Lechon Kawali is an ultimate Filipino comfort food. Pork Belly is deep fried and seasoned with pepper, and salt. This is super crispy and soft in the inside. So yummy.
My Ninja gears are on. I made a last minute check if there are no exposed skin in my neck and in my arms. I have the long tong in one arm and a large pot cover in one as my shield. I have to be well equipped and prepared; as a violent kitchen war before me will unfold…Me , against all the oil splatters that will possibly attack me as I cook this pork belly. A WAR, I do not mind; With my eyes piercing with resolve, I have to make this .. It is now or never. As I deep fry the bellies, a loud oil popping ensued…
I understand. If you are a Filipino living somewhere far away from the Philippines , you should be craving Lechon Kawali at this moment. How do I know, ’cause I am craving it right now; so I assume you are also craving it. The problem with Lechon Kawali is that, it gets violent when you cook it. Oil splatter everywhere…damaging your kitchen walls and not to mention those splatters burning your skin, from you head , neck to your arms. You’ ll have no choice but to don a ninja get up…Indeed, it is no fun cooking this Fried Pork Belly but once you make a decision to make this viand no matter what happens, it is all worth it.
There are several options in cooking Lechon Kawali. In my case, I ‘ve baked it and turbo-ed it but doing so just don’t cut it. Baking and turbo-ing resulted in a less crispy skin and meat compared to deep frying; so I am deep frying my Lechon Kawali in spite of the fact that it’s more unhealthy and more dangerous. Now, however, cooking Lechon Kawali is easy peasy for me; no more oil splatters and skin burns since I got me a new deep fryer from Walmart. Yaaaaaaay !!!!!!! I got it on sale and I have used it almost in everything. But if you are still on the edge about buying a fryer, you can use the Ninja get up because it really does help.
We have this term in the Philippines called BAYANIHAN pronounce buy-uh-nee-hun which means,according to Wiki, a spirit of communal unity and cooperation… this is when neighbors just show up in your doorstep if you need help the most. It was during our family’s tragedy when I had my first Lechon Kawali . It happened when our house was flooded the night before after a really heavy rain broke our cement fence and water pour into the house. Mud covered the floor and ankle deep water swarmed our furniture, books and photo albums.
Neighbors came over to help us save some salvageable items and clean our house. My uncle made a mock up kitchen right in front of our court yard. He became the assigned cook that day. He had the biggest fryer with loads of hot oil on a gas stove with pork belly meat ready for deep frying. When lunch time came, we squat around with our plastic plates, scoop the rice with our hands and dip the crunchy meat in a fish sauce. Adobo, and dried fish were consumed in between boisterous laughter in spite of the disaster.Although photos were damaged in that flood, the memory is still in me until now… I have eaten Lechon Kawali after that, but that was an exceptional Lechon Kawali memory.
When I went to college, my Lechon Kawali obsession tagged along with me and I was more than happy to feed it because it was available anywhere; street vendors sell them on the university corners, carenderia, ports andit was even serve as a specialty meal in Filipino fine restaurants. Saying echon Kawali is famous in the Philippines is an understatement; so try it for once and you can have something to talk about with your Filipino friends.
This Lechon Kawali is how my uncle made it. Instead of frying the whole plank of meat, he sliced it into big cubes so that it will be fried all around and will become crispy. He sprinkled a cold water on the meat to make it crispier, but I skipped that part for safety. When done, serve it with Mang Tomas sauce or fish sauce with vinegar and garlic. Enjoy!
HOW TO COOK CRISPY LECHON KAWALI -FILIPINO CRISPY FRIED PORK BELLY
- 3- 4 lbs Pork Belly Meat
- 5-10 cups of water
- 1/8 cup of water
- 2-3 tablespoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground pepper
- 4-5 cups of oil
- Put pork belly in a large cooking pot and add water. Add in salt and pepper. Boil until the meat is soft. When the meat is done, drain the water and let the meat cool.Slice it into two and place it into a Ziploc. You can freeze the rest of the meat for next use or if you are cooking it directly, just let it sit in the fridge for half day. When ready to cook, slice the pork belly into 2 x 2 pieces. Heat oil in a deep fryer and deep fry the pork belly until golden brown or when it looks crunchy.