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.
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
- Par-cook the pork by placing it in a large saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover the pork belly.
- Bring to boil over high heat, skimming the scum from the surface of the water.
- 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.
- Remove from the heat and transfer the pork belly using a pair of tongs into a shallow dish.
- Place the dish into the refrigerator uncovered to dry overnight.
- To deep-fry the pork, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to come up to room temperature for about 1 hour.
- Half fill a deep saucepan or wok with vegetable oil and heat until the oil reaches 300° F (150° C)
- Pat the pork-belly dry with a paper towel to prevent oil from spattering.
- Lower the pork-belly into the hot oil skin side down and deep fry for 10 minutes or until the skin is lightly blistered.
- Remove the pork-belly from the oil and drain it on a paper towel allowing it to cool for at minimum 10 minutes.
- Increase the heat so the oil temperature reaches 375° F (190° C).
- 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.
- 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.
- Take a large sharp knife and cut the pork into ¾ inch (2 cm) lengths, then cut them into ½ inch (1.5 cm) pieces.
- Serve immediately with kanin (steamed rice) and sarsa ng lechon.