How to Make: Lechon Kawali (part 1)

I’ve been wanting to take a whack lechon kawali for a long time now. The first one I tried was made by the GF’s mom about 18 months ago and it was soo addicting. Lechon kawali is a Filipino dish literally meaning pan-fried pork. Technically, it is first braised, then pan-fried pork belly.

I’ve looked around for recipes and finally decided on one. For the most part, im trying to follow (and try to quantify) Market Manila‘s lechon kawali recipe.

What you need:
-2.2lbs. (1 kg.) liempo (pork belly)
I’ve only had ones with a very low meat to fat ratio so I’m trying to make one with a ton more meat.

-1/2 medium onion
-15 peppercorns
-5 garlic cloves
-2 bay leaves

Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 25 minutes

First, boil enough water in a pot to cover the liempo (pork belly), about 2-3 quarts.
Lechon Kawali Recipe - Part I (step 1)

Split the belly in two. I split it for easier frying. If you want to leave it whole, by all means leave it.
Lechon Kawali Recipe - Part I (step 2)

After the water hits a boil, add the belly for about 1-2 minutes just to clean it. Pour out the water and rise the pot and pork well.
Lechon Kawali Recipe - Part I (step 3)

Add the onion, peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves.
lechon kawali in the pot

Bring to a boil then reduce to heat to about 60% or enough to keep the water at a simmer. I kept adding water to keep the level slightly above the meat. This smells amazing while it cooks!
Lechon Kawali Recipe - Part I (step 5)

We’re supposed to let it dry, and I also do not want to try to do that in the oven. I have noticed a lot of lechon kawali I’ved had has the meat part dried out. Maybe it’s because over drying before frying, or because it was over fried… But I’m going to just follow the recipe and find out :).
Lechon Kawali Recipe - Part I (step 6)

I lightly wrapped it in paper towel and put it in the fridge overnight. This will get deep fried tomorrow. Check back soon for the finished lechon kawali.

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