3tablespoonsalted black beans /tausiwashed and drained
½cupdried banana blossoms
1teaspoonwhole black pepper
2tablespoonbrown sugarpacked, add more if preferred
fried saba bananasoptional
Place pork belly in a large pot. Add 2 cups of water and boil for 5 minutes over high heat. Discard water. Wash pork belly with running tap water to remove the scum. Slice into big chunks or your preferred size.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork belly and cook for 1 minute on each side — they should begin to brown and release some fat into the pot. Set aside.
Lower the heat to medium. Add shallots and garlic. Saute until softened. Cover with a lid if needed but watch carefully so it doesn't burn.
Add back the pork. Pour soy sauce, vinegar, pineapple juice, whole black pepper, brown sugar. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
Add water and star anise. Cover with a lid. Cook until tender (See note 1 for cooking times). Stir occasionally.
Remove the lid 15 minutes before it finishes cooking to reduce and thicken the sauce. Add star anise, black beans, and banana blossom. Taste. Adjust soy sauce, sugar as necessary. Cook until sauce is reduced to desired thickness. Serve over rice and enjoy!
Cooking time: small pieces could take 45 minutes to 1 hour while large chunks could take 1 ½ to 2 hours. Mine was done at about 1 hour and 45 minutes then reduced the sauce for about 10 minutes at medium-high heat.
Soy sauce: Use Filipino soy sauce to get that authentic adobo flavor. It can be substituted with any regular soy sauce but you will need to experiment with the amount because the saltiness may vary.
Vinegar: white rice vinegar (not seasoned), cane vinegar, coconut vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are good options.
Use pure pineapple juice from the can, not syrup.
Dried banana blossoms: After a few google searches, I found out that this could actually be the same with dried lily flowers. I will update this post once I get my hands on the lily flowers and compare it with the banana blossoms I have.