Lechon Kawali Recipe

A popular Filipino dish that embodies the rich and savory flavors of the region. Cebu is renowned for its culinary heritage, and Lechon Kawali stands out as a beloved delicacy loved by locals and visitors alike. This delightful dish features tender pork belly boiled until fork-tender, then deep-fried to achieve a crispy and golden exterior. The result is a delightful contrast of textures that will keep you coming back for more. Whether you’re looking to savor a taste of the Philippines or hosting a special gathering, our easy-to-follow Cebu Lechon Kawali recipe promises to satisfy your cravings for a flavorful and satisfying meal.


  • 1 kg pork belly, skin-on and boneless
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Water, for boiling
  • Cooking oil, for deep-frying
  • Vinegar dipping sauce (suka), for serving


  1. In a large pot, place the pork belly with the skin facing down. Add enough water to cover the meat.
  2. Add the salt, whole peppercorns, bay leaves, and crushed garlic to the pot.
  3. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let the pork simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the meat becomes tender. Skim off any impurities that rise to the surface during the boiling process.
  4. Once the pork is tender, carefully remove it from the pot and let it cool and dry on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. This step will help the skin become crispier during frying.
  5. In a separate deep frying pan or deep fryer, heat the cooking oil over medium heat.
  6. Gently place the pork belly in the hot oil, skin side down, and fry it until the skin becomes crispy and golden brown. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes.
  7. Turn the pork belly to fry the other side for an additional 5-7 minutes or until it develops a rich, crispy texture.
  8. Once fully fried, remove the Cebu Lechon Kawali from the oil and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  9. Let the Lechon Kawali rest for a few minutes before slicing it into serving pieces.
  10. Serve the Cebu Lechon Kawali hot with vinegar dipping sauce (suka) on the side for a burst of tangy flavor.

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