Our place is a 39-square meter condominium unit that we rent at a relatively cheap price. Our kitchen is like a small galley – nothing fancy, with space that isn’t too friendly for a big guy like me, but we get by…I guess. Sure, I’d give an arm and a leg for a kitchen that functions like a kitchen, but what we have right now comes with the territory. Sometimes I think it’s prohibitive, but that’s probably just me being a (bleep) about it.
Our expanding bellies and (slightly) sedentary lifestyle drove me to make this dish one morning. I woke up at around 10am, and we were all hungry so the need was there. Back home, a hefty bowl of pork and sitaw guisado (stir-fried pork with string beans) would merit an even heftier serving of rice. I tried to recreate it to the best of my memory, but I think nothing really comes close to how my Mama Eng would do it. In an attempt to live healthier, my roommates and I splurged on vegetables at the local grocery, so there were carrots and tomatoes sitting in the fridge – of course you know how it ended.
I didn’t bring anything to help me with photographing the food I cook (no linens, no money to buy linens!) but as luck would have it, my tiny room has a window that lets in a great amount of light. All I had to do was to remove my bed’s mattress and use the wooden frame as my surface! (The things I do to get the shot.)
Extravagant, this isn’t…heck, the technique isn’t something groundbreaking, but during that solitary moment around our little mini bar (we don’t have a table), taking in every single morsel with rice, we ate like royalty.
Pork and Sitaw (String Beans) Guisado (serves 3)
- 150 grams sitaw, cleaned and sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 4 medium-sized tomatoes, quartered
- 250 grams pork belly, sliced into bite-sized cubes
- 1 small carrot, sliced
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- Water to cook the pork + ¼ cup water to cook the string beans
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium-sized pan, add the pork and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan up to the height of the pork.
- Allow to boil over medium heat until the water has almost evaporated. Add the carrots and mix well. The water will begin to cook the carrots.
- When the water has evaporated and pork’s fat has rendered, add the string beans and the soy sauce. Mix well to coat evenly. You may add a little bit of water to cook the string beans.
- Cook until the water evaporates and the strings beans and carrots are tender. Season with salt and pepper. When done, remove from pan and serve with rice. Enjoy!