pour in a cup of coconut milk. Add the pineapple tidbits. Stir, taste and add more fish sauce, as needed. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the pork is tender. If the liquid dries out before the pork is done, add the rest of the coconut milk, a quarter cup at a time.
- Pour in the coconut cream. Bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat. Taste and add more fish sauce, if needed.
- This spicy pork and pineapple a la Bicol Express is best served with hot rice.
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More meat and fruit combos: