Pork production in the Philippines is the largest livestock industry in the country. Filipinos love pork. Pigs are also known to be indigenous to the country, so it is not surprising that the majority of early Filipino dishes are made with pork. Small farms and small Filipino businesses still raise pigs in their backyard for livestock. With so many ways to cook pork, here are some popular Filipino pork recipe with dishes done in the Philippines.
1. Deep Fried Pork Leg / Crispy Pata
First, of, a very simple and sinful dish, this version of a deep fried pork is a guilty pleasure among Filipinos. The “Pata” or pig leg is the main part cooked and deep fried. It is a very filling and juicy part of the pork. This dish is famous as a Filipino “Pulutan” or snacks that are usually used as appetizers when having a drink. It can be dipped into a sauce made with a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. It is also popularly paired with garlic and chili for those that like the spicy taste and extra kick with every bite.
The famous spit-roasted suckling pig, “Lechon” is a star among other Filipino dishes. It is always available in any “fiestas” or Pinoy celebrations. The island of Cebu in the Philippines is the most famous place to get this delicacy, although lechon houses are prevalent in most cities and regions.
Another variant of this dish is called “Lechon Kawali”. It is like lechon, with its crispy and juicy meat. It is also pork belly that has been spiced while boiled in water. And then deep fried until golden brown. Although this method of cooking is more similar to ‘Crispy pata’, it is a variant of ‘Lechon’ as it uses pork belly and season with the same ingredients as lechon.
3. Adobong Baboy
Considered as the “National dish of the Philippines”, adobo is a flavorful dish that is marinated and stewed in mainly soy sauce and vinegar. Adobong baboy or pork adobo is the most famous version of the adobo as the meat and fats of the pork bring out the taste of the dish more than other types of meat. It seasoned with other ingredients as well as garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns while being stewed. There are other variations of the dish that takes it even a step further and fries the pork after to get a more crispy texture.
4. Sinigang na Baboy
It is a sour soup that is one of the traditional Filipino dishes. The taste of the broth comes from the tamarind, a pulpy sour fruit and also added with fish sauce. It is best cooked with pork and is simmered with other ingredients such as eggplant, tomatoes, long beans and radish. The mixture of several vegetables contributes to the fresh taste of the dish.
5. Nilagang Baboy
It is another soup that is easy to make just like the “Sinigang”. It is pork boiled in soup with vegetable ingredients like onion, cabbage, potatoes, and even saba banana. It has a lighter taste than other Filipino soup dishes, that is why it is often paired with spicy vinegar sauce when served.
6. Pork Menudo
Pork Menudo is one of those dishes that is usually made when there are celebrations. It is easy to make in bulk and is often seen when there are “fiestas” or when families celebrate reunions and holidays like Christmas. It is a stewed dish with a tomato base. The typical menudo dish includes pork, pork liver, potatoes, carrots, raisins and hotdogs. The raisins in the dish are an important ingredient to a sweet taste in the dish.
As the name may sound, it is a Spanish influenced dish. It is a pork stew with tomato base just like Pork Menudo but with different vegetable ingredients. It is cooked with plantain banana, cabbage, green beans, and bok choi.
8. Tokwa’t Baboy
Like its literal translation, Tokwa’t Baboy ( literally translated to tofu and pork) is a simple mixed dish of, of course, tofu and pork. It is well loved for its simplicity but savory taste from its sauce made with vinegar and soy sauce. It is commonly eaten as appetizers and is popularly paired with beer.
9. Bicol Express
A regional dish in the Philippines, Bicol Express is another Filipino pork dish stew. It is a spicy stew made with long chilies, based on coconut milk, shrimp paste, stock and spices like onion and garlic to taste.
Another usually spicy Filipino pork dish, Bopis is made with pork lungs and heart. It is sautéed in spices like onions, chilies, and tomatoes. It is an exotic dish that uses the internal organs of the pork. The liver, brain, and ears of the pork are also used in the dish.
It is a chopped pork dish served in a hot stone plate that is a favorite food to be paired with beer as well. It is often topped with egg and calamansi (lime). Some variation of the dish adds mayonnaise to it for a creamier texture. Others also incorporate pig’s brain with the meat bits.
An exotic Filipino dish that may not be compatible with everyone’s taste. It is a pork blood stew. Yes, you heard it right, blood. It is made by simmering the pork and blood in a mixture of garlic, chili, and vinegar. It also incorporates innards of the pork. The very rich taste of the dish makes it a good pair to “puto” a Filipino traditional rice cake, which is slightly sweet.
13. Lechon Paksiw
Another dish that may be a variation of cooking a Lechon dish. “Paksiw” is actually a Filipino style of cooking that involves simmering food in vinegar and seasoned with fish sauce and chili. It is usually cooked with fish, however, “Lechon paksiw” is a pork variation of this dish where left-over lechon is incorporated to the vinegar and seasoned with sugar, bay leaves, and salt to taste. Liver spread may also be used to add flavor.
14. Binagoongang Baboy.
This dish is made with pork sautéed in tomato and “bagoong” or shrimp paste. It is a relatively easy and quick dish to make. The pork is initially simmered in spices like bay leaves and vinegar until tender. Then, separated from the liquid and sautéed with the shrimp paste and spices to taste. Chili may also be added for those that like it spicy.
This Filipino pork recipe is an appetizer kind of dish that is made by wrapping pork meat, vegetables and other ingredients in lumpia wrapper. This dish is inspired by Chinese influence and can be associated with spring rolls. Lumpia is a dish that is frequently found during Filipino gatherings. It is deep-fried until golden brown and can be served with dipping sauces like sweet and sour sauce.
Whatever way that Filipino Pork recipes are cooked, it is evident what kind of taste Filipinos tend to lean towards to. Dishes usually include a lot of spices; onions and garlic, and usually added with salt to taste. Although Filipino cuisine may be confusing for some that have not tried them, by the recipe alone, it always promises a flavorful and unique dish.