Let me just ask you folks, who doesn’t want a Crispy and juicy Lechon Kawali?
I heared someone at the back of my mind telling me, “no one” LOL. Well, as for the Filipinos, almost no one will dare to tell me that they don’t want a lechon kawali. English-speaking countries call this dish Roast Pork Belly, but if you are a Filipino by heart and by blood, we call it Lechon Kawali.
Lechon Kawali is a pork belly deep fried in a pan or wok until golden brown and crispy. It is seasoned well before frying. Lechon kawali is served with different dipping sauce like the famous Mang Tomas, or vinegar with garlic, pepper and chilies. You can substitute different dipping sauces for your lechon kawali because it perfectly blends well with any kind of sauces. It just depends on you which suits you best.
Well, let me stretch this out, I am not a fan of frying because I watched my mother got burned when she was deep frying a crispy pata when I was a kid, her whole arm got burned (thankfully, she’s okay). I had overcome that fear and I consider myself a kitchen warrior. And since then, I love giving myself a challenge in the kitchen. I am not a human shield though cause I got burn marks too and when I’m cooking this very sinful but deliciously good dish, I really feel like a Ninja. Why? I know how to jump well and run as fast as I can away from the splattering oil attacking me.
So why am I saying all of these? Am I scaring all of you? No, instead I want to inform you. To be honest, I want you to be kitchen ready and fully equipped if you’re going to cook this Crispy Lechon Kawali.
I can actually just use the oven to bake a Lechon Kawali but it’s not the same as the usual crispy lechon kawali that is really crispy outside, tender and juicy inside. So no matter what I will deep-fry this pork liempo, even if it’s one of the so-called deadly foods because of deep frying. Me and my long tong will be battling against this worth it struggle until I get that Crispy Lechon Kawali that we always love. Be sure to have these skills of mine of jumping and running away from the oil that can strike any time. And also as you can see from the picture I posted, the lechon kawali is not too thick, this gives me less hassle in dealing with the scary oil.
However, I understand that some of you have fears of frying. I have a sister too that even frying an egg scares her that much. So I included the recipe and procedure of how you can just bake your lechon kawali using an oven. This will give you the privilege to have a delectable dish inspite of your fears over frying.
You can also check Easy Ensaladang Lechon Kawali Recipe if you want something different for your Crispy Lechon Kawali (it’s a must try dish!).
EASY CRISPY LECHON KAWALI RECIPE – FRY, BAKED OR OVEN STYLE
Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 25 Minutes
- 6 – 7 pcs. whole pork liempo (about 10inches long and 1-2 inches thick)
- 2 whole head of garlic (crushed)
- 4 tbsp whole peppercorns
- 7 pcs. laurel leaves
- 4 tbsp rock salt
- 4 tbsp patis
- 1/4 cup vinegar (optional)
- 2 liters water
- oil for deep frying
- Wash pork liempo and cut the liempo into half.
- In a pot, combine pork liempo, crushed garlic, whole peppercorns, laurel leaves, rock salt, vinegar, patis and water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Don’t forget to skim the scum floating in your pork liempo.
- Let it boil over low heat for an hour or until the pork is tender using a fork. Remember that you need to watch over your pork liempo while its boiling so you can check on it to avoid overcooking. The meat should not get to the point of falling apart.
- Drain the pork liempo, pat dry and chill for an hour if you’re going to cook it after you just boiled it or overnight if you will prepare it the next day. One way to achieve a nicely done crispy lechon kawali when you chilled it before frying.
- If you’re going to fry your pork liempo, use a heavy bottomed pot to avoid the splattering oil all over your kitchen.
- Be careful when you place the meat in hot oil (not smoking) to avoid getting attacked by the oil splatters.
- Fry the meat until you get the crispy goldern brown lechon kawali. Regularly sprinkle water (cold) into the frying meat and hot oil every 3minutes.
- Take out the cooked lechon kawali from the pot and let rest on a rack for few minutes.
- Chop the lechon kawali into an appetizing bite size. Serve with a lechon kawali sauce like the ever famous Mang Tomas or other dipping sauce you might want with your lechon kawali, I like mine with a sweet and chili sauce. It’s really good.
FOR BAKED OR OVEN STYLE LECHON KAWALI:
- For Baked or oven style lechon kawali, all the ingredients are the same except for the pork belly and oil. (Rejoice! you don’t need oil this time because you will not fry!).
- Buy a pork belly slab at your local supermarket and kindly ask your butcher to cut through the ribs without going through the ribs.
- Using your knife, stab the pork belly skin few times.
- In a small bowl, set aside 2 tbsp patis.
- In a wide large pot, combine pork belly slab, garlic, peppercorns, laurel leaves, rock salt, patis, vinegar, and water.
- Bring to a boil until you removed the scum then set to low heat until the pork slab is fork tender (please don’t overcook!).
- Drain the pork slab and pat dry. Set aside. Once dried, chill it for an hour if you’re going to bake it the same day but if not, let it stand in a refrigerator overnight. Do not cover the pork slab and just place it in a rack, skin side up.
- Before you bake the pork slab, make sure to pat dry it again using kitchen paper towel. Preheat the oven to 475F (250C).
- Remember the 2 tbsp. patis you set aside? Rub this patis on your slab especially the skin part and let the pork absorb the patis. Wait for few minutes to let it dry.
- Arrange the pork slab in a roasting rack to ensure that the heat will touch every part of the pork. Don’t forget to put a deep dish pan underneath the rack that is fitted with it. This will catch the melting fat from the pork to avoid a messy oven after.
- When the oven is already hot, slip in the pork.
- At around 25 to 30 minutes or until you get that golden brown pork liempo and the skin is crisp and puff, you will be having your own Oven Roast Pork a.k.a. “Crispy Baked Lechon Kawali”
- Let the baked lechon kawali rest for around 5 to 10 minutes to allow the juices to settle.
- After the long wait, chop your baked lechon kawali into those eye-catching bite size.
For my final note, I can say that you can really fry or just bake your lechon kawali. This is still up to you, I don’t recommend the frying for those that are afraid of frying. But if you’re brave enough you can do the tips I shared on this post. You can do both if you want to do some experiments on your Lechon Kawali to see which from the two procedures is something to crave for.
I will also cook this baked lechon kawali again to provide a picture because the last one I baked lechon kawali, we were in a hurry to eat lunch and I forgot to take a picture of it.
Let me know what do you think about my Easy Crispy Lechon Kawali Recipe – Fry, Baked or Oven Style. If you have any suggestions or questions regarding this recipe, don’t hesitate to drop a line through our comment section below. The Urban Recipes would love to hear from you. Feedbacks will definitely help and improve us more to provide you with only the best recipes that you all deserve. Happy Cooking everyone!