Lechon Kawali – Deep-fried Pork Belly

Lechon Kawali (deep-fried pork belly) is a favorite dish at family gatherings since it is the best of both worlds, deep fried pork goodness with a crisp skin. The secret to the recipe is the cooking process which consists of par-cooking it by boiling the pork belly first then finishing it off by deep frying it twice to get that signature crispy skin.

Ingredients

3 lb | 1.36 kg of boneless pork belly with skin on
1 onion, quartered
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp | 18.25 g of salt
1 tsp of whole black peppercorns (telicherry)
vegetable oil for deep frying
Sarsa ng Lechon (Liver Sauce)
Steamed Kanin (Cooked Rice), to serve

Cooking

  1. Par-cook the pork by placing it in a large saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover the pork belly.
  2. Bring to boil over high heat, skimming and scum from the surface of the water.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to low cooking for 1 hour or until the meat is fork-tender.
  4. Remove from the heat and transfer the pork belly using a pair of tongs into a shallow dish.
  5. Place the dish into the refrigerator uncovered to dry overnight.
  6. To deep-fre the pork, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come up to room temperature for about 1 hour.
  7. Half fill a deep saucepan or wok with vegetable oil and heat until the oil reaches 300° F (150° C)
  8. Pat the pork-belly dry with a paper towel to prevent oil from spattering.
  9. Lower the pork-belly into the hot oil skin side down and deep fry for 10 minutes or until the skin is lightly blistered.
  10. Remove the pork-belly from the oil and drain it on a paper towel allowing it to cool for at minimum 10 minutes.
  11. Increase the heat so the oil temperature reaches 375° F (190° C).
  12. Deep-fry the pork belly for 5 minutes or until the skin is very blistered and crispy and the meat is a dark golden brown.
  13. Remove the pork-belly from the oil and drain it on a paper towel, season with salt and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  14. Take a large sharp knife and cust the pork into ¾ inch (2 cm) lengths, then cut them into ½ inch (1.5 cm) pieces.
  15. Serve immediately with kanin (steamed rice) and sarsa ng lechon.

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