Deep fried, braised, pork belly. It's like a deep fried napoleon of pork and pork fat. Many Filipinos will make this dish when they are craving Lechon, a whole roast pig, but don't want to deal with roasting a whole beast. Munching on some lechon kawali gets you pretty close to the experience, tender meat, juicy fat, crispy crunchy skin, and an excuse to use Mang Tomas, a sweet, peppery, liver sauce. A decadent meal for sure.
The steps to this are basically the same as crispy pata, but instead you use a pork belly instead of a hock/foot. This is another dish you can braise in big batches then freeze and defrost as needed.
Water to cover by an inch
2 bay leaves
1 tsp peppercorns, whole
1 tbsp fish sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Simmer on low until tender, or pressure cook for 45 min. Drain and rack dry, transfer to the fridge and cool, on the rack so that it continues to drip dry. You can portion out and freeze at this point. Or you can continue with one of two options:
My mom used to do this. It takes a bit longer and is only crispy on the sides that were exposed to the hot air, but it's easier and cleaner. Place the desired amount of pork belly on an oven rack over a pan and roast in an oven set to 375 degrees, turning every 15-20 minutes to evenly roast until evenly browned. About 10 ish minutes from when you think it will be done, flip it skin side up and place under a broiler to crisp up that skin nicely. Remove and chop into rectangular pieces, square in cross section, season with a bit of salt and serve with Mang Tomas or homemade lechon sauce.
Messier, but worth it. Quicker, increases the crispy surface area drastically since all sides of the pieces are getting crisped. This method involves cutting the cooled dried belly into serving pieces (rectangular pieces, square in cross section, you can also go thinner if you're going to fry, resulting in even more crispy surface area) then deep frying in batches at 375 till crispy. Drain and salt, serve with Mang Tomas or homemade lechon sauce.
- 1 ¼ cup pig liver paste (use a food processor to liquefy slices of liver) gravity84 note: you can use chicken liver, instead, if you wish
- 2/3 cup bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 2 ½ cups water
- 2/3 cups brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- ½ cup onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat or cooking oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a pan and put-in the bacon fat or cooking oil.
- When the oil is hot enough, sauté the garlic and onions until the texture becomes soft.
- Put-in the liver paste and cook for about 5 minutes in medium heat while stirring.
- Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Stir for a minute.
- Pour-in water and bring to a boil.
- Stir-in the brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the bread crumbs and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring constantly.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool down.
- Place the sauce in a blender then blend for a minute.
- Transfer the sauce in a serving bowl.
- Serve along with Lechon. Share and enjoy!