Pig Tales

Bagnet (deep fried pork belly confit) with mountain red rice

For those following me on twitter, y’all know I’m currently on a detox diet. I’ve been avoiding pork and red meat for more than a week and it’s not been easy. I’ve always advocated eating in moderation but the hectic 4th quarter last year really threw sensible eating out the window and this continued into the New Year and into my recent vacation.

Yep, a vacation certainly didn’t help. 😉

If ever you get to make a stopover at the Hong Kong International Airport, arrive hungry. Their fast food center serves amazing stuff, like this shrimp dumpling and noodle soup.

Shrimp dumpling, HK noodles

Upon arrival in the Philippines and after a longish nap, hubby and I were whisked immediately to Choi Garden and to this.

Chinese suckling pig

My aunt and cousins apparently thought to honor my homecoming with my favorite dish – lechon de leche a.k.a. roast suckling pig. Perfectly prepared, there was no fat under the crisp skin and the meat was fork tender.

I can’t help it if I love pork, so the following evening was another platter of this divine porcine fare. Crispy pata a.k.a, deep fried pork trotters.

“The Barbarian” crispy pata O-Mai-Khan way

I was sharing this dish with my mom and I tried to give her the leaner parts but she demanded the crispy-skin-quivering-layers-of-collagen parts. And it dawned on me that despite our difference in opinions, when it comes to the pig, I am my mother’s daughter.

The next evening, my family agreed to have a leaner dinner meaning Japanese food. Would an all-you-can-eat sashimi/sushi be considered diet food?

Hamada – buffet

Then came Monday night. One of my brothers had a friend who makes a great lechon cebu (a special type of lechon that does not need sauce and which Anthony Bourdain ordained the best whole pig dish in the world) and he ordered one for a party we were having with family and friends. This.

the lechon cebu
two little piggies

My niece’s husband, Bob was the designated lechon-chopper, I volunteered to be the lechon-skin snipper. Hubby had his reservations, but no one seemed to object and all thought I deserved that honor. 😉

Snipping lechon skin, I had a lot of volunteer plate-holders

Lechon is really best eaten while it’s being chopped apart, and then the kitchen got crowded as I was handing out crispy wafers of porcine heaven.

A merry bunch!

My mom got impatient and appeared to be threatening Bob.

A knife-wielding grandma

I fed her some crispy pork skin and my mom got appeased after she ran away with the pig tail!

My mom nibbling on the pig tail

And any doubts of being my mother’s daughter were dispelled. Hubby can’t fault me for being so passionate about lechon.

My mom (with her pig tail) and me

There were other dishes of course. Other grilled meat and my brother’s tom yum soup. But really, there was no doubt which dish was the star of the night.

Not sure what day I had the bagnet below. But I must say, I definitely had my fill of the pig.


I also wished iced-tea in the U.S. came with more panache.

Lemongrass-pandan iced tea with local honey

Yeh, I need that detox.

5 thoughts on “Pig Tales

  1. Oh my heavens Veron, I can certainly understand you wanting to detox for a while but who could possible resist such tempting meals. Your family sure does know how to celebrate! I too adore pork!!!

    Thanks for sharing…

  2. There is really no place like the Philippines to enjoy pork! Gotta love it 🙂 Glad to see you had a fantastic visit home! Was that Marketman’s lechon?? YUM!

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