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Playing Tourist and Pork Belly Adobo with Filipino Garlic Rice

Pork Belly Adobo with Filipino Garlic Rice takes hours to cook and the smell of it stays in the house for days, it is a very fatty, high-calorie dish and certainly not something you eat every day, but it is TOTALLY worth the indulgence!!!

Working in the hospitality industry is sometimes like traveling the world, it seems to attract adventurers who have stepped out of the ordinary and dared to dream of a better life in far off lands doing what they do so well. Serving others. Yeah, I hear you say… “but serving is a low paid job for people with no qualifications”. But I say you are wrong, you are really wrong.

I’m a die-hard hospitality lover, and of course you all know some of the shenannagans I get up to with amazing events, in plush halls and venues with sumptuous food and front of house glamour. But the real heart of this industry is the people we work with from across the globe as we go about creating our magic. I’ve learned about far off lands, awesome food, new taste sensations, new recipes and made many new friends along the way too. But until recently I’ve not hosted one of my international friends, so much to my delight, in between preparing a fusion of delicious eats (Pork Belly Adobo with Filipino Garlic Rice for days……), my Filo buddy Franz and I decided to play tourist right here in my backyard, Canberra.

BAZINGA indeed! Maybe it is just me, but I reckon Scrivener Dam flowing with all its might is totally impressive.

300 schools and community groups across the country worked to create the SIEV X Memorial at Weston Park, it includes some of Australia’s most beautiful student artworks, each naming and remembering one of the people who died.

The National Carillon is a 50 metre tall musical instrument with 55 bronze bells, each weighing between seven kilograms and six tonnes.

Parliament House (my work place) is designed to last 200 years, contains 4,700 rooms, 2,700 clocks, the Foyer has 48 Italian and Portuguese marble-clad pillars and receives an average of one million visitors each year.

The Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War Memorial is a focus for contemplation and for remembering the 100,000 Australians who died in war, and whose names appear on the nearby Roll of Honour.

Pork Belly Adobo with Filipino Garlic Rice

Adobo is traditionally served with hot, fluffy white rice. Did you know in the Philippines, rice is served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks and desserts are sometimes rice based, too. So be sure to have rice a plenty if you are hosting a Filipino friend.

Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time:  15 minutes

14 tsp. crushed red chille flakes Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 4 cups cold cooked white rice

Step 1: Stir vinegar, chilli flakes, 1 tbsp. garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl; set aside.

Step 2: Heat oil in a pan over medium-high. Cook remaining garlic until just golden, 1-2 minutes. Transfer 2 tbsp. garlic to a plate; set aside.

Step 3: Add rice to the pan and cook, stirring and breaking up any large clumps, until rice is heated through and slightly crisp in places, around 5-7 minutes.

Step 4: Season with salt and transfer to a serving platter.

Franz explains that even though he is living abroad, adobo is a go-to dish for him. It takes hours to cook and the smell of it stays in the house for days, but for my foodie friend, it brings him a taste of home and for me, an adventure to far away lands via my tastebuds.

Serves: 4-6

Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 2 hr

2/3 cup soy sauce 5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns 1.5 kg boneless pork belly, skinned and meat cut into 2-inch pieces (16 to 20 pieces) 1/4 cup canola oil 1 large brown onion, finely diced 4 bay leaves

1/4 cup white vinegar

Step 1: Combine the soy sauce, garlic, sugar and peppercorns in a large bowl. Add the pork and marinate covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight to get real bang for your buck. Mix a couple of times to evenly marinate.

Step 2: Drain the pork in a colander over a bowl, be sure to keep the marinade and garlic. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Brown the pork in batches, making sure not to crowd the meat. Turn often until all sides are brown, 6 to 8 minutes per batch (the peppercorns may stick to the pork, which is fine). Keep an eye on things, the sugar in the marinade will cause the meat to darken quickly. If the pot is too hot, lower the heat to avoid burning. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Step 3: Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the garlic from the marinade and the onions, and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the sealed pork, the strained marinade, 1 cup of water and the bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, cover and cook at a medium boil, stirring from time to time, until the pork is tender (Franz says not falling apart, but I like it falling apart) about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The cooking liquid will be reduced by at least 2/3.

Step 4: Add the vinegar, but do not stir. Cook, uncovered for 20 minutes or so, until the sauce is reduced. Remove from the heat, and skim and discard fat (pork belly will render a good amount). Allow the pork and sauce to sit for 15 minutes before serving; the sauce will continue to thicken. Serve over Filipino garlic rice.

I’d love to know dear reader, where in the world do you live? And are you a fan of playing tourist in your home town? 

shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 – something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 – something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. She loves the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world.

A coffee blooded, craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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