Lechon kawali, also known as pan-roasted pork, is frequently confused with lechon, a popular Filipino cuisine that is also the national dish of the Philippines. Unlike lechon, which is cooked in a pit of smoldering charcoal, lechon kawali is prepared by boiling and then deep-frying a portion of pig (usually the hog belly).
Please bring a cup of rice and a kawali lechon! I used to order this at least once a week while I was in high school. Our school cafeteria serves one of the better versions of this meal. When the pork has just been removed from the pot, it is at its best. It’s quite hot and crispy.
What is Lechon Kawali, exactly?
Lechon kawali is best described as crispy deep-fried pig. The most popular cut of pork used to make it is pork belly, also known as liempo. For lunch or dinner, this dish is ideally served over white rice. It’s also delicious with dipping sauce.
This dish should not be confused with Lechon, the national dish of the Philippines. Both dishes are prepared differently. These also have distinct aesthetic appearances. The name “Lechon kawali” comes from the traditional frying pan used to make it, the Kawali. It is the typical pan seen in almost every Filipino home. This is my “go-to” pan in the kitchen for everyday cooking.
The term “lechon” was most likely coined to refer to the crunchy texture of traditional leaching baboy.
How Do You Make Lechon Kawali?
There are two processes to making lechon kawali. In the first phase, the pig belly is boiled before being deep-fried until the skin is crispy.
First, Let’s start with the boiling procedure. This is essential to achieve the crispy skin effect. The outcomes of merely frying pork without first boiling it will vary.
During this process, the pork belly must become exceedingly soft. Begin by bringing water to a boil in a big saucepan. I season with salt and other seasonings as well. The flavors are absorbed while the meat is simmering. The absolute bare minimum is thirty minutes. Feel free to extend it if more time is required.
Second, when deep-fried, the skin of the pork belly turns crispy and golden brown. Warm up some oil in a large frying saucepan for this. Make sure to season the boiled pig belly thoroughly before frying it. It contributes to the flavoring.
With caution, place a slice of pork belly into the hot oil in the pan, and keep your guard up by holding the pot cover. As heated oil begins to spray, partially cover the area. Covering the pot completely is not recommended since it traps the steam, which eventually turns to water. As a result, when oil spills from the cover’s base, it splatters even more. Cook the pork belly until it is crispy over medium heat.
How to Cook Lechon Kawali
WHAT IS THE BEST PORK CUT FOR LECHON KAWALI?
- ‘Liempo’ or pork belly is the cut that is used to make Lechon Kawali.
- One of the best parts of the hog due to the alternating layers of flesh and fat.
- Select a slab of pork belly with evenly distributed layers of meat and fat.
- Don’t get a thick piece of (lean) beef because it will have a dry, hard, and chewy texture.
- Select a slab of pork belly that is no thicker than 1 1/2 inches.
Lechon Kawali Recipe
This is a recipe for crispy deep-fried pig belly, often known as lechon kawali.
Prep: 10minutes minutes
Cook: 50minutes minutes
Total: 1 hour hour
2 lbs. pork belly
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons whole peppercorn
5 pieces dried bay leaves
3 cups cooking Oil
34 ounces Water
- On the cooking pot, pour water, Boil
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pork belly.
- Add some bay leaves and pepper.
- Cook the beef for 30 minutes, or until it is soft.
- Take the meat out of the saucepan and allow it to cool for a while.
- The pork belly should be covered in 1 tablespoon of salt.
- Ensure that it is distributed evenly throughout all parts.
- Begin deep-frying the cooked meat. On a cooking saucepan, heat the oil.
- With particular care, carefully place each piece of boiled pig belly into the heated oil. till crunchy, fry.
- The meat should be properly fried till crispy on the other side. Note: When frying, exercise extra caution because oil can spatter.
- While oil is spewing, you can use the pot’s lid to cover it. However, don’t entirely cover it because that will trap steam.
- It’ll result in more splatters.
- Take the meat out of the cooker. To cool, arrange on a wire rack.
- Slice into appropriate portion sizes.
- Serving: 6g
- Calories: 893kcal (45%)
- Carbohydrates: 2g (1%)
- Protein: 14g (28%)
- Fat: 91g (140%)
- Saturated Fat:30g (150%)
- Cholesterol: 108mg (36%)
- Sodium: 2382mg (99%)
- Potassium: 324mg (9%)
- Fiber: 1g (4%)
- Vitamin A: 85IU (2%)
- Vitamin C: 0.8mg (1%)
- Calcium: 34mg (3%)
- Iron: 1.5mg (8%)
What’s the origin of Lechon Kawali?
Lechon Kawali is a Filipino dish that has its roots in the traditional Spanish roasted pig dish called “lechón.” The term “lechon kawali” translates to “pan-roasted pork” in Filipino, indicating that it is a pan-fried version of the original spit-roasted lechón.
Can I use a different cut of pork for Lechon Kawali?
While pork belly is the most common cut used for Lechon Kawali, you can use other cuts like pork shoulder or pork leg. However, pork belly with its skin-on is preferred as it results in the crispiest skin.
How do I achieve crispy skin on Lechon Kawali?
To achieve a crispy skin, it’s essential to dry the boiled pork belly thoroughly before frying. Allowing it to cool on a wire rack helps to remove excess moisture, resulting in a crispy texture when fried.
Can I use an air fryer to cook Lechon Kawali?
Yes, you can use an air fryer to cook Lechon Kawali for a healthier version. After boiling and cooling the pork belly, preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Place the pork belly in the air fryer basket, skin-side up, and cook for about 30-35 minutes or until the skin is crispy.
What are some popular dipping sauces for Lechon Kawali?
The most common dipping sauce for Lechon Kawali is a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, minced garlic, and chopped chili peppers. Some variations may include adding sugar or calamansi juice for a tangy and slightly sweet flavor.