Filipinos love deep fried crispy pork with its skin on like crispy pata, lechon kawali and chicharon, this dish is no different as it uses the same concept of deep frying. These dishes might look the same but there are some subtle difference between them and usually it is the part of the meat used and the sauce that comes with it. Crispy pata uses pork leg and vinegar as a dip, chicharon uses pork skin and vinegar dip as well, lechon kawali uses pork belly cut into bite size pieces and it comes with a sweet liver gravy and bagnet uses pork belly which is usually served in large chunks with a bagoong monamon (fermented anchovies) dip.
These subtle differences not just exist in this dish but with other Filipino dishes as well due to the fact that the whole country is divided into 1704 islands definitely each areas will have evolved their own unique cuisines.
A simple dish from the wonderful province of Vigan, it barely have any ingredients at all but certainly loved by many.
- 1 kg pork belly, whole
- 1 whole garlic, pounded
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pcs bay leaves
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- bagoong monamon
- lemon wedges
- Place pork belly in a pot and pour enough water just to cover the meat. Add in salt, ground black pepper, garlic, bay leaves and baking powder. Bring it to a boil, remove the scum then simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from pot then let it cool.
- Once cooled down, place in the refrigerator until it gets cold, you need this to achieve a crispy skin. Remove from the fridge then slice pork belly into two to three inch thick portions.
- Prepare a deep fryer or large wok filled with oil. Heat oil in high temperature and reduce to low once it’s the oil is near its smoking point. Place pork and deep fry for 10 minutes, once finished remove from fryer and let it cool.
- Once cooled down, place again the refrigerator until it gets cold.
- Now deep fry again the pork belly for the second time for 5 minutes.
- Remove from fryer and serve with bagoong monamon with lemon juice.