Quick barbecued pork belly with spiced vinegar

Adam Liaw
Philippines favourite: Barbecued pork belly with spiced vinegar.
Philippines favourite: Barbecued pork belly with spiced vinegar. Photo: William Meppem

Ask any Filipino or Filipina about "liempo" and you'll get an almost primal reaction. It's one of the country's favourite comfort foods, and with good reason. I like to leave the slightly chewy skin on the pork belly but you can remove it if you prefer.


1kg pork belly, cut into 1cm strips

½ cup light soy sauce

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

6 cloves garlic, finely minced

½ tsp ground black pepper

½ cup water

¼ cup tomato sauce (or ketchup) - check gluten-free if required

¼ cup vegetable oil

For the spiced vinegar

¼ cup white vinegar

2 tbsp lime juice

½ small red onion, finely minced

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 bird's eye chillies, finely sliced

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp light soy sauce

½ tsp sugar


1. Place the pork belly strips in a large press-seal bag and add the soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, pepper, and ½ cup of water. Mix well and refrigerate overnight.

2. Remove the pork belly from the bag and transfer the reserved marinade to a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and boil for a further one minute, then remove from the heat and mix in the tomato sauce and vegetable oil.

3. For the spiced vinegar, combine all the ingredients in a non-reactive bowl or jar and mix well to dissolve the salt and sugar. Allow to stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

4. Heat a barbecue grill or frying pan over medium heat and grill the pork belly for about five minutes, flipping occasionally. Baste with the reserved marinade mixture and grill for a further five minutes until darkly caramelised. Serve with the spiced vinegar and the garlic fried rice.

Suggestion: Serve with Adam's garlic fried rice