Roasted Pork Belly Roll (Cebuchon)

Merry Christmas everyone!

This is one of the dishes I prepared for our Noche Buena last night and a few readers have asked me how to make it, so I tried finishing it up today, in case you want to make it for New Year’s Eve. 😊

It is a smaller version of a roasted whole pig we used to have when I was little. Whenever there is a big celebration, like town fiesta or Christmas, our aunts would have a lot of food on the table, complete with a roasted whole pig. It was roasted all day on a makeshift pit big enough to accommodate it. When done, we would all fight over the crispy, crackly skin as that was the best part!

This size is much more manageable and practical, as a whole pig won’t fit in a standard US home oven. Not to mention I’m not sure where I could get a whole pig, not that I want to know. 😱

Unfortunately, I was busy preparing several dishes and cakes at the same time I was making this that I wasn’t able to take step by step photos.

This pork roll is easy to prepare but you’ll just need time and a couple of special ingredients.

First, is a big slab of pork belly with skin on. I got mine from a Filipino grocery store, Seafood City in Irvine, California. I got lucky since they just received a delivery when I shopped there. It was around 18 pounds, frozen solid. I left it in the refrigerator for a few days to defrost completely. I bought it Saturday night and prepared it Thursday.

Next, you’ll need some lemon grass. I grow several herbs in the backyard including lemon grass, but if you don’t, try any Asian grocery store or farmer’s market. The photo above was taken after I took most of it for this recipe, so it looks kinda scraggly. 😊

Other ingredients are only vinegar (I used kombucha vinegar because I had some), garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.

You will also need a good kitchen twine to tie this up and preferably, a husband or a wife or someone who can help with the tying process. I used the thick twine, the one on the left, to secure this pork roll.

To serve, you’ll need some lechon sauce. We use the Mang Tomas brand photographed above, you can buy it in Asian groceries.

And of course , you’ll need lots of time!

Hands on time is about 30 minutes the day before, to prepare the pork roll. Then you’ll need to chill this for at least 8 hours(but not more than 24 hours), and then the baking time is about 6 hours. Do a little math so you can have it ready by the time you want!

*note: To serve at 7 pm, I start baking at around 12:30pm as it takes about 6 hours or so to cook.*

So if you have all of those ready, here goes!

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Ingredients:

10-15 pounds pork belly with skin, defrosted

1/2 -3/4 cup kombucha vinegar (or white vinegar)

2-3 tablespoons sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup coarsely chopped garlic

3-5 stalks of lemon grass, tops and bottoms trimmed, then pounded with a meat tenderizer or back of the knife blade.

1 big red onion, peeled and sliced (about 1 cup)

Procedure:

1. Place the pork on a cutting board over the sink and pierce with a meat tenderizer (or fork or knife). Turn over and pierce the skin side too.

2. Pour vinegar little by little while rubbing it all over the pork. Turn the pork over and repeat with the remaining vinegar. Don’t worry about how much you’ll use as excess will just run into the sink. We do this to help dry out the skin and to help remove unpleasant odor. That in turn will make the skin crackly and crunchy and just delicious!

3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the pork. Be generous as this is only flavoring the pork will have aside from the aromatics.

4. Turn the pork skin side down and place the lemon grass, onions, and garlic straight down the middle, horizontally on the long side.

5. Roll up the pork (I called my husband to help me), making sure the skin doesn’t overlap. It should touch in a circle, end to end – don’t make it into a pinwheel as the skin inside won’t be crisp.

6. Tie the pork in 1-2 inch intervals with kitchen twine. I held the pork roll stable and my husband tied it up. Team work!

7. Any onion or garlic that fell out, I pushed back into the roll.

8. Place the pork roll on a large baking sheet, uncovered, and chill around 8 hours (but not more than 24 hours) in the refrigerator. I prepare this at night and leave it in the fridge overnight.

9. Remove pork roll from the fridge and preheat the oven to 200F. Bake at 200F for 3 1/2 hours. This helps to dry the skin out thoroughly and start the cooking process slowly.

10. Increase temperature to 350F and continue baking for 1 1/2 hours. (*You can bake a cake together at this time since they’re usually baked at 350F).

11. Increase temperature to 450F and bake for 35 to 45 minutes more until golden brown and skin is blistered and shiny. (*You can bake a bread together this time as most breads bake at 450F for 30 minutes or so).

12. Remove from oven. Check that the internal temperature is at 170F – 200F. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before slicing.

13. Place on a cutting board, and carefully slice into rounds using a serrated knife. Be extra careful as the skin is crisp and your knife can easily slip.

14. Cut the rounds into bite sized pieces.

15. Serve with lechon sauce, or vinegar with garlic, salt, pepper, and slices of hot chili.

Enjoy!

Tonkatsu (Breaded, Fried Pork Chops)

My all time favorite dish!

Call it whatever you want, schnitzel, milanesa, katsu…I always go with what I called it growing up-TONKATSU. And it has to be pork chops! Chicken is only acceptable to me when I have no other choice. 😊

Served with very thinly sliced cabbage, freshly cooked white, sticky rice, and of course the essential Bulldog sauce (no, it is NOT made with bulldogs!), I am a happy camper! I can really eat this everyday and I won’t get tired if it!

My mom, being Japanese, used to make this when we were little. It is definitely a comfort food for me and my family. My son actually loves this as much as do so even if I try to avoid serving fried dishes, I do oblige and make this once in a while. I always top the cabbage with Kewpie mayo too!

Of course, this is also the perfect “milanesa” to top my Peruvian Tallarin Verde. But more about that in my later article!

You’ll need pork chops. As much as you like!

I marinate them in lemon juice and fish sauce if I have time. Equal parts of lemon juice and fish sauce will make your pork chops taste really good, not fishy at all! Leave them in your refrigerator, covered, for a few hours, ideally overnight.

If you’re pressed for time, just salt and pepper them. It’ll taste good too!

You’ll also need flour. I start with about a cup of flour in a plate, and mix in a pinch or two of salt and pepper. This will be your first coating on the pork chops.

Next, you’ll need an egg or two mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Beat that well in another plate. This is your second coating.

Panko. Japanese bread crumbs. This will turn your pork chops into Tonkatsu.

Grab a bag, open, and pour some into a clean plate. A third plate. One for the flour mixture, one for the egg mixture, and one for the panko. Yup, this is your final coating before frying. 😋

Step 1: place a pork chop into the flour mixture, lightly press down on it to coat with flour,

Step 2: Turn over and coat the other side well.

Step 3: transfer to the egg mixture, coat well.

Step 4: turn pork over to coat the other side too.

Step 5: move on to the panko, coating one side thoroughly,

Step 6: turn over and press pork onto the panko to coat the other side. Repeat with remaining pork chops.

Step 7: heat a good amount of canola oil in a fry pan over medium heat.

Step 8: When hot, slide a couple of pork chops in. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Step 9: Carefully turn over to cook the other side. I find this is easiest done with a metal kitchen tong.

Step 10: cook the other side until golden snd meat is cooked through.

Step 11: carefully remove tonkatsu onto paper towel lined plate or wire rack.

Step 12: thinly slice a small head of cabbage. Rinse in cool water snd drain thoroughly.

Step 13: arrange tonkatsu, cabbage, and rice on s plate.

Step 14: serve with Bulldog sauce snd Kewpie mayo! Enjoy!!!

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Electric Lunchbox #93: Meatloaf

Meatloaf in the ELB…it might not look as amazing as oven baked ones, but convenience wise, it can’t be beat.

You just mix everything in a bowl, shape into a patty or 3, fit them in the ELB bowl, steam, and tada! A wonderful meal.

If you want to prep this the night before (like if you need it for next day’s lunch), you can follow the directions up until it’s covered with foil then refrigerate it until needed. Place in the ELB when ready and steam until done. I like to use a thermometer to make sure the meat is cooked through.

You can pair this with rice, veggies, Cornbread from this recipe https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/05/07/electric-lunchbox-beef-stew-and-corn-bread-with-optional-flan/ or even this Bacon Grease Cornbread here https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/10/26/electric-lunchbox-63-bacon-grease-cornbread/

Hope you like this recipe!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 heaping cup of ground pork

1 egg

1/3 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (or plain bread crumbs)

1/4 cup plain yogurt (or milk)

2 tablespoons chopped onions

1/4 teaspoon salt (I used celery salt)

Ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Procedure:

1. In a bowl, combine ground pork,

2. Egg,

3. Ritz cracker crumbs,

4. Yogurt,

5. Chopped onions,

6. Celery salt,

7. Ground black pepper,

8. And Italian seasoning.

9. Mix well to incorporate everything together.

10. Since there are 3 of us in my home, I divided the mixture into 3 roughly equal sized portions. I shaped them into individual logs, and squeezed them into the medium ELB bowl. It would definitely work in the big ELB bowl too. Set this aside for now.

11. In a small bowl, combine ketchup,

12. Worcestershire sauce,

13. And brown sugar.

14. Mix well to combine.

15. Use this sauce to coat the tops of the meatballs.

16. Cover the bowl with a piece of foil. Set the bowl on the ELB base. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

17. Carefully open the ELB and check the meat for doneness. I use a thermometer to make sure. 😊

18. Serve hot and enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #74: Pork Sinigang

Filipino hot and sour soup!

Growing up I remember our cooks boil fresh tamarind until soft and press it through a metal strainer to get the “sour” for this soup. I never had to do that as I always have this packaged “sinigang” mix to use. I think it tastes the same, plus I really do not know where to get fresh tamarind, nor do I have the time to boil and squeeze it. Convenience in semi-home made is precious in our busy lives. It gives me more time to sit and enjoy dinner with my family. ❤️

You can make this with beef too, but I happened to have pork so I used pork. You want the pork to have some fat to make the soup richer and more tasty.

Long green beans

The vegetables I used here are what I remember our soup had, and I LOVE picking out the taro (gabi)! Water spinach is rather hard to find unless I go to an Asian grocery store, and our Tita Naty used spinach when she made it one cold day in Virginia, so I used spinach. Radish, long green beans, onions, and a tomato rounds everything out perfectly. If you want, add 1 or 2 whole long green chili pepper. Do not bruise or cut it. You serve it with the soup, take it out and crush it with some fish sauce in a small saucer, then drizzle it over your soup and rice. Yum! You have yourself a delicious lunch cooked with very little effort. I hope you’ll like this dish!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

155 grams (1/2 cup or so) cubed boneless pork

30 grams (3-4 pieces) long beans, cut into 1.5” pieces

60 grams (1-2 pieces) taro, peeled and cubed

95 grams (1/2) radish, peeled and sliced thinly

30 grams (1 small) tomato, diced

35 grams (1 tablespoon) minced onion

15 grams (a handful) spinach leaves

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 – 1 tablespoon “sinigang mix” (I used 3/4 tablespoon)

1/2 – 1 teaspoon teaspoon beef bouillon powder

3 ELB cups water for the base

Fish sauce, to serve (optional)

If serving with rice:

2 ELB cups rice, rinsed and drained

2 ELB cups water for the rice

Procedure:

1. In the large ELB bowl, place pork, long beans, taro, radish, tomato, onion, spinach , and water

2. Add the “sinigang mix”, bouillon powder, and fish sauce, if using. Stir to mix.

3. Place bowl in the ELB base. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base.

4. If preparing with rice, wash and drain 2 ELB cups of rice and place in the small or medium ELB bowl. Add 2 ELB cups water and place on top of the big bowl if using the small bowl (or on the upper level for the medium bowl).

5. Cover the ELB and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

6. Carefully open the ELB and check the meat and rice for doneness, adding more water to steam longer if necessary.

7. Serve hot and enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #73: Pork Menudo

Menudo is a staple dish in fiestas, birthday parties and everyday lunch and dinner in the Philippines. See my stovetop version and introduction here: https://athomewiththeresa.com/?s=Menudo

I make it a lot at home so, like most of my staple recipes, I decided to make an ELB version.

You can add peas, garbanzo beans, and pork liver if you want.

Like I always say, use my recipes as a guide and add more or less of any ingredient you like or not like. I do encourage you to try it my way at least once though. Then make your adjustment after you taste it.

Hope you’ll try it soon and as always, I hope you’ll like it!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

200 grams pork, cubed

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 hotdog, cut in half lengthwise and cut into small semi circles

1 tablespoon chopped onions

1 large tomato, diced finely (1/2 -3/4 cup)

1 potato, peeled and diced (about 1/2 cup or so)

5 baby carrots, diced (1/3 cup)

1/4 each of green and red bell peppers, diced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon raisins

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon bouillon powder

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

3 ELB cups water in base

Procedure:

1. Season pork with salt and pepper.

2. Place pork, hotdogs, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrot, and bell peppers in the large ELB bowl.

3. Mix in tomato paste, fish sauce, raisins, water, bouillon powder, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Stir to mix.

4. Place bowl in the ELB base and add 3 ELB cups of water in the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

5. Carefully open the ELB and check the meat for doneness. Add more water to steam if necessary.

6. Serve hot and enjoy.

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Filipino Menudo

This Menudo recipe is a Filipino dish that makes it’s appearance on everyday lunch and dinner tables to fiestas and special occasions. It is tomato based and has a little sauce that make it perfect with white steamed rice, and LOTS of it!

You can use cubed chicken breasts or pork meat in this dish. I have not tried nor heard of a beef version though. Please let me know if you know of a Filipino menudo recipe made with beef!

When I was a kid, I remember this dish having *chopped liver when served, but I do not really like liver nor is it easy to find where I live now, so I left it out. If you want to add it, of course feel free to. I’m sure it will taste closer to the authentic version my aunts used to cook!

I usually add *sliced hotdogs to this dish too. My son loves hotdogs (I mean, all kids do right?!) so if I have it, it definitely goes in the recipe too. I just didn’t have any on hand this time.

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound pork or chicken breasts, cubed

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 carrots, peeled and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Onion, diced

1/2 cup Tomato sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

*1 cup chopped liver, optional

*1 cup sliced hotdogs, optional

1 bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup raisins

Salt and pepper

Procedure:

1. Season cubed chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a wok or saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and let cook until lightly browned about 4-5 minutes, without stirring. You want that caramelization as it adds so much flavor to the dish. Give it a quick stir and let sit again until most of it is lightly browned.

3. Remove chicken pieces to a plate and set aside.

4. Add another 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat up. Pan fry the potatoes and carrots until lightly browned. Remove to a plate and set aside. *You can skip this step but my Tita Saning who showed me this recipe did it this way, so I am sharing this step too. Kind of like honoring her memory. I miss those times. ❤️

5. Heat up the last tablespoon of oil and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the onions and saute for about 3-5 minutes, until golden.

6. Add in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, potatoes, and carrots. *If using liver and hot dogs, add them too*

7. Let simmer over medium-low heat until meat and potatoes are done, about 20-25 minutes. Taste, taste!

8. Add the bell peppers, peas, and raisins and simmer until heated through, about 5-10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Serve hot over freshly cooked rice. Fish sauce on the side is optional, but highly recommended! 😋

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Easy Braised Pork Country Style Ribs

I first uploaded a recipe for this dish under Electric Lunchbox/Itaki as it was an easy dish to prepare that way. However, I wanted bigger quantities for our actual dinner so I prepared it on the stove and I am sharing it here today.

This is a very easy set it and forget it recipe that you can simmer while you prepare the rice and the side dish and/or dessert.

The rice in the photo had some turmeric, olive oil, and salt added to the water before cooking to make it prettier and healthier. A sprinkling of minced carrots or red pepper flakes would make for a more colorful dish.

1.5 – 2 lbs country style ribs, cubed

1/2 c Lee Kum Kee brown braising sauce

1 cup water

1 onion chopped

1 tablespoon ginger

3 – 4 star anise

Place everything in a heavy saucepan. Simmer over medium low heat, cover ajar, until pork is tender and sauce is thickened, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Serve with rice and veggies!

Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #37: Adobo (Philippine soy sauce vinegar stew)

Adobo.

This is the all time favorite Filipino dish that you probably have heard of or even tried already. It is a constant at family gatherings and lunch boxes. Every family has their own recipe for this dish that is basically meat or vegetables simmered in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper corns. Some add boiled eggs, potatoes, sugar, fish sauce, bayleaves. The meat can be chicken, or pork, or a combination of both. The only vegetable version of adobo that I had was Adobong Kangkong (water spinach), but I’m sure there are other versions all over.

I remember when I was young, we would always have this dish with a huge pot of rice, a big Igloo/Coleman water dispenser, and fruits, when we go “picnic”. Picnic is a term used by my aunts/uncles when we go to the pool/resort or beach for the day. It was a lot of fun to just be kids while the adults played card games, dominoes, and talk.

This keeps well at room temperature because of the vinegar, however I refrigerate it as soon as I can and won’t leave it out too long. It does taste better the next day, that’s for sure!

*My stovetop version almost always has the boiled eggs and potatoes, as I like having extras in my food. The version I grew up with though, had only bone in chicken with skin and pork meat with some fat, which when simmered for a long time, becomes rich, flavorful and truly delicious, something you will remember for a long time.*

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

Adobo:

220 grams pork or chicken, cut into small cubes

1 small potato, peeled and cubed

20 ml soy sauce

20 ml vinegar

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional, but highly recommended)

2 bayleaves

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Rice/Garlic rice:

2 ELB cups rice

2 ELB cups water

Toasted garlic, 1 teaspoon oil, and a sprinkle of salt, optional for garlic rice

3 itaki cups water in base

1. Place the meat, potatoes, soysauce, vinegar, pepper corns, fish sauce, bay leaves, garlic and garlic powder in the big bowl of the ELB. Mix and place on the base.

2. Place rice in the small nesting bowl, rinse well and drain. Add in the 2 ELB cups of water and toasted garlic, oil, and a sprinkle of salt, if using. Place on top of the big bowl.

3. Pour 3 ELB cups of water in the base. Cover the lunchbox snd let steam until done, about 55 minutes. Check meat and rice for doneness, adding more water to steam longer if needed.

4. Serve hot. Enjoy!

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