4.285 Lechon Kawali with Adobong Sili

-Cycle 4, Item 285-
17 (Thu) October 2013

Lechon Kawali with Adobong Sili


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seoul-

with The Family

These are the 8th and 9th recipes attempted from The Adobo Road Cookbook (ARC) (see generally 4.276 Classic Chicken Adobo...; previously 4.280 Pancit Ginataang Hipon...).

Lechon kawali is a Philippine pork dish.  It consists pork belly, typically simmered in water, seasoned with salt and/or soy sauce and/or fish sauce, as well as pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and other aromatics, for a couple hours until super tender, cut into bite-sized pieces at some point in the process, then deep-fried to make everything crispy on the outside.  Pork fat, boiled to the point of melting, then deep-fried to make it even silkier/oilier/mushier/oozier.  The pieces may be eaten on their own or as part of another dish.  One of the all-time Philippine classics.  The "lechon" is a misnomer, deriving from the same etymological source as, but actually having nothing to do with, roasting (see generally 4.274 Cebu Lechon Manok).

While the general adobo method lends itself to virtually any meat/vegetable, the application to bell peppers ("sili") is unusual.  In ARC, the author writes about his grandfather making adobos from various home-grown veg, which he can't recall specifically, so the recipe is something of a symbolic if indeterminate homage.  

Anyway, I thought that (8th) lechon kawali alone would be a bit too decadent, so I paired the pork bellies with (9th) bell peppers adabong, figuring that the tartness of the latter would help to balance out the richness of the former.  

It was so good at first that it was kinda gross in the end.  I was right that the two dishes in combo would work well together.  Perhaps too well.  The wife and I tucked in like mad--the kids, maybe they had some instinctive fail-safe, but they weren't really into it--until the plate was clean.  Soon enough, we both felt greasy queasy.

Nevertheless, I'm going to try this again.  In Korea, the ability to cook pork bellies in multiple ways is well-appreciated.  I'll post a recipe and more photos next time (for some reason, I didn't take any this time).

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