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Pork Afritada is a Filipino pork stew that resembles pork menudo. It is composed of pork shoulder that are cut into 1 inch cubes, carrot, potato, and tomato sauce. This step-up recipe also includes green pea, freshly chopped tomato, and bay leaves.
A warm and inviting stew, afritada is as bright in flavor as it is in appearance! One glance of that vibrant red-orange sauce, and you definitely know you’re in for a treat. Afritada brims with flavor, which you can tell quite plainly from its equally mouthwatering aroma. When it wafts through the air, it’s impossible to resist. Indeed, whether it be through sight, smell, or taste, this Filipino favorite is a festival for all your senses! With a combination of tender pork that both falls off the bone and melts in your mouth, as well as fresh and chunky vegetables, what’s not to love about pork afritada?
Whenever I want a dish that’s easy to prepare and find ingredients for, pork afritada is a no fail solution. Beyond just being delicious, another reason Filipinos love afritada is because of the accessibility of ingredients therein. Apart from your pork cubes, every other ingredient in pork afritada can be found in almost every common Filipino household. Hotdogs, carrots, potatoes, and tomato sauce are only some of the simple components of this spectacular dish. You don’t need to splurge a ton to make something delicious, and afritada is prime proof of that. No frills and no fuss necessary — this stew is perfect as it is!
The best side dish for Afritada is rice. A cup of warm white rice is enough to enjoy the meal. It can be cooked with lots of sauce, similar to what I did in this recipe. I find my meal more appetizing when sauce is poured over the rice.
What is the Difference Between Afritada, Menudo, and Kaldereta?
Pork Afritada is almost Filipino Menudo. The ingredeints are identical and the manner of preparation is almost the same. The only difference that is quite obvious is the size of the cubed meat and vegetables. It is more than twice bigger than regular cuts for menudo. Another difference would be the possibility of adding raisins in menudo, which does not sound too common for an afritada dish to have.
Kaldereta, on the other hand, has its own identity that differentiates it from both dishes. The typical kaldereta makes use of liver spread. This ingredient is not commonly added when cooking afritada or menudo.
Where does pork afritada come from?
Like much of our food (and our culture), afritada has Spanish origins. The name for this flavorful stew even comes from the Spanish food, fritada or “fried.” Although pork afritada is a stew that takes on a braising method, the dish it gets its name from is one wherein the meat is pan-fried before allowing it to simmer in tomato sauce. In other dishes, fritada is crispy and golden brown, accompanied by a citrusy sauce. While it may vary in preparation, pork afritada and fritada both make use of pork in the best way possible!
What pork cut do you use in this dish?
For this pork afritada recipe, we’ll be using pork shoulder! I’m a fan of this pork cut, also known as kasim, because of how forgiving a meat it is. It tenderizes well, especially during braising, and it can be quite difficult to get it tough. There’s a nice layer of fat that comes with this portion, but it’s just enough to give you extra juiciness. This cut is also fairly affordable when you compare it to other parts of the pig!
Other pork afritada recipes will have you using pork butt or even pork belly to accompany your kasim. It’s up to you to decide which part of the pig you would prefer; so long as it’s tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious, I doubt anyone would really complain!
How to Cook Pork Afritada
Let me first tell you that this recipe is fit for beginners. It is simple and easy to follow.
The first thing to do is to have all the ingredients ready. This means that the pork and vegetables are already sliced, and the seasonings and sauces are ready to be used. It will save you time and will prevent the possibility of missing some key ingredients.
Sauteeing the onion, garlic, and tomato is the first thing that I do. Heat oil in a cooking pot and then add onion once oil gets hot. Put the garlic and tomato afterwards. It is recommended to saute until the onion softens. Softened onions has that nice sweet flavor that helps make a dish taste better.
Brown the pork afterwards. This is done by sauteing the cubed pork with the rest of the ingredients until it turns light to medium brown. The pork still needs to be tenderized by boiling. This is the reason why tomato sauce and water are added next. I also add a piece of Knorr Pork Cube to have the flavor of the pork stand out. A few pieces of dried bay leaves can be added to make your afritada smell and taste better. It takes around 40 minutes of boiling to make the pork tender. It can be longer depending on the quality of the meat.
I also added hot dogs in my afritada version to make it more interesting. This is an optional ingredient. Add the carrot and potato after the hot dog and cook it for at least 8 minutes. You can go longer than that if you prefer the veggies soft. Lastly, season with salt and ground black pepper.
And apart from pork afritada, there are so many renditions of afritada that are equally easy to love!
Chicken Afritada (traditional)
For one, practically every Filipino household has heard of the classic chicken afritada. Chicken is a healthier meat than pork — much leaner, less fatty. And when you combine that with the flavors we love in a good tomato stew, you just can’t lose! This alternative to pork afritada is just as simple; ready to enjoy for lunch or dinner in no time! Don’t forget your cup of white rice that’ll join it, too. Further, chicken and pork aren’t the only proteins you can opt to use. Beef, fish, and even mussels work as perfect proteins for this delightfully savory stew.
There are so many ways you can up the ante on a classic afritada as well! Whether it’s in adding ingredients or spicing it up, you can find plenty of takes to incorporate into your own lunch or dinner. Let’s take a look at some of your options!
For one, why not add pineapple to the mix? You may have mixed feelings about adding it on top of your pizzas. But trust us when we say that pineapple in afritada is the way to go! These chunky slices of fruit offer their unique and tropical flavor to any dish they come across. And afritada would be no different! Whether in chicken or pork afritada, your pineapple will shine through, with a tangy and sugary twist that’ll put a smile on your face. The perfect combination of sweet and sour, you can make your favorite tomato stew even more unforgettable!
But if you’re looking for something on the cheesier side? Don’t look away; this cheesy chicken afritada is perfect for you! Richer in flavor and quite unique, the addition of sharp cheddar cheese provides a shockingly tasty contrast to the sweet tomato! Have you ever had a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup on the side? That’s quite reminiscent of the flavors you’ll find in this version of afritada. A perfect harmony between your cheese, your meat, and your other vegetables, this one is perfect, especially if you’ve got picky eater kids to satisfy.
Don’t hesitate to try this pork afritada today! Delightful and delicious, this classic Filipino stew will be a treat for everyone.
- Heat oil in a cooking pot.
- Once the oil gets hot, saute onion and garlic until onion softens.
- Add pork Saute until brown.
- Pour tomato sauce and water. Stir and let boil.
- Add Knorr Pork Cube. Stir. Add dried bay leaves. Cover and cook in medium heat for 30 minutes. Note: Add more water if needed.
- Add hotdogs. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add carrot and potato. Cover and cook for 8 minutes.
- Add green peas. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and ground black pepper.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Serve.
- Share and enjoy!