Easy Pinoy Ulam Recipes Using Liempo

Pork liempo is one of those pork cuts that immediately make people want to eat. Also known as the pork belly, this prime pork cut is a delicious mixture of fat and meat that results in pork dishes that always satisfy your craving for the meat. 

Take a trip to the butcher shop or meat section of your supermarket, and you'll be greeted by a few ways that the pork liempo can be prepared.  

  • • whole belly 
  • • belly, bone-in
  • • belly, boneless
  • • lechon kawali cut
  • • country style or liempo, sliced 
  • • bacon slice 

The whole pork belly is usually a special request. This is usually a few kilograms at least since it's the whole belly. This is where you'll find the other cuts, and it's usually what you want if you're planning on making your own lechon belly roast or want to save by buying a bulk cut. Ask your butcher about the discount you might get if you buy more than three kilos at your meat shop. 


The belly is also available with the bones in or the bones out. This just means that your lechon belly will be with or without any connecting ribs. 

The lechon kawali cut is usually cut to be about one kilo per slab. This is long so if you have a small pot, you can request to have this cut in half since bones are usually still in this cut. 

The country-style or liempo slices are the classic strips of liempo that you marinate and grill for inihaw na liempo. This is also the cut you use for the stovetop version of the barbecued country-style ribs that you might find in the restaurants.

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Finally, there is the bacon slice that contrary to its name is not bacon. Instead, it's thinly sliced like bacon. This is perfect for when you want to have Korean meals ala samyupsal or Korean BBQ at home, complete with the portable grill


Are you excited to see what kind of recipes you can make as ulam with this versatile cut? Here are a few ideas: 

Photo by Patrick Martires

Liempo with Honey Garlic Marinade Recipe 

Any liempo dish can be delicious even with just plain salt and ground pepper as its seasoning. Why keep it simple when you can make it extraordinary with a few extra ingredients? For this recipe, it's a honey and garlic marinade that takes this liempo recipe over the top with its sweetness and toasted garlic flavors. 


Photo by David Hanson

2 Bacon Liempo Recipe 

Bacon is usually made with pork belly slices but if you don't have ready-made bacon on hand, you can make it yourself! The bacon flavors are easy to recreate with this recipe and the best part is, you can make as much as you want since you now know the recipe. 


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Photo by Yummy

3 Guisadong Monggo with Crispy Fried Liempo Recipe 

The liempo doesn't need to be the star but it can be the surprise addition to a meal that you didn't think would have any pork in it! In this recipe, the liempo is a delightful surprise of crunch and flavor on an otherwise normal monggo meal. 



4 Coconut Lemongrass Liempo Rice Recipe 

Explore the flavor combination of coconut, lemongrass, and pork belly with this super easy recipe. All you really need is time to marinate the pork liempo slices in the lemongrass-infused coconut marinade and then use that same marinade to cook the rice in. The result is a double infusion of the three flavors in one fantastic and satisfying meal. 


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Photo by Majoy Siason

5 Crispy Fried Pork (Tulapho) Recipe

When it comes to pork, you can't go wrong with pork. This recipe is a celebration of all things that you love about pork: the fat and the meat. It's a local version of a confit or a dish that is stored and cooked in its fat. In this case, the pork fat is rendered from the pork liempo chunks and the result is super crispy pork chunks you'll want to eat on its own or serve with lots of rice. 


Photo by Patrick Martires

6 Crispy Lechon Liempo with Bagoong Sauce Recipe 

If you love the flavors of the lechon, you'll appreciate this crispy liempo recipe. It takes those flavors and makes them into a recipe that you can make every day. Then, just to make it even more irresistible to your taste buds, a bagoong sauce is served on the side so you can indulge your love for Filipino flavors in one dish. 


Need more ideas on how to use those liempo cuts from the supermarket? Give these recipes a try and see if you can make your ulam meals memorable with every dish you make. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.

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