7-Eleven Hawaii has a few entrees in its fresh food section inspired by Filipino cuisine and it added another with its Fried Pork Belly and Pancit Bento.
It features patches of pork, pancit, and vegetables on top a bed of white rice.
Every single thing you need to know
Now I imagine some of you are thinking, “Is that lomi lomi salmon in the corner?”
It isn’t, but it sort of is.
It isn’t because, according to the marketing folks at 7-Eleven Hawaii, it’s influenced by a Filipino side that uses tomatoes, onions, and bagoong isda (fermented fish). But, 7-Eleven’s version has regular fish sauce. It sort of is lomi lomi salmon because it tastes like the Hawaiian plate staple.
But the vegetables aren’t meant to be eaten separately like a salad. To get the most flavor out of the dish, you HAVE TO combine the topping with the pork. See how I used all caps there? When I’m serious, I always use the caps lock key. GET YOUR FLU SHOT. See, used it again because flu shots are important.
7-Eleven Hawaii says the pork’s preparation is based on lechon kawali, a Filipino dish. Although it’s fried, there’s no crispiness to it. But the crust does give the tender and bite-sized pieces some texture. I’ve never eaten lechon kawali, but the meat has a salty, porky, and greasy flavor that reminds me of chicharrones. If you’ve never crunched on chicharrones and love pork, GO GET SOME. I’m caps lock serious.
But the thing about the pork is that, by itself, it can taste a bit too salty and greasy. And that’s why you HAVE TO eat it with the relish, which cuts through the saltiness, complements the meat’s flavor, and adds a little crunch.
However, the problem with the topping is that there might not enough of it with the pork provided. I ran out of the relish about two-thirds into eating the meat. Sure, the pancit and rice can also help dampen the saltiness and greasiness, but it tastes much better with the topping.
Also, the marketing folks at 7-Eleven told me I should combine the two. But if you aren’t familiar with lechon kawali, or didn’t read this review, how would one know to eat two together? There’s no mention of that on the label.
Overall, 7-Eleven’s Fried Pork Belly and Pancit Bento is a tasty and filling addition to the convenience store’s fresh food lineup.