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.
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.
It came out beautifully!
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.