How to Make: Lechon Kawali (part 2)

Ok my first attempt at the Filipino Lechon Kawali (pan fried pork belly) did not turn out as expected… haha. I figured since the pork was already cooked, this final pan-frying was just to brown it and puff the skin in hot oil. I placed it in the pan to fry and seriously started to worry for my safety. Oil was flying EVERYWHERE. I had a lid-shield nearby but the oil was still splattering all over the stove.

I’m not really sure where it went wrong. The skin didn’t blister/puff before it got burned. Again I’m still trying to figure out why.

Lechon Kawali recipe attempt 2

This second time around I chose some pieces with less meat and baked it instead of trying to fry it. Frying also left the house smelling like oil for a few days.

I prepped the meat the same way as I did in step 1, but this time I rubbed in kosher salt on the top and bottom of each piece of pork. It was probably 1 tablespoon for each 0.7lbs of meat.

Bake at 300F for about 30 minutes.

Then broil the pieces until the skin blisters. You’ll hear some nice hissing. And I actually saw the skin puffing! It was like little puffy clouds given off of active yeast.

At this point, the skin was puffed but I could tell it still had a good amount of moisture in it. I set it to bake again at 350F for maybe 15-20 more minutes.

Lechon Kawali

It came out beautifully!

Lechon Kawali

I still haven’t given up on the frying method though. I’m also exploring some methods learned from the GF’s mom to infuse some more herbage. There are so many variations on this dish. I cant wait!

However, this one came out delicious and is some pretty hefty junk food/comfort food. Serve with a ton of rice if you know what’s good for you.
:)

Comments

  1. I’d hate to say it but my favorite lechon kawali is deep fried from Magic Wok in Artesia. There, I said it. Sure, the mere mention of it might kill your cadiologist, but the crispy skin is pure artery clogging heaven!!

    • Huy Vu says:

      Ah, isn’t it great how it feels like eating in someones home there? I actually don’t remember what the lechon kawali was like though. Gotta head back!

  2. karla says:

    wow :)
    i remember my mom doing the same thing although i can’t remember if she also baked it first before broiling it

  3. ziggy says:

    you… you… you lucky guy you… filipinas are the best women in the world IMHO :)

  4. beancounter says:

    to minimise all the splattering i “dry” my boiled pork belly in a low oven for about an hour or so before deep frying… try this and see how it works for you…

  5. quirkymom says:

    what i have been doing is to boil the meat first. as soon as its considerably tender, i turn off the heat then go straight to the kawali with preheated oil to deep fry..no splattering as long as the kawali has been heated and oil is at the right temperature..but of course, nothing beats being ready, just make sure to have a cover/shield with you to lessen splatters..maybe this will work for you too ..;D

  6. Rich's Mom says:

    Rich’s Mom says that sea salt is better than kosher and that it appeals to more people. She also says that it’s healthier.

  7. Patrick Chan says:

    @ beancounter: That’s exactly what my Mom and I do when we make lechon kawali. The combination of fluids will make the oil splatter. Thumbs up :)

  8. LT says:

    Huy, try deep frying the pork after you baked it. Cut into bite size first. This is how the do it in Thailand, and the crisp is awesome.

  9. Huy Vu says:

    @LT: Cutting it up is a great idea too. Recently I found out the cut up, fried version is what Cebuanos call “adobo”, different than what “adobo” is in Manila.

    What we did for that was slightly different for the ingredients. We cut up and boiled a ton of pork belly with less seasoning and some chili/garlic vinegar. We fried just enough for the meal and froze any unused portions so whenever we wanted some, they’re ready to drop in the fryer!

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