Sometimes, I get the feeling that the universe is telling me to cook something specific. The chances that I actually get to do it without leaving the house is so rare, I tell you!
Last week I attended a wedding and I got to take home some Spanferkel (aka as Lechon or a whole roast pig). I promptly turned that into the goodness that is Lechon Kawali, one of the fattiest Flipino leftover dishes out there. Boiled, then air-dried lechon belly/skin, deep fried to a crisp.
But I still had crispy leftovers. What to do?
Nothing beats a stew in a cold and rainy day, so I made some comfort food: Munggo Guisado. That is Mung bean stew, which basically is our version of lentil soup.
Doesn’t look like much, but that’s Filipino comfort food right here.
I had a pack of mung beans, so I rinsed and then soaked a cup of that in water for an hour. After that, I boiled the beans for 30 minutes. Sautée two cloves of crushed garlic and one chopped medium sized onion in three tablespoons of oil I saved from the deep fried lechon. I had some pork chops in the fridge, so I took one slab out and chopped it into 1 inch by 2 inch cubes, and put that in too.
Filipinos eat tomatoes slightly underripe because we like our tomatoes sour, and luckily I just saved some of my tomatoes from the cold autumn air on my balcony. I chopped one of them into quarters, stirred it two to three times, and added the drained mung beans into it.
I saved the stock I made from boiling the lechon and put half a cup of the lechon water into the pot and I let it simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
I still had a single tatsoi plant and a thai basil plant freezing to its death on my balcony. I harvested those, along with some Italian basil and cilantro leaves. Chopped them to shreds, and shredded the leftover pork from the lechon/Spanferkel. Throw them in at the end, add about a tablespoon of fish sauce, et Viola!
I always add salt and pepper all throughout the cooking process, and not just during one specific time, to get a good layering of flavor. Using leftover oil and lechon stock was amazing, as it echoed the pork that was in the stew.
I ate this with steamed rice. And ate it like a Filipino 🙂