Balamban Liempo, Philippines

History

“Tastier than Lechon”, as they claim it, Balamban Liempo is a chunk of pork stuffed with some secret ingredients (like green grass of some sort), making it so flavourful. It has a crispy outer layer which makes it even tastier. Their tag line must have been true after all.

There are 2 accessible locations where you can find Balamaban Liempo in Cebu. One is at Gorordo Avenue right across the Mormon Temple before JY Square. The other one is at F. Cabahug Street Mabolo, just in front of Rainforest Park Cebu and Center for International Education (CIE).

2. Balamban Liempo

Ingredients

3 stalks lemongrass (tanglad), trimmed, pounded, and chopped roughly

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1.2 kilos pork, divided into 5 slabs

oil, for deep-frying

How to Cook Liempo de Balamban (Herb-stuffed Pork Belly)

Combine lemongrass, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper in a large mortar and pestle; grind to a paste.

With a small knife, cut small pockets in pork, between the layers of fat and meat.

Stuff the herb mixture into the holes. Tie with kitchen twine.

Arrange pork pieces in a pot, skin side up, and cover with enough water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.

Remove pork pieces from pot. Transfer to a rack and let meat dry.

Deep-fry pork in preheated oil until golden and crisp. Alternatively, you can roast the pork in a preheated 350°F oven or grill over medium hot coals until golden brown. Serve with seasoned vinegar and stir-fried kangkong, if desired.

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