Kapampangan-style Pork Asado marinated in citrus juice and soy sauce and braised in tomato sauce until tender and flavorful. It’s a hearty and tasty dish perfect for family dinners or special occasions!
Chinese vs Kapampangan Asado
There are two types of Asado known in Filipino cuisine. One is the sweet and salty Chinese style where the meat is cooked low and slow in soy sauce, brown sugar, and spices such as star anise and five-spice.
The other version which is a Kapampangan recipe has more of a tangy and savory taste profile. The pork shoulder is first marinated in citrus juice, soy sauce, and aromatics such as garlic, onions, and peppercorns, and then braised in tomato sauce until fork-tender and tasty.
A generous dollop of tinned liver spread is usually added to help thicken the sauce and enhance flavor along with pan-fried potatoes to extend the dish.
- Do not marinate the pork for too long as the acids in the marinade will denature the protein fibers and turn the meat mushy. At least 30 minutes up to overnight should do the trick.
- Pork roasts are usually irregular in shape and girth. If serving for a party, you might want to bind the slab with butcher’s twine to give it a more uniform and appealing appearance and to ensure even cooking.
- Sear the meat properly to add color and enhance flavor. Pat the meat dry and cook on high heat so it will brown and not steam.
- I like to use pork shoulder which is pretty meaty with adequate ribbons of fat for juiciness and is a great cut for braising. You can also use pork loin if you prefer a leaner cut.
- The pork is traditionally cooked whole and then sliced to serving portions. You can cut it in smaller chunks if you want to speed up cooking time or don’t have a big enough pan to fit.
- When tender, remove the meat from the sauce and allow to rest for a few minutes before carving to redistribute the juices. Cover tightly with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- Pan-fry the potatoes until lightly-browned to keep them from falling apart when finished off in the sauce. Or you can fry them all the way done and serve as a garnish.
- For a richer flavor, you can shredded quick-melt cheese to the sauce.
How to serve and store
- Although Kapampangan-style pork Asado is most often served for holidays, fiestas, and special occasions, it’s simple enough to make for everyday family meals. It’s a hearty and tasty dish that goes well with steamed rice.
- For leftovers, store the meat with the sauce in an airtight container to prevent from drying out.
- To reheat, place in a wide pan over medium heat and add water if needed to loosen the sauce. Heat, stirring regularly, to an internal temperature of 165 F. For best results, use freshly-fried potatoes for garnishing.
Not in the mood for pork? Try the chicken version!
- 4 pounds whole pork shoulder
- 1/2 cup calamansi juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns, cracked
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (3 ounces) liver spread
- 1 salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine calamansi juice, soy sauce, onions, garlic, and peppercorns. Whisk until distributed.
- Add pork and massage marinade on the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 2 to 4 hours. Drain meat, reserving liquid, onions, and garlic.
- In a wide, thick-bottomed pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add potatoes and cook until tender and lightly browned. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Add pork and sear on all sides until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
- Remove excess oil except for about 2 tablespoons. Add the reserved onions and garlic (from the marinade) and cook until softened.
- Add the reserved marinade, scraping sides and bottom of the pan to deglaze.
- Add tomato sauce, water, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
- Add pork. Bring to a boil, skimming any scum that floats on top.
- Lower heat, cover, and simmer until meat is fork-tender With a slotted spoon, remove and set aside.
- Add liver spread to the sauce and stir to distribute.
- Continue to cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Slice pork into serving slices and arrange on a platter. Garnish with fried potatoes and pour sauce on top. Serve hot.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”