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Perfect Crispy Pork Belly At Home (Lechon Kawali)

This pork belly is so crisp you can hear the crunch 3 states away.

This pork belly is so crisp you can hear the crunch 3 states away.

Dutch Oven I Use:



  • 3lb (1.3kg) pork belly, skin on

  • 3.5 tbsp (39g) kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1.5 tbsp (13g) black peppercorns

  • 6 Bay leaves

  • 1 tbsp (14g) dark soy sauce

  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled left whole

  • 1.5 qt (1.4L) water

  • 2 qt (1.9L) vegetable oil


  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 small red chilies, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup (60mL) calamansi juice or yuzu juice

  • ¼ cup (60mL) soy sauce

Lechon Sandwich

Green Sauce:

  • 2 Jalapenos, charred and peeled

  • 10 cloves (40g) garlic

  • 2 Green onions, roots removed

  • 4 Thai chilies

  • 1 bunch cilantro

  • ½ cup (60mL) calamansi juice (or yuzu juice with a pinch of sugar)

  • 1 cup (240mL) vegetable oil (or more if needed)

  • Salt to taste

Red Cabbage Slaw:

  • ½ head red cabbage (564g), very thinly shredded

  • ½ red onion (60g), thinly sliced

  • 1 green apple, julienned

  • ½ cup (100g) mayonnaise

  • 1 tbsp (14g) white distilled vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic (5g), grated

  • 1 tsp soy sauce (5g)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Sandwich Assembly

  • Butter for toasting

  • 2 loaves of ciabatta bread

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, whole

  • Mayo

  • Crunchy lechon pork belly

  • Red Cabbage Slaw

  • Bread and butter pickles

  • Green sauce

  • Flaky salt for finishing



  1. Combine in a pot, pork belly, salt, black peppercorn, bay leaves, soy sauce, garlic, and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 50 minutes or just until fork tender.

  2. Remove meat from the pot and let it cool for 15 minutes. Dry off the skin and add approximately 1 tablespoon of kosher salt on the skin, and rub aggressively. Place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and leave in the fridge uncovered to dry overnight.

  3. Fill a large heavy bottomed pot or large wok with vegetable oil making sure that it doesn’t go above halfway up the pot. Heat oil to 375F and add your pork belly when ready. Fry until golden brown, crisp, and skin is puffed and crispy.

  4. Remove pork from the oil and drain on a wire rack. Finish heating up the pork belly in an oven set to 350F if necessary.

  5. Slice nicely, and serve with toyomansi sauce on the side for dipping.


  1. In a bowl, add garlic, thai chiles, calamansi (or yuzu), soy sauce and mix.

  2. Stir until well incorporated, then place in an airtight container and chill until ready to use.

Green Sauce;

  1. Add jalapenos to a pan, or grill, on high heat until nice and charred. Remove from heat and add them to a bowl, and cover them with plastic wrap. Let them sit for about 10 minutes.

  2. Take your jalapenos, rub them with a towel to peel them. The skin should come off easily.

  3. In a blender, add your charred jalapenos, garlic, green onions, thai chilis, cilantro, yuzu juice and sugar (or calamansi juice), and salt to taste.

  4. While blending, slowly add oil to allow the sauce to emulsify.

  5. Place in a container and chill before serving.

Red Cabbage Slaw:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add your cabbage, onion, and apples, and mix them well.

  2. Next add your mayo, vinegar, garlic and soy sauce to the bowl and incorporate well.

  3. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

  4. Chill before serving.

Sandwich Assembly:

  1. In a medium saucepan, place about a tablespoon of butter and melt it on medium heat. Split ciabatta bread in half and toast the insides until they are golden brown and crispy. Remove buns from heat.

  2. Gently rub 1 or 2 cloves of garlic on the toasted bread to release the aromatics and add flavor.

  3. Add mayonnaise to the bottom bun, and place sliced pork belly on top. Then add your red cabbage slaw and pickles, and top with your green sauce. Finish with flaky salt and place the top bun on the sandwich.


The Calif
The Calif
Jun 04, 2023

Well done! Super recipe I have to try sometime. When I watch you bite into I can already feel the crispy goodness. For the record: very good that you added understood-by-the-world units. And what you forgot: 375 °F (Fool) = 190 °C (Clever) 350°F = 175~180°C

The Calif
The Calif
Jun 17, 2023
Replying to

I tried it. Excellent and delicious result albeit I slept over the cooking alarm and cooked too long. So it came out like a "pulled lechon" with a crispy crust. Next time I'll take care to watch the right cooking time.


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