Three Ways To Make Pork Afritada Better

Add a twist to your everyday ulam with these ingredients.

IMAGE Majoy Siason

Chicken pieces simmered in a tomato-based sauce with potatoes, carrots, and peppers is usually how an afritada is described. The description however is lacking in some aspects since it can also mean other dishes, especially if you swap the chicken with pork.  

Do you know what makes an afritada made with pork different from other dishes that are also made with pork and tomato sauce? Here are a few reasons how it's different:

  • ‚ÄĘ Afritada is¬†different from mechado because it uses bell peppers.
  • ‚ÄĘ Afritada is¬†different from menudo¬†because, apart from using bigger chunks of pork, the sauce is seasoned with plain¬†salt instead of soy sauce.¬†
  • ‚ÄĘ Afritada is different from pork caldereta dishes because¬†it doesn't include finger chili or siling pangsigang¬†as part of its ingredients list. It also¬†uses tomato sauce, instead of tomato paste. Tomato paste creates a more complex¬†tomato flavor than if you just used tomato sauce.¬†
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Can you think of ways to make your afritada different but not so much that it becomes another dish altogether? We do! Here are three ways you can make your pork afritada dish a little better with a few additional ingredients: 

1 Add a can of pork and beans.

A delicious afritada recipe may be tried and tested, but we think you can do better just by adding this one ingredient. You add a sweetness that we know that all Pinoys love: pork and beans. 

The can is not as well-loved as some think but you can't deny that the beans in a sweet tomato sauce with hints of smokiness from some bacon bits is a distinct flavor that you might enjoy. The sweetness of the tomato sauce injects a flavor that counters the sour notes of the tomatoes so you're not left with an overly sour dish. Plus, it's an easy hack to do, especially when you have it and don't know how to add it to your dishes. 

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Photo by Roselle Miranda

2 Add hotdogs. 

The red color of these meaty products will always be a happy trigger of memories for those who love hotdogs. If you like experimenting with different ways to cook hotdogs, you may want to try this version that makes a hearty dish even heartier. Simply sear chunks or thinner rounds of hotdogs before adding the tomato sauce and simmering the pork so the hotdogs won't become too tender and break apart. 

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We're sure it'll be a delightful surprise every time when you find one of these meaty rounds in your scoop of afritada. 

3 Add tokwa. 

Take advantage of tokwa! This soybean product makes for a meat substitute for good reason: it can mimic the texture and flavor of the meat. To make your pork afritada better for you, especially with the high price of pork, substitute half of your pork in the recipe with fried tokwa squares. The tokwa will absorb the flavors from the pork pieces you do add in to make this pork afritada a hearty yet still affordable pork recipe that you can still enjoy. 

Got other ideas on how to make your afritada more delicious? 

*** 

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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