2 kg whole pork belly
1 head garlicpounded
2 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Peppercorns
2 pcs Bay Leaves
cooking oilfor deep frying
Lechon Kawali is a very popular Filipino dish made with pork belly simmered until tender. It can be cooked in two different ways: deep fried or roasted in the oven, which is the method I use. The art of roasting Lechon starts with marinating the pig in salt, pepper, and soy sauce or coconut water for a few days before stuffing it with aromatics such as lemongrass, garlic, tamarind, onions, or chives. It is then roasted on a large bamboo spit over an open fire for hours. Once the Lechon is cooked, the skin, which is the best part of the dish, is served with pieces of meat, with white rice on the side.
How to Make :
- In a pot over a medium heat, combine the pork belly, garlic, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, skimming off the scum that floats to the surface. Lower the heat, cover and continue to cook for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the meat is tender but not falling apart.
- Drain the liquid and discard. Wipe the pork dry, removing any stray aromatics. Place on a rack and refrigerate overnight to completely cool and dry.
- In a deep, heavy-bottomed pot, heat enough oil to completely cover the meat to about 325°F to 375°F. Carefully place the meat into oil and fry until it is golden and the skin is crisp and puffed. While the meat is frying, regularly sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cold water onto the meat and hot oil every 5 minutes or so.
- Remove the meat from the pot and drain on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Leave to rest for about 5 minutes and then cut into serving pieces. Serve with lechon sauce or a dip of your choice.