Gata is one of our beloved Filipino ingredients.The abundance of coconuts on our islands makes the fruit an important part of our cuisine, and we use all parts of the brown globe to create spectacular dishes.

The gata in particular, is used to dress squash, and make gising-gising creamy—it’s even found in popular desserts like ginataang bilo-bilo.

This recipe is for coconut lovers.

In this recipe, we decided to introduce more of that delicious buko flavor into what would otherwise be a traditional pork in gata recipe. Using fresh buko juice, including its meat, concentrates the coconut flavor of the stew, so that it’s luscious and has even more slightly sweet, nutty notes. When cooked into the sauce, the coconut meat also turns soft and savory, and they make for a surprising bite.

COCONUT WATER-BRAISED PORK

  • Serves: 4
  • Active time: 30 mins
  • Total time: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Difficulty: Medium

INGREDIENTS

Pork Belly

  • ½ kg. pork belly, cubed
  • 3 cups coconut water
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Coconut Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. ginger, grated
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to broiler setting.
  2. Place pork belly in a pot and cover with coconut water.
  3. Set pot over high heat until boiling, then turn
    down heat to a simmer, covering the pot.
  4. Let cook until pork belly is tender, about 1 hour.
  5. When pork belly is cooked, remove from liquid and pat dry.
  6. Toss pork belly in oil and set on a baking sheet.
  7. Place in oven under the broiler until browned,
    flipping halfway through, about 10-15 minutes total.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Place oil in a pan over medium heat.
  10. Add ginger, cilantro, and chilies, sautéing until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  11. Add coconut cream and water and stir until combined.
  12. Cook until boiling and thickened, about 5
    minutes.
  13. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. Add crispy braised pork belly and stir in the sauce.
  15. Garnish with cilantro, more chili, and serve.


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