Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Updated: Easy "Lechon Kawali" (pan fried - steamed - pan fried on a wok or pan)

This is the diminutive version of the real Lechon (slow roasted suckling pig in open fire). 

In this case, I used boneless, country style pork ribs. For some reason-United States only wants to use pork belly for bacon. That kind of thinking is not right. Please? Can 1 grocery store at least sell this part of the pig-just like how any other part of a pig is sold? 

By the #$%^&* pound!

Well, the purist way of cooking Lechon Kawali (translated as "suckling pig wok or pan") is simmering the pork belly first in a salt-pepper-garlic-soy sauce broth. After an hour or two, you take out the pork and drain to cool then deep fry it.

My version is steaming the pork in liquid-salt-black pepper mixture and pan-frying it in the same pan.

Argh! Enough already of the whining. Here's my own recipe.


Large bottom saute pan (with high sides), NOT non-stick.
Lid for the pan
Metal or wooden tong OR
Fish spatula


1 lb. country style boneless pork rib
1/2 cup water or low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
1/4 cup neutral cooking oil (vegetable, corn, light olive oil, canola)
2 T sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper


Pat dry pork with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel.

Mix the salt and pepper on a large plate.

Roll or rub the sea salt-pepper mixture onto the pork, set aside.

Preheat pan on high until it reaches 375-400°. Add the cooking oil and preheat until smoky.

Carefully but quickly place 2-4 pieces of pork in the preheated oil, cover immediately to avoid the splatter.

Lower the heat to medium high.

Pan-fry for 8 minutes or until both sides are not pink anymore. You will have to uncover and flip the meats between those 8 minutes. Cover again and continue pan-frying.

After 8 minutes, uncover the 2nd time and pour the water/vegetable broth on the meat. It's going to be messy so quickly cover again with lid.

Steam for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has dissipated from the pan. You will hear it crackling again from the oil and it's own fat.

Uncover and flip each side 2-3 times making sure all sides are charred and looks crispy-about 4 minutes on high.

Place on a hot serving plate and let it rest.

Prepare your Soy sauce-vinegar dipping sauce.

In a 1 cup measuring cup, place 2 T of coconut water vinegar (regular vinegar is fine), 1 T of the oil from the cooked pork, 1-2 finely chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon finely chopped onion, 1 teaspoon finely chopped green onion, 1/2 t sugar, pinch each of sea salt and cracked black pepper; soy sauce to fill until 1 cup.

Transfer into a soup bowl and stir to combine.

Note: simply seasoned, fried pork of all cuts and this recipe is best eaten with liver sauce. It's a given-trust me.