Lechon Kawali (Pan-Roasted Pork)

While visiting a Christmas market in Dresden, Germany in the winter of 2008, I came across a food vendor selling roast pork (see photo). It reminded me of course of the Filipino lechon, prepared similarly by roasting a whole pig in an open fire pit.  In Hawaii, roasted pork comes in the form of kalua pig, cooked in an imu, best described as an underground oven.  Tourists visiting Hawaii are often treated to a luau, a feast that includes kalua pig.

It is not too often that one is treated to a luau or a feast serving lechon, but home cooking can come close to the pleasure of eating lechon through this popular Filipino dish called lechon kawali, literally, “pan-roasted pork.”


1 lb pork belly or pork leg with skin on,cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil for deep frying
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
A dash of chili pepper crush


In a large pot, combine pork pieces & garlic and season with salt & pepper
Add water and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes
Remove from heat and drain the liquid
Heat the oil in a frying pan in medium heat. Make sure to use a cover for the frying pan. Deep fry the pork pieces until the meat turns golden brown and blisters appear on the skin

CAUTION! There will be a lot of splattering from the oil and the pork fat so make sure that the frying pan remains covered at all times and be careful when taking off the cover.  The trick is to turn off the heat and wait for the oil to settle before taking off the cover.

Remove cooked pork pieces and lay on a plate lined with paper towel to drain excess oil
Prepare the sauce by mixing the soy sauce, vinegar, minced garlic and dried chili crush

Serve warm with steamed rice

(Makes 4-6 servings)


2 thoughts on “Lechon Kawali (Pan-Roasted Pork)

  1. Pingback: Sitaw Gisado (Sauteed Green Beans) « my bay kitchen

  2. Pingback: The Underrated “Upo” « my bay kitchen

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