One of my personal favorite comfort food, It always puts a smile on my face (and my siblings’s faces). Lechon Kawali is made from Pork Belly which has been boiled, drained, dried and fried. hmmmm… Fried! whenever I hear or read the word FRIED/FRY I always think it’s really bad for the health. But once in a while we do crave for something bad but delicious.
If you search for “Lechon Kawali Recipe” you will find thousands of ways to prepare it. There’s also a lot of variations, technique’s and tips on how to prepare it. Let me be honest with you, if you’re planning to cook the pork belly in hot oil (deep fried) it can get messy! That’s how my kitchen always gets dirty, oil splatter!
Over the past few months I haven’t used my oven (damn those electricians, they still haven’t fixed our outlets). Whenever I crave for Lechon Kawali, I don’t have a choice but to go to war against the splattering oil! Don’t worry, at the end of the post I’ll give you an alternative way (other than deep frying).
Just a head’s up I normally prepare my pork belly a night before I cook it.
Let’s start cooking!
What you’ll need:
2 Lbs Pork Belly (Fresh or frozen – make sure you thaw your meat)
3 Pcs. Bay Leaf
10 Cloves of Garlic (Crushed – can either be peeled or not)
Salt (a lot of salt)
3-5 cups of Oil (I normally use Sunflower oil)
Lets get it on!!!
1.) In a deep pot place your pork belly at the center then fill it with water (Just enough to cover the pork belly).
2.) Add all your dry ingredients (Garlic, Bay leaf, Salt and Pepper)
3.) Simmer for 30-45 Minutes.
4.) Turn off your stove, and let the meat rest in the pot for at least an hour.
5.) Remove the belly from the pot and drain in paper towels (I normally pat the meat with paper towels). Let it cool for a few minutes and rub salt and pepper on the meat.
6.) Let the meat rest on your counter top or table for the rest of the evening or at least 4 hours.
7.) On a dry cooking pot, place your oil and wait for it to heat up.
8.) When the oil is hot enough (Heat should be on Medium high), SLOWLY lower the belly in it. (Warning oil splatter – If you can cover the pot, do it!)
9.) You’ll know it’s time to flip your Lechon Kawali when you don’t hear popping from your pot (normally takes 10-15 minutes per side)
10.) FLIP the Lechon Kawali and run for your lives! Just kidding!
11.) Wait for a couple of minutes 10-15 minutes then remove your Lechon Kawali from the oil and drain in Paper Towels.
12.) Optional: I personally love double frying my Lechon Kawali, I think it makes the skin crispier. If you still have time, let your Lechon Kawali rest for 10-15 minutes, then using the same oil Fry it again.
13.) Chop and Serve!
There you go! A bit tricky and a bit scary but once you serve your lechon kawali to your family or guests, I’m pretty sure you’ll get compliments. As for the other way of Preparing it:
Follow steps 1 to 6, preheat your oven at 180. Place the pork belly (Skin side up) in the middle layer of your oven and cook for 30-40 minutes of until the skin looks crispy! If you have a “Turbo Cooker” it can make your life easier! Just follow the steps from 1-6 and pop your belly (skin side up) in the turbo and cook for 40 mins to an hour or until skin becomes crispy.
We Filipinos loves eating lechon kawali with different types of condiments, my personal favorite is Soy Sauce and Lemon or Calamansi (Local Filipino citrus). My sister and brother loves to use pinakurat (a Spicy Vinegar mixture), while kids loves to use Lechon Sauce or Mang Tomas. You can also chop some garlic and onions put it in a bowl and add soy sauce in it. You can use whatever you want and whatever is locally available.