Pork Ginataan

This week has been SO busy. Working two emergencies at once is beginning to wear me down. With Eastern Equine Encephalitis, the emergency period is short. It lasts long enough to make sure mosquito treatment is applied to prevent further animal and human cases. That also mean some long days. We have a lot of communication to get out and it has to be later on in the evening when the planes go up to apply the treatment. Oh, well. This is what I signed up for 18 years ago. It’s hard, but every time we work an emergency, we hone our skills a bit more and definitely learn a lot.

This week I am doing a Filipino dish. I love Filipino food. I learned a lot about Filipino culture and cuisine when I was married to a Filipino the first time around. While the marriage didn’t work out, I still love the food and I am grateful I was able to learn about another culture that I wasn’t familiar with. Filipinos love pork and using it in a lot of dishes. They celebrate special occasions with lechon, a whole roast pig. The recipe I picked this week was definitely pork. It’s a recipe that uses a lot of rich ingredients. I am starting with a recipe from Panlasang Pinoy and I am going to make a healthy spin. The original recipe uses pork belly, which has a lot of fat and is calorie dense. Same with the coconut cream. However, I can make some changes to make the dish much healthier.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I increased the servings from 4 to X to lower the calories
  • I replaced the pork belly with pork loin to keep some of the fat and increase the lean meat to lower the calories.
  • I cut the coconut cream in half to lower the calories
  • I replaced the coconut milk with light coconut milk to reduce the calories.
  • I added brown rice to add some bulk to the dish.
  • I added red bell pepper to increase the vitamin C.

Here are the final stats:

Pork Ginataan Updated

Here is the final recipe:


Pork Ginataan

Serves 8

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 ½ lb. pork loin cut into cubes
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 2 cups light coconut milk 
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1 serrano chili
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 3 red bell pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed and chopped
  • 2 thumbs ginger sliced into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  1. Bring 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water in a saucepan to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes
  2. Heat oil in a cooking pot.
  3. Saute, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, and ginger.
  4. Once the onion becomes translucent and soft, add pork. Saute until light brown.
  5. Pour coconut milk and coconut cream. Let boil.
  6. Add chili pepper. Cover the cooking pot. Cook for 25 minutes, or until the pork becomes tender.
  7. Add spinach. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Season with ground black pepper and fish sauce.
  9. Serve over rice.

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