PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

Beach Memories “Grilled Pork Belly”

Beach Memories “Grilled Pork Belly”

Here is my entry for #whatscookingchallenge by @jaynie

We always have food that reminds us of good times from the past. Family outings during your childhood years, crazy times with your friends or just a memorable meal. From the past years there is a dish that I could refer to as comfort food. Imagine spending time with the family on the beach and grilling your favorite meat. Here in our country I could say it is the star of the show in swimming outings and is often seen on tables on this said occasion.

 

Grilled Pork Belly

FIRE UP THE GRILL

What are you means of grilling? There are a lot of ways which are electric, gas grill, coal, volcanic rock and charcoal. Here in the Philippines the most popular and cheapest way is grilling with charcoal. Wood charcoal is cheap and can be found and sold almost anywhere. One sack can be bought for 250 -300 pesos which is roughly around $5- $6. If you don’t need that much you could purchase a small plastic bag which is good for one grilling. It would only cost you around 40 pesos or $.75 which is enough.

Fire it up but it could be tricky for the inexperienced. Here at home if there is grilling I am the one who is in charge. Others pour kerosene over the charcoal and just wait for it fire up. It is something that I never do as I feel that some fumes might go to your food and we do not want that. If you want the fastest way to get that charcoal burning what I do is I stack them up on the grill and place it over the stove for a few minutes until it burns up. You would be grilling in no time. But out on the beach is a different story and we go all natural. Again I pile up the charcoal on the grill and and look for some dried leaves, small sticks and anything that would easily burn. Placing it underneath the grill to burn up the charcoal and it works every time.

 

MARINADE

There are hundreds of ways to marinade you meat and everyone has their own way. In our country one of the popular marinades is a mixture of ketchup, soy sauce, salt, sugar, pepper and calamansi (local lime). Others just prefer salt and pepper which is actually good. We are not gonna do any of those, no special spices, no herbs, no ketchup and no fancy marinade mix. We will just use one ingredient as our marinade. Yes you read that right just one ingredient.

A technique which I learned from my father in law who was a chef on cargo ships. That one special ingredient brings out the taste of the meat which was very different from all the grilled pork belly I have ever tasted. I asked my father in law and was amazed that one special ingredient is OYSTER SAUCE.

No specific measurement or amount just make sure you get all the meat covered with the sauce. No need to leave it overnight or 3-4 hours. I just drench them with the sauce and then throw them in the grill. Although you could leave it for 30 minutes if you really want the flavor in the meat.

 

 

THE MEAT

There are good cuts and cheap cuts of pork belly meat. If you want those really nice cuts, the ones that are evenly with a slicer you could purchase it from the supermarket and specialty meat shops. Here we just head out to our local market and just select the cut that that a good balance of fat and meat. One kilo of pork would cost around 240 pesos which is around $4.50 which is not bad as it would be enough for 4-5 people.

 

GRILLIN

Just throw them over those hot charcoal and just wait for each side to cook evenly. These days some are concerned about carcinogenic substances associated with grilling. Some wrap their meat with aluminum foil to reduce the chances of carcinogens. But I prefer grilling over the heat ever since and I love the smokey taste it gives on the meat.

 

 

When  grilling over open heat the fat that drips often creates a flame underneath that could burn your meat. It is best to have a glass of water to sprinkle the flame with to control the heat.

 

 

 

After a couple of minutes your pork belly is ready to eat and you would notice by the color that it is ready. Another thing to check is the fat some portions have popped up which is an indication that it is ready.

 

 

TIME TO EAT

The perfect traditional combination is with some newly cooked rice, some soup and your pork belly. As a bonus to complete the experience just lay them all down on some banana leaves. Forget the utensils to experience the traditional Filipino way is to eating with your hands. The best part of is sharing the meal with your loved ones.

 

 

You may ask about the soup if it caught your attention. It is a traditional mussel soup called “Tinolang Tahong”. We have an abundant supply of sea mussels in our area which can be bought fresh everyday. As for the recipe well I’ll just share that some other day.

 

Don’t forget your spiced vinegar with a lot of chili as it would make you want eat more. Forget the diet once in a while as we only live once. Get another cup of rice as assure you one cup would not be enough.

 

 

Now we have our meal ready the only thing that are missing is the sand, the ocean and the cool breeze. Grab a tent spend a night on the beach, sleep underneath the stars and enjoy good food.

Thanks for joining me and have a good evening or a good day everyone.

 

Answering the call of @rwedegis for your amazing Fettuccini with Calamari Sauce 

Tagging for the challenge:

@foxyspirit

@jezmacher

@borrowedearth

 

 

 

 

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 Sigma 50mm 1.4