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Pork Belly Adobo with Kumquat

In the Philippines, the word “adobo” refers not only to a marinade, but also to a method of cooking. The technique is Filipino in origin, but was named by the Spanish during their colonization of the Philippine islands during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Traditionally, adobo is made with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. At Scratch American Tapas in Winter Park, executive chef and co-owner Dustin Haney prepares his signature pork belly adobo with the addition of the tart and fragrant citrus fruit calamansi. The tart flavor of the citrus adds a pleasing brightness to the finished dish. This recipe, inspired by Chef Dustin’s citrusy adobo, substitutes the more readily available kumquat for calamansi.
By / Photography By Katie Farmand | March 01, 2014


Whisk together toyomansi and sukang maasim. Add garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, kumquats and pork belly. Marinate for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place marinated belly in a pot or braising pan and pour marinade over. Add chicken stock. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, cover loosely with foil and then transfer to the oven. Braise 2½ hours or until pork belly is very soft. Remove from oven and let braised belly cool in the braising liquid until it is room temperature.

Once belly has cooled to room temperature, remove from liquid and place on a flat baking sheet. Cover with wax or parchment paper and top with another baking sheet and about 2 pounds of weight (canned beans or vegetables work well). Reduce braising liquid until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain liquid to remove solids.

Cut compressed belly into 6 portions. Heat a heavy-bottomed sauté pan and add belly, fat side down. Render fat, basting frequently, until fat side is crispy and the meat is hot throughout.

Serve over rice, topped with sauce and cilantro, with kumquat halves on the side.

*Look for toyomansi and sukang maasim at Asian grocery stores.

Related Recipes: Local Ingredients, Global Roots.


  • ¼ cup toyomansi* (soy sauce with calamansi juice)
  • 1¼ cups sukang maasim* (vinegar infused with chilies)
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 kumquats, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 3 pounds pork belly
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 6 cups long-grain white rice, steamed
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Halved kumquats, for garnish
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