Tasty Thursdays: Liempo

Transplants (expats, immigrants, nomads) agree that one thing they really miss about home is the food. Somehow, for some reason, dishes just don’t test the same even when you replicate the exact recipe in your new country. Something about the ingredients, the spices, maybe even the very air makes the dish just a tad… not right.

Luckily, BBQ is not that complicated. This week’s tasty dish is another grilled delight, but one that brings back memories of home: liempo.

Liempo is pork belly marinated in garlic, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and then grilled. Everyone has their own secret recipe, and the dipping sauce (usually involving vinegar and depending on the recipe, may have soy sauce, garlic, or some really spicy peppers) is part and parcel of the dish. It’s horribly unhealthy because the cut of meat is usually fatty, but my god is it tasty.

pork liempoNow, I don’t know how to make liempo. Lucky for me, there’s a place south of Seattle that serves a perfect version of this dish. Seafood City is a Filipino/Asian grocery store inside SouthCenter mall. It’s not the best Asian store in the area (Viet-Wah beats it for the amount of merchandise, and Uwajimaya for the quality of offerings) but it does have Grill City, a restaurant that offers all sorts of Filipino-style BBQ and grilled things, as well as carinderia-style food, meaning they have giant batches of the dishes prepared on a hot plate, and you basically point at what you want and they’ll package up a portion for you.

Grill City’s liempo is a popular thing. A few times a week, I go running with my friend and co-worker Pritee. Sometimes she and I will head over to SouthCenter after our run and we always check whether Grill City has any liempo left. We failed three weeks in a row… but yesterday I dropped by there on my way home and they had it! So I bought two servings and then had to drive back south to Pritee’s house so she could have some. That’s how much we love it.

If you’re ever in the Tukwila/SouthCenter area, drop by and try Grill City! If there’s a Filipino restaurant in your area, see if they have liempo. Besides adobo and lumpia, I feel that this is one of our most approachable dishes, and it’s certainly the yummiest thing I ate all week.

How about you, what’s your best food for this week’s Tasty Thursdays?

  1. Think back on your week and pick the tastiest thing you ate. It could be from breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Could be something you made, or something you bought. Sweet, savory, bitter, as long as you loved it!
  2. Blog about that food! Give us a recipe, post a photo, tell us where you got it. Share the foodie love! Tag your post with tastythursdays.
  3. Include a link to this page, so your friends can join in. The pingbacks will help us all see the week’s deliciousness and maybe inspire us for next week.
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