Suam (pronounced swam)


Whenever I go home to Santa, aside from whatever would be the fresh catch in the early morning that the fish hawkers would sell, and the Vigan sausage, my favorite for breakfast is suam.

My late Auntie Mayyang used to make great suam and she would make them for breakfast especially on the weekends. Early in the morning she’d go to the butcher and would buy a kilo of pork belly with about a half pound of pork liver.

From her garden she’d gather kamias fruits to use as a souring agent and Chinese chives.

It is cold at night now and soups seems to be the order of the day.  Suam spells home comfort for me.  A very straight forward recipe.  So simple to make and delicious.


2 lbs. of pork belly, sliced thinly, 1″ long (separate the fat from the meat)
2 garlic cloves (if they are big)
3 shallots or 1 one small onion
3 cups water
a handful of kamias, sliced diagonally, thinly like the pork
10 Chinese chive leaves
Salt to season or use fish sauce


Boil pork fat in small amount of water until fat is rendered. Saute garlic on 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Stow away extra pork oil for future use.

Once garlic is cooked add shallots until wilted.

Add the pork meat and saute, season and cover until the meat is cooked. Add liver and cook for another 5 minutes. Add water and let it boil until meat is tender. Adjust seasoning and add the kamias and cook some more until it is done.

Before serving add the chives.

Serve hot with rice.

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4 Responses to Suam (pronounced swam)

  1. arlene1027 says:

    It looks yummy Lou! We cook suam too but we use fried fish and tomatoes….


  2. bebs1 says:

    Really? That is interesting. But do you add chives too?


  3. yummy! and nice shot.


  4. bebs1 says:

    Thank you, Pinoy comfort food.


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