Filipino Lechon Pork Belly Recipe: Leave this marinating all night!

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 16, 2020

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People over the world have their versions of the suckling pig. Here in the Philippines, Pinoys have lechon and it’s a much-celebrated delicacy with several renditions spanning the numerous provinces of the country.

It also evolved through the years hence the birth of the famous Lechon Belly Recipe. Like any Lechon Recipe including Lechon Kawali cooked to perfection, this version uses pork belly.

The bones are removed so the presentation is quite remarkable because it’s rolled and tied. Through this, cutting it can provide a more unique and even slices.

This Lechon is often the topic of even the most discerning Pinoys. It’s also one of the favorite delicacies of foreigners.

Many restaurants serve it but cooking this at home is always better because it’s cheaper and the serving is bigger.

Lechon Belly Recipe

Lechon Belly Recipe Preparation

What is it that makes this Lechon Belly Recipe so good? First, you can’t deny that almost all pork dishes are good. Pork meat is delicious.

The addition of different herbs and spices makes this dish even better. Aside from Adobo, Sinigang, and Sisig, the lechon belly is one of the most loved dishes of the Philippines.

Moreover, this dish has crispy skin when cooked the right way. For that reason, it’s a mainstay in different celebrations like weddings, baptism, office parties, and other celebrations.

Most of all, it’s hard to celebrate a fiesta without Lechon.

Lechon Pork Belly Recipe

Fiipino Lechon Pork Belly

Filipino Lechon Pork Belly Recipe

The Lechon Belly Recipe has crispy skin when cooked the right way. For that reason, it’s a mainstay in different celebrations like weddings, baptism, office parties, and other celebrations.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword LEchon, Pork
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 715kcal
Author Joost Nusselder
Cost $20

Ingredients

  • 2 kilo Pork Belly Ribs without ribs

For the Marinade / Brine

  • 1 stalk lemon grass (tanglad)
  • 1 stalk onion leeks (or 3 stalk scallions)
  • 2 pcs laurel (bay leaves)
  • 1 tbsp ground black peppercorn
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • ½ cup rock salt
  • 5 cups water

For the fillings:

  • 1 stalk lemon grass (tanglad)
  • 1 stalk onion leeks (or 3 stalk scallions)
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed

For the glaze:

  • 3 part evaporated milk
  • 1 part water

Instructions

  • Wash the pork slab with running water and make sure that hairs on the skin are shaved.
  • In a pot, put 5 cups of water then add lemon grass, bay leaves, onion, black peppercorn, garlic, and salt.
  • Make the brine/marinade: Bring water to boil then lower heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes. This will allow the herbs and spices to release its flavor and aroma.
  • Turn off heat. Set aside brine solution until it cools.
  • Pour the brine on the pork slab and marinate overnight (about 10~12 hours)
  • After marinating, remove the pork from the brine. The surface of the pork is quite salty so we have to rinse with fresh water then pat dry with towel.
  • Lay the pork slab on flat surface and place the rolled lemon grass, leek, and garlic.
  • Now roll up the pork slab, form a roulade with the garlic, leeks, and lemon grass on the center. Tie pork with twine (string) to keep its roulade in shape.
  • Brush the surface with mixture of milk and water. Set aside for at least half to an hour to allow milk to set in the skin. Milk makes the skin color reddish brown when roasted.

Cook lechon using turbo broiler

  • Set and preheat your turbo broiler at 375 deg F (190 deg C). Maintain this temperature up to end of cooking.
  • Put the pork roulade on the turbo broiler but cover with aluminum foil.
  • I put aluminum foil to cover the meat temporarily for the first 2 hours of cooking to keep the belly moist inside and to shield from direct hot air from the broiler fan otherwise the outer part of the pork will be cooked quickly yet the inner part is still half cooked.
  • After 2 hours remove the aluminum foil cover. Continue cooking but rotate the roulade, at least every 10 minutes to evenly cook the skin.
  • Check if the skin is already crackling crispy then it is done.

Cook lechon using an oven

  • Set and preheat your oven at 375 deg F (190 deg C). Maintain this temperature up to end of cooking.
  • Place your pork roulade over a grill pan with wire mesh. Cover with aluminum foil.
  • Cover the belly for the first 2 hours of cooking to keep the belly moist inside and to shield from direct heat from the oven otherwise the outer part of the pork will be cooked quickly yet the inner part is still half cooked.
  • Place pork belly inside the oven. Remove the aluminum wrap after 2 hours. Rotate the pork once in a while to cook the skin evenly.
  • Check if the skin is already crackling crispy then it is done.

Notes

  • Cooking time may vary from 2 hours up to 3 hours depending on the pork slab if it came from young or matured pig.
  • If your oven has rotisserie then you can use it. Just wrap it with aluminum foil for the first 2 hours of cooking.
  • To make the skin bubbling crispy, pierce the pork skin with fork before cooking. Make sure that the pierce is not too deep to reach the fat section of the pork.
  • Left over lechon belly can be recycled to as LECHON PAKSIW rather reheating the same dish again.

It’s easier to cook the Lechon Belly Recipe. Even home cooks can do this because there’s no need for a roasting pit to do it. An ordinary turbo broiler or oven can do the job.

Don’t worry because the skin will still be crispy. It will take some time to marinate the meat before putting it in the oven or broiler.

It’s important to cover the meat with aluminum foil in the first half roasting. This is to keep the meat moist.

After that, it will be cooked further, this time, without the aluminum foil to make the skin crispy.

This is a fatty dish, that’s why adding some side dishes can complement its richness. With that, take time to cook this dish to discover its amazing flavors.

Also read: this is how you make a soy sauce marinated Paksiw na Pata

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.