Foodie Friday: Easy Oven-Roasted Lechon Kawali

This is just the third time I made lechon kawali and I can't believe how simple yet consistently succulent it is every time. Now, I'm already confident to share this super easy recipe -- easy talaga, no exaggeration, so you can also make this at home and serve to your families. I'll keep this very short and simple and let the pictures do the talking.

For meat lovers like me, this is one dish that you just have to try. Many will say this is totally unhealthy, partly I agree hahaha... but it's not fried, it's boiled then oven-roasted so less fats na yan! =) Classic lechon kawali is deep-fried -- in a kawali (wok /fry pan). Maybe a more accurate name for this is oven-roasted pork belly slab. :)

The only main ingredient is pork belly. Salt and pork belly, yung lang

Choose a good clean slab that has thin layers of fat. The cut can be square like my first one here, or rectangular like this one below. Some may have ribs in it and that's fine with me. The only thing you need here is patience. The steps are very, very easy but requires some waiting time to cook.


1 slab of pork belly (liempo, lechon kawali cut) approx. 500 - 750 grams
pot of boiling water (option to add aromatics like garlic, onion, pepper corns, for extra flavor)
rock salt
aluminum foil for wrapping

To prepare:
Boil water - enough for the meat to be fully submerged
Add a 1-2 tablespoons of rock salt after water simmers (if you put salt early, it will take longer to boil as salt lowers the temperature of water)
Option to add aromatics in the boiling water -- chopped onion, garlic, pepper corns
Put in slab of pork belly, cover pot and boil for 45 - 60 mins. or until tender, depending on size of meat
Pre-heat oven at 200°c (about 390°f) at least 15 minutes before you roast the meat
Remove cooked pork from pot and drain. 
Expect the pork slab to shrink after boiling

Score the top layer of the skin into squares (this way, it's easier to slice through the meat when the skin gets toasted after roasting).

Rub about 1 tablespoon rock salt all over the cooked slab, making sure the skin side is well seasoned
Wrap in foil, exposing only the top / Or no foil and just place it in the center of the baking pan

To roast:
Place the salted pork belly on a tray and put in the pre-heated oven
(Use the middle rack and then move up the tray one step up after 30 minutes - do this if you have an oven with top broiler like mine, so skin gets nicely browned)
Roast for 45 minutes or until the top skin is cracked, browned and toasted
You will see some bubbling on the skin while roasting

When it's done, carefully remove from oven and let it rest for a few minutes before chopping.
Slice through the cuts from the skin. 

Serve immediately to enjoy the crackling skin and juicy meat slices. 

Lechon kawali is a family favorite during gatherings but as you can see here, it's pretty easy to cook on a more regular basis. It's great when dipped in spiced vinegar or gravy-style lechon sauce. Enjoy with lots of rice! 
Sarap! Kain na! =)

** If there's no oven, you can use a turbo broiler.

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