Recipe: Filipino Style Grilled Pork Belly

Liempo or pork belly is the Filipinos’ preferred cut of pork for grilling. Because of its good fat to meat ratio, the belly is also used to make bacon. There are many ways to grill this kind of meat and it varies across the globe, this is the Filipino version. We don’t use dry rub but rather a marinade. Our basting sauce is also different because it uses an ingredient that is uniquely Filipino—banana ketchup. This ingredient is also the reason why the meat appears redder than a regular un-marinated grilled meat. I, however, also love my liempo simply salted then grilled and dipped in a sour and spicy vinegar sauce.


1 kg (2.2 lbs.) pork belly (cut across into slabs)
10 pcs. calamansi (Philippine lime)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. ground black pepper
¼ cup banana ketchup

Optional dipping sauces
¼ cup of cane vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 small red onion (diced)
2 pcs. bird’s eye chilies (diced)

¼ cup soy sauce
2 pcs. calamansi
2 pcs. bird’s eye chilies (diced)


1. Juice the 10 pcs. of calamansi into a bowl. Then pour in soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and ground black pepper. Mix well.
2. Put the slabs of pork belly into a large bowl. Pour in marinade and massage the meat well. Cover with cling wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour.
3. Remove meat from the fridge. You’ll notice that the liquid increased, this is due to the salt from the soy sauce, drawing out water from the meat.
4. Get about ½ a cup of the marinade, strain and pour in a small bowl. Add the ketchup and mix well. I usually add more oyster sauce, about 1 tbsp. This will be the basting liquid.
5. Grill meat over charcoal, turning them every two minutes and basting them constantly.
6. For the dipping sauces, just mix ingredients together for each type. The meat is best eaten with steaming white rice. Enjoy!

Serves 6


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