Nilagang Liempo with Upo (Pork Belly with Bottle Gourd)
This pork belly dish is boiled with bottle gourd, commonly called “upo” in tagalog dialect. Honestly my knowledge about cooking upo is only ginisang upo (or sauteed bottle gourd) with ground pork and some shelled shrimp. And when it comes to nilagang liempo, the vegetable that I usually see is either pechay, cabbage, Chinese cabbage and potatoes. My first impression of this dish is that it will taste bland because the ingredients are very simple but I’m wrong. It is very tasty and I’m sure you will love it.
- 1 kilo pork liempo or pork belly
- 1 pc upo or bottle gourd (about a foot length)
- 50 grams fresh ginger, cut and pounded
- 1 pc medium size onion, quartered
- ½ Tbsp whole black peppercorn, cracked
- 2 Tbsp patis (or fish sauce)
- 1 tsp granule seasoning (Magic Sarap)
- Remove the skin of pork belly and cut into ¾ inch thick. Cut the sliced pork into at least 1 to ½ inch length.
- Peel the upo (or bottle gourd) and slice it into 1 to ½ inch squares.
- In a stainless pot, let boil about 2 liters of water. Then put the pork belly and let it boil until you see scum on the surface and remove it.
- Add in onion, ginger and peppercorn. Continue boiling for an hour or until the pork is tender.
- Add in the upo and continue boiling until the upo is cooked but be careful not to overcook the vegetable because it will become soggy.
- Season with patis and granuled seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Optional: you can serve it with soy sauce and calamansi dipping sauce.