Whether it is crispy pata, inihaw na liempo, pork adobo or a simple fried porkchop, do a little magic by pairing your pork dishes with some side dishes. That would make it more refreshing and somewhat less sinful (or so I thought). Changing the side dishes from time to time would also be helpful in keeping the menu less monotonous. It’s been awhile since I last did this so let’s start shall we?
1 – ensaladang mangga
This can be done in a variety of ways. The truth is that a ripe mango is already good enough to be paired with any of the pork dishes but if you want something fancier… You can use green mango or ripe mango, red onions or white onions and tomatoes. Some like the idea of putting chopped chilis or using cayenne pepper for some heat. How much you put will also depend on how much you like the flavors. For those who want it sweet, there can be extra slices of the ripe mango. For those who like it sharp, more red onions would be best. Some people take it as it is, others put vinegar and sugar and others mix it with bagoong. Talbos ng kamote and eggplant can also be mixed with onions and tomatoes.
2 – wansoy ensalada
1. Chop wansoy, tomatoes and onions. 2. Add a dash of fish sauce or anything a bit salty. 3. Salivate. I purposely put wansoy on its own for the reason that its aroma is far different from others that you use with ensaladas. Some dishes are meant for experimental people. You can mix in some mangoes, pomelo, singkamas, apples, cucumber and anything else that seems delightfully cooling. You can also chop some nuts for a bit of texture and some would even put pork floss, chopped dried fish or squid and a big etc.
3 – kimchi
Alright. There are different kinds of kimchi so you can experiment with those too. Start with varieties of cabbages and then move on to radishes or other kimchi variants. It’s sour, spicy and hot at the same time so what have you got to lose? I used to hate the stuff but after the dawn of sam gyeop sal in my weekly cravings, I gotta say that it’s there to stay.
4 – atsara
Just like kimchi, there are different kinds of pickled vegetables so mix and match it with savory pork dishes. Get a small bottle so that you can use it up right away and none would go to waste. Start with basic pickled papaya then move on to carrots, cucumbers, cauliflowers and others you may fancy. You can also try some homemade atsaras so you can have your way in making it more sour or making it more spicier.
5 – ginataang santol
This one also has the kick of onions but if you want something hotter, chop green chilis or labuyos. The creamy goodness of coconut milk plus the tang of santol plus the chilis perfect this little side dish. Not even a spoonful would be enough to make a simple fried pork chop a gastronomical adventure.
Next stop. We’ll have a look at soups that go with these dishes. oh yum!