Sweet and tangy pork with chilies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 3 to 4
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 500 to 600 grams pork belly cut into 1-1/2" cubes
  • 4 to 5 finger chilies slices
  • 4 to 5 slices ginger
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic peeled and pounded
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • fish sauce to taste
  • sugar to taste
  • kalamansi (or lemon or lime) juice, to taste
  • fresh mint and cilantro to garnish


  • Heat a pan. Coat the bottom with the cooking oil. Arrange the pork belly cubes in a single layer. Cook over high heat until the underside is browned. Flip to brown the top side. Repeat to brown all sides.
  • Add the chilies, ginger, garlic and shallots. Cook, tossing often, for about half a minute. Drizzle in some fish sauce and sugar. Cook for another minute.
  • Pour in just enough water to barely cover the meat.
  • Add kalamansi juice. Stir. Taste and add more fish sauce, sugar and kalamansi juice, as needed.
  • Bring to the boil. Cover the pan, set the heat to low and let the meat braise for about an hour. Taste occasionally and adjust the seasonings, as needed. If the mixture appears too dry before the pork is done, add more water, no more than half a cup at a time.
  • By the time the pork is done, the liquid should have reduced to a thick and sticky sauce. Do a final taste test and adjust the seasonings one last time, if it is necessary.
  • Serve the pork with the sauce. Garnish with fresh mint and cilantro.