Liempo: The Ultimate Guide to This Mouthwatering Cut of Meat

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Pork liempo is a dish made of pork belly that has been marinated and grilled. It is a popular Filipino dish that can be seen in celebrations, as well as in eateries all over the country.

Liempo is the word for pork belly in Tagalog, and grilled pork belly is a dish that has been around in the Philippines for a long time. It is a popular street food that can be found in night markets and is often served with rice and a dipping sauce.

The Filipino name for the dish is inihaw na liempo, but people often call it inihaw na liempo grilled pork belly so that people who don’t speak Tagalog can understand what the dish consists of.

Meat lovers can rejoice because this Filipino grilled pork belly brings happiness in every bite! The skin is crackling good, the meat is so tender it melts in your mouth, and the flavors are just spot on!

The combination of a soy sauce marinade with sugar and fatty pork meat is very tasty and will give you an unforgettable dining experience. The sugar caramelizes on the meat when grilled, making it even more delicious.

This dish is perfect for any occasion, from an intimate dinner to a large party. It is also great as finger food or as part of a main meal.

What is pork liempo

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It’s believed that pork liempo (full grilled recipe here) originated in Cebu, in the Visayas region of the Philippines. It is said that the dish was created by Chinese traders who introduced pork to the Philippines.

The dish then spread to other parts of the country, and it eventually became a popular street food.

Nowadays, pork liempo can be found all over the Philippines, and it is often served at parties and celebrations. It is also a popular dish in Filipino eateries.

The dish became even more popular when Filipinos started migrating to other countries, as it was a taste of home that they could share with their new friends.

The Juicy Liempo Cut: Everything You Need to Know

Liempo is a popular Filipino dish made from pork belly. The pork belly is sliced into thin pieces, marinated in a mixture of spices, and grilled to perfection. The result is a deliciously juicy and flavorful meat that will satisfy any craving.

What Makes Liempo Cut So Delicious?

The secret to the deliciousness of liempo is the cut of meat used. The pork belly is known for its high-fat content, which makes it incredibly juicy and flavorful when grilled. The fat in the meat melts during cooking, infusing the meat with flavor and keeping it moist.

How to Prepare Liempo Cut?

Preparing liempo is easy and can be done in just a few minutes. Here’s how:

  • Start by slicing the pork belly into thin pieces.
  • Marinate the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice, garlic, and pepper for at least 30 minutes.
  • Grill the meat over medium-high heat for about 10-15 minutes, flipping once, until the meat is cooked through and the edges are crispy.

How Much Does Liempo Cut Cost?

The cost of liempo cut can vary depending on where you buy it. On average, it costs around $5-6 per kilo. However, the price can go up or down depending on the quality of the meat and the location of the seller.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Liempo Cut?

Cooking liempo cut doesn’t take long at all. In fact, you can have a delicious meal ready in just a matter of minutes. Here’s how long it takes to cook liempo cut:

  • Marinating time: 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Grilling time: 10-15 minutes

In total, it takes about 40 minutes to 2 hours to prepare and cook liempo cut, depending on how long you marinate the meat.

Also read: this is the perfect liempo estofado recipe

Side dishes to compliment your grilled Liempo

When it comes to serving pork, especially grilled Liempo, choosing the right side dishes is crucial. You want to make sure that the flavors and textures of the sides compliment the juicy and flavorful pork belly. Here are some easy and mouthwatering side dishes to consider:

Stir-fried vegetables

Stir-fried vegetables are a great addition to any dish, and they are a perfect match for grilled Liempo. You can choose a variety of vegetables such as Chinese broccoli (choy sum), spinach, shiitake mushrooms, fennel, arugula, and scallions. Sauteed with garlic and soy sauce, these veggies add a great balance of flavors and textures to your meal.

Roasted sweet potatoes

Roasted sweet potatoes are a classic side dish that goes well with any pork dish. They’re easy to prepare and add a sweet and creamy flavor to your meal. You can also add a sprinkle of salt and brown sugar to give them a glazed texture.

Steamed rice

Steamed rice is a staple side dish in many Asian countries, and it’s a great addition to grilled Liempo. The plain and simple flavor of steamed rice complements the rich and fatty flavors of the pork belly. You can also add some soy sauce or vinegar to give it a little bit of flavor.

Homemade potato salad

Potato salad is a great side dish to serve alongside grilled Liempo. It’s easy to prepare and adds a creamy and tangy flavor to your meal. You can add some hard-boiled eggs, diced tomatoes, and green onions to give it a little bit of texture and flavor.

Quick and easy sides

If you’re short on time, there are some quick and easy side dishes that you can prepare alongside your grilled Liempo:

  • Sauteed spinach with garlic and olive oil
  • Steamed broccoli with a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • Roasted squash with a drizzle of honey
  • Sliced watermelon or papaya for a sweet and refreshing side dish

The right flavors

When choosing side dishes for your grilled Liempo, it’s important to consider the flavors that will complement the pork belly. Here are some flavors that go well with pork:

  • Spicy: Add some heat to your meal with spicy side dishes like sauteed jalapenos or spicy roasted cauliflower.
  • Sweet: Sweet side dishes like glazed carrots or honey roasted sweet potatoes add a nice balance to the rich and fatty flavors of the pork belly.
  • Tangy: Tangy side dishes like homemade coleslaw or pickled vegetables add a nice contrast to the savory flavors of the pork belly.

Complete your meal

Choosing the right side dishes for your grilled Liempo can guarantee to impress your dinner guests. With a variety of textures and flavors, you can create a mouthwatering meal that everyone will enjoy.

Is Liempo Healthy?

Liempo, also known as pork belly, is a popular Filipino dish that is often grilled and served with a variety of side dishes. It is a cut of meat that comes from the underside of the pig’s belly, and it is known for its rich and fatty flavor. While it is a delicious item to include in your diet, it is important to understand its components to determine if it is a healthy choice.

The Good and the Bad of Liempo

Liempo contains high levels of saturated fat, which can be risky for those with a diet that is already high in saturated fat or sodium.
However, it also contains essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals, including Vitamin E, selenium, and trace nutrients.
Liempo can be prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling, braising, and marinating, which can affect its overall healthiness.
When compared to other cuts of pork, such as spareribs or loin, liempo is relatively lower in price and can be a budget-friendly option.
Opt for boneless liempo to lower the fat content, and choose pastured or naturally-fed pigs to avoid conventional farming methods that involve administering grains and other substances to fatten the animals quickly.

The Best Way to Cook Liempo

Grilled liempo is a popular dish, but it is important to make sure it is fully cooked to avoid any health risks.
Marinating liempo can help to add flavor and moisture to the dish, and can also help to break down some of the fatty content.
Braising liempo is another option that can help to make the meat more tender and moist.
When preparing liempo, make sure to remove the skin to lower the fat content.

The Local Perspective on Liempo

In the Philippines, liempo is a beloved dish that is often served with generous portions of rice and other side dishes.
Local chefs have designed a variety of recipes that include liempo as a key ingredient, showcasing its versatility and flavor.
Research shows that pigs raised in confinement have lower levels of nutrients, while pastured pigs that are allowed to roam and feed naturally have higher levels of vitamins and minerals.
While liempo may not be the healthiest item on the menu, it boasts a rich flavor and can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


So there you have it- everything you need to know about liempo. Liempo is a delicious Filipino pork dish made with pork belly, and it’s perfect for a delicious and filling meal. 

You can’t go wrong with liempo, especially when it’s grilled to perfection.

Also read: overnight marinated lechon liempo recipe

Check out our new cookbook

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.