Experience Crispy Lechon Kawali Filipino Dish
Lechon kawali is crispy pork belly deep-fried in a pan or wok (kawali). It is seasoned beforehand, cooked then served chopped into pieces. It is usually accompanied with a lechon sauce such as Mang Tomas or toyomansi (soy sauce with calamansi). If deep fried extensively until crispy and crunchy, it becomes the Ilocano bagnet, a variant of chicharon.
Lechon Kawali is a popular Filipino dish made with pork belly simmered until tender and then deep-fried until golden and crisp. With crunchy skin and super moist meat, every morsel is pork heaven!
Super Crispy Lechon Kawali can be enjoyed either as a main dish or as a pulutan. This is not the healthiest Filipino food, so please take extra caution and try to consume it moderately. This dish is best when served with a dipping sauce of either lechon gravy (lechon sauce) or simple spicy vinegar dip. I also suggest consuming it within a few minutes after cooking to enjoy it better. No matter how crispy you cook it, the skin can lose its crunch overtime.
Image by seriouseats
Used a whole slab of pork belly for this recipe because my goal was to make the skin crispy while keeping the meat moist and tender. Using thinner slices of meat will make the pork belly crispy all throughout (including the inside) because oil will be able to easily penetrate it.
The secret to a super crispy pork belly has something to do with both the boiling and frying part. Boil the skin until it gets really tender. If not, the skin will remain tough no matter how long you fry it. On the frying side, find that double frying works well. This was the same method that used to make crispy homemade French fries.
Image by wikihow
RECIPE LECHON KAWALI
3 lbs. pork belly
5 pieces dried bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons whole pepperorn
3 pints water
2 pints cooking oil
1 tablespoon salt
1.) Boil water in a cooking pot.
2.) Add dried bay leaves and whole peppercorn. Cook for 2 minutes.
3.) Add pork belly. Cover and cook in medium heat for 30 minutes or until tender. Turn the meat over (if necessary) to equally cook the opposite side.
4.) Remove the pork belly from the cooking pot. Place it in a clean plate. Let it cool down until you can safely handle it with your hands.
5.) Rub salt all over the pork. Let it stay for 15 minutes.
6.) Heat oil in a deep cooking pot. Once the oil gets hot (320F to 350F), put the boiled pork belly in skin side facing down. Deep fry until the skin turns brown. Note: there is no definite time for this step. Use the sound of the oil as your queue. When the oil starts to calm down a bit, check the pork belly to see if the skin is brown.
7.) Turn the pork belly over and deep fry the opposite side for 5 minutes.
8.) Remove the entire pork belly slab from the cooking pot. Place it in a plate with grates or lined with paper towel. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Note: turn off the stove during this time.
9.) Turn on the stove to heat the oil. Once the oil is hot enough, put the pork belly back into the pot skin side facing down. Deep fry for 3 to 6 minutes or until golden brown.
10.) Remove from the cooking pot. Put on a plate and let the excess oil drip.
11.) Test for crispiness by hitting the crackling (crispy skin) lightly with a fork or knife. It should create a sound. Chop the super crispy lechon kawali into bite-sized pieces.
12.) Transfer to a serving plate. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and a cup of warm rice.
13.) Share and enjoy!
Video by Panlasang Pinoy