Thursday, November 3, 2011

From Boracay and Back

I have not seen too many beaches in my life.  But still, I would bet that Boracay, can give the best of them a run for their money. For example, Maldives, though beautiful and rich in terms of marine life can not rival the fineness of the sands of our beloved island.  We just love it. You can walk on the beach from sun up til sun down and not feel the burn on the soles of your feet.  The burn on your back--that's another thing.  

Incidentally, the boy did get burnt because he wouldn't let me put sunblock on his back.  Apparently he is "too old" for such shenanigans and insisted that he do it on his own.  Of course, he did it haphazardly that on the last evening of our stay, he fell asleep in the middle of a sunburn rant without any shirt on.  Moral of the story:  listen to your mother, she's been burnt before.  :-)

Today's lunchbox is a repeat performance, a dish called Bicol Express.  I had earlier posted this dish making use of bacon-cut pork belly (See the post Kain Na-  For today however, I used pork belly too but cut it in chunks after deep-frying and rendering its fat. Bicol is the southernmost province in the island of Luzon here in the Philippines.  It is most famous for dishes made with coconut cream and a hefty serving of chili.  In fact, the Bicol Express is a stew of chilis in coconut cream with some pork bits (may actually be omitted).  But, the boy can't have that much chili and so I adjusted it to suit his taste which could only mean one thing--more meat!  (Sorry vegan friends for ruining a perfectly vegan treat.)

Today's lunchbox:  Crispy Pork Belly Bicol Express (sauce on the side), Steamed Rice
I shall share the recipe here for you to try.  

Crispy Pork Belly Bicol Express 

1 Kilo Pork Belly
Salt, Pepper
1 whole onion, peeled
1 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices ginger
2 birds eye chili
2 green finger chili
2 slices turmeric (or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric  powder)
1/2 cup stock (chicken, pork or beef)
1 cup coconut cream 

  1. Boil pork belly in water with the whole onion.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  When fork tender, meaning you can poke the meat with a fork easily, drain and store in a cool place to dry thoroughly.  You can put it in the refrigerator and store uncovered for the skin to dehydrate more.  The longer you dry it, the crispier the skin.
  2. Deep-fry covered until golden and the skin is so crispy you can tap on it and hear a distinctive "tok-tok" crackling sound.  Set aside.
  3. To make the sauce, saute onion, garlic, ginger, chilis, turmeric until the entire kitchen is fragrant with their union. Add in stock, reduce a bit and throw in the coconut cream.
And that is how Bicol Express is cooked in my kitchen.  Enjoy!  :-)

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