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Tulapho - Ilonggo Pork Belly Cracklings

Tulapho can be considered to be Ilonggo chicharon dating back to the Spanish colonial period. It is an old tradition of using animal fat to fry other foodstuff and tulapho could have been the by product of extracting fats from pork. They say some bakeries (in Molo) use the fat (lard) from the tulapho in making biscuits.

Tulapho is perfect in adding crunch to various dishes like pinakbet just like the Ilocanos add bagnet to theirs. It is also a good partner when making ginisang guinamos (the Ilonggo bago-ong).

Here's the simple recipe of making Tulapho


Ingredients
  • Pork Belly
  • Salt
  • Water
How to make Tulapho
  1. Rub generous amount of salt on the pork belly. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. In a wok, place pork belly and water (enough to submerge it).
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer until the water dries up and the pork is fried in its own fat.
  4. When the crispness of the pork is your liking, remove from heat and let it cool.
  5. Store in plastic or any airtight container to preserve its crunchiness.
This is a very basic recipe and i didn't included the measurements - just make necessary adjustments. You can tweak the flavor to your liking like adding pepper to give it spice. Or you can add garlic and chili when the pork is frying on its own fat to give it a kick.

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