Inihaw na Baboy (Grilled Pork Belly)

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Ingredients:

I pack of pork belly (usually three strips come to a pack)

Bay leaves (4-5)

Garlic powder (about 1 tablespoon) or Fresh Garlic, finely chopped. I prefer the latter but, in a pinch, the garlic powder does a nice job.

Ground pepper (approx. 1 tablespoon)

I can of Coca-Cola or Kalamansi Soda

Soy sauce and/or Knorr Seasoning Sauce (mixed with the soda, enough for the strips of pork belly to be submerged)

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients, minus the pork belly, in a Tupperware container or Pyrex dish. Stir it to make sure all the flavours blend

2. Add the pork bellies, making sure they’re submerged. DO NOT slice the pork belly*. You can let this sit for a few hours and it’ll be ready for grilling but I like to leave it overnight in the refrigerator. If you do that, make sure its covered so it doesn’t dry out.

3. When ready to grill – which you can do in a barbeque pit, outdoor grill, or the broiler pan of your indoor oven – cook each side for approximately 8 or 9 minutes (could be less or more, depending on the proximity of the pork to the flame and/or the strength of the cooker you’re using). Bottom line: make sure the pork is cooked thoroughly and that there is a nice browning on the outside.

4. Once the pork is cooked, slice each strip into 1/2″ pieces.

5. Serve with white or Filipino garlic rice, laing (stewed banana leaves in coconut milk). As a condiment, you can use Mang Tomas dipping sauce and/or suka (white vinegar), with or without diced red pepper.

Garlic rice, inihaw na baboy and a scoop of laing

Garlic rice, inihaw na baboy and a scoop of laing

 

* Do NOT slice the pork belly until after marinating it and, for me, after cooking. For my taste, this is the best process for the following reasons: 1. Cutting the bellies before marinating it can lead to the pork getting overwhelmed by the marinade. When eating it, you should get a taste of the marinade while still being able to taste the meat. 2. Cooking the baboy when it’s already sliced can lead to the pork becoming dry.