Lechon kawali with no deep frying | casaveneracion.com

Lechon kawali with no deep frying

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The Author

Hello, my name is Connie Veneracion. I cook, I shoot, I write. But I don't do the laundry. I don't like housekeeping very much either... (more about me)

67 Responses

  1. jaja says:

    This is the way we cook lechon kawali at home :D my mom said that it makes the dish a little less guilty to eat because of the less amount of fat :D

  2. Mike says:

    Just last weekend, I came up with a home cooked version of the Balamban style liempo. I was able to cook it in the oven of a gas range.

    Results? Same flavor but lacked the smokiness of charcoal.

    So to answer the lechon kawali in the oven question, yes it can be done. You just brine the meat first for about 1 and 1/2 hour for each pound of meat (so about 3 hours for every kilo). Then drain away the brine, pat dry the liempo and rub all over generously with salt and cracked pepper. Wrap it in aluminum foil with a bit of space for the steam to escape.

    After letting it cook in the oven for about 2 hours or so, remove the aluminum wrap and drain away the juices. Place the meat on a wire rack and put it back in the oven. The skin will start to crisp and the sides also turn golden brown. Let it rest for about 5-10 minutes before chopping up.

    • Connie says:

      Did you record the oven temp during the first two hours and after the foil was removed?

      • Mike says:

        hmmm…I didn’t have a thermometer that I could stick into the meat but the oven switch setting was around 360F when I first put it in. Retained the same temp setting after removing the foil.

        To crisp up the sides and skin on top, I switched on the grill top (the upper flame portion inside the oven). Took about 15 minutes or so.

        I’ll be making sure to take exact notes and measurements next time. The weekend liempo was just an experiment after I tasted it in Cebu :)

        • Connie says:

          Oh, double heat after the foil was removed. Are you using an Elba oven? I have an Elba gas range and it’s like that — with a top broiler and rotisserie. Haven’t used the broiler and rotisserie though.

  3. Gay says:

    Talaga naman handle the pork lovingly pa ha :) I’m somewhere in Thailand right now, Connie, and at lunch I had this lechon kawali stirfried with krapao, chilis, and kai lan. Ang sarap!

  4. Nonoy says:

    Wow. This is amazing. I have to try this at home. Here in Cebu they cook the pork belly into a small amount of water until the water evaporates and produces oil. The pork will then be fried into its oil. We call Lechon Kawali, Adobo. I don’t know why it’s call Adobo. I think that’s the mystery behind the Cebu food.

    This post is very helpful,esp for me that I love to experiment different kinds of Filipino recipes. Great!

  5. Joy says:

    I totally have to try this. My husband loves this dish but I hate the mess it makes on the stove. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. leann says:

    Hi connie, I’ve been following your site since i move here in michigan. I came from New York and it is indeed your site is easy to follow.
    I did try the lechon kawali and they love it, it taste like lechon.. :)
    No splatting of oil, and no consuming of oil.
    Your post are very helpful to everybody.

    Thank you so much. God Bless.

  7. Natz SM says:

    Hello Ms. Connie,

    Back in the late 80s early 90s, I use to request my suki bakery to bake my lechon kawali in their regular but really large electric oven whenever it was part of my party menu and had to make about 10 kilos or more. I would bring in the slabs of liempo already pre-boiled in salt water and other spices, drained and cooled in the ref overnight. They charged me a minimal amount per kilo but it saved on cooking oil, time and most importantly, I was free to prepare other dishes. (Apparently, I was not the only one availing of this service especially during holidays)

    It always turned out perfect- well puffed and crispy rind yet tender and juicy inside.

    BTW, I love lechon kawali with sibuyas, kamatis and bagoong isda. Hilaw na mangga is optional!

  8. Bessie says:

    Connie, GMA Pinoy TV’s Life Pinoy Style show of Chef Ron Bilaro. He used a regular oven – 400F. Pls. visit his website, lifepinoystyle.com for “Ron’s Lechon de Oven” recipe. Season 7, episode 1.
    I will make your Lechon Kawali very soon! Thanks for the recipe. ;-)

    • Connie says:

      It doesn’t say it’s a regular oven. In fact, it does not say what kind of oven at all. Nor if the heat should be underneath, on top or both. :sad:

      • Bessie says:

        Ooh, I’ve seen that episode and he used a regular / traditional oven, pork was placed in the middle rack. 400F. Naalala ko, hindi nagpuputok-putok ang skin just like your lechon kawali. :-)

        • Connie says:

          “hindi nagpuputok-putok ang skin”

          Just as I thought. 400F just isn’t hot enough to puff the pork skin.

          • Bessie says:

            Yes, you are right. I like your lechon kawali with no deep frying – crispy. I’ll use my turbo. ;-)

          • Connie says:

            Ah turbo works — even with crispy pata. :)

          • Mike says:

            Sorry for the late reply, just got back from GenSan.

            I have a La Germania 5 burner oven.

            The temp setting is about 360F for the first 2 hours, wrapped in the aluminum foil. I guess the steam from the prok juices and spices cooked the liempo slab (about 1 kilo).

            After removing the foil and placing it on the middle rack, I let it crisp and dry up for another 30 mins with the same temp.

            After 30 mins, I shut down the lower flame and turned on the top burner (my oven doesn’t allow simultaneous top and bottom) and let the skin crisp up. Took about 15 minutes or so.

            I’m thinking of doing it again (aluminum foil and all) but using the rotisserie this time and tying the pork up so the stuffing won’t spill out.

            I’ll let you know what happens next time :)

          • Connie says:

            Oh good! Cause I have a rotisserie too but haven’t used it yet. If it works with liempo, I can cook a lot of slabs for a party using the two ovens simultaneously! Yey!

  9. uberdoog says:

    I misa pork! Yaaahhhh!

  10. Jo Santos says:

    Hi Connie, I did it last Saturday in the turbo at 392 degrees F, I turbo roasted the 1.5 k pork belly for 40 mins after it was boiled for 1 1/2 hr. The skin was nicely puffed and so crunchy. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

  11. Lisa says:

    Hi Connie

    Am trying this recipe this week, we only have a traditional oven, which level should I put my oven rack? Middle or bottom.

    Also I believe the highest setting of this one is 550, should I maximize this?



    • Connie says:

      Middle rack. Yes, use the highest setting and don’t forget to pre-heat the oven. :)

      • Lisa says:

        HI Miss Connie

        Thanks for the info, with respect to your answer, if its 550, how long should it be in the oven, do I still have to use the broil setting? If so, how long.


        • Connie says:

          I don’t know exactly how long. I suggest you watch the meat closely after 10 minutes.

          When browning meat, it is always advisable to use the broil setting.

  12. dashaman says:

    hmmm…i haven’t tried doing lechon kawali without frying. i will give it a shot this weekend.

    i do fry it deep and hot oil, and rock-frozen meat slab after hours of boiling a day before. same for crispy pata.

    nowim hungry. =S

    • Connie says:

      That lechon kawali anf crispy pata has to be frozen before frying is really such an old wives’ tale. :)

  13. dashaman says:

    lol, yes some says so. but it worked for me tho.heheh

    if you also have tried the crispy hito at palaisdaan resto in tayabas quezon, it follows the same procedure, tho no boiling.


    so im going to try this method of yours tomorrow. im craving for it after seeing your photos.lol

  14. Lisa says:

    HI Connie

    I did the lechon kawali this week, after boiling the pork, I wiped the pork with a clean kitchen towel, to remove the excess moisture, because if I put it in the oven, I might end up steaming the lechon kawali instead.

    I put the pork in the oven and waited for the oven to reach again 550, then started only the cooking time as soon as the thermostat read 550.

    It was good, and the aroma was really heavenly good.

    We will try to do it again, because we were not able to use the broil setting.

  15. celeste says:

    HI Ms connie! How are you? I have an electric oven toaster which i think is an electric oven toaster/convection oven. it has rotisserie (it was a gift so im not really sure plus i cant find the manual anymore). it has top heat (the broiler i guess) and bottom heat. if i put the pork slab there should i open the top and bottom heat or just the top part? i just finished boiling the pork and will cook it in the oven tomorrow. il wait for your reply :) thank you

  16. celeste says:

    Oh thanks for the clarification. Uhuh it only has temperature control, selector for top heat and bottom heat or both, and timer up to 1hr I think. What do u think? Will it do? Or I moght have to experiment.

    • Connie says:

      Oh, I don’t know. High heat is essential but it has to be controlled heat. Otherwise, the meat might burn and fry up.

      • Celeste says:

        Il try it this tuesday. I’l update you. thanks!

        • Celeste says:

          hi ms connie! just want to update you. it worked! i had the lechon kawali for lunch today. i used the appliance i mentioned in my last message, the electric toaster/oven rotisserie (i dont know what its exactly called ‘coz cant find the manual) and the pork slab turned out juicy, crispy and puffy :) but had to cook it for 1 hour. basta it was more than 25mins. i had to watch it the whole time too since this was nmy first time to cook pork in that oven. i was ecstatic when the skin started puffing. LOL! simple things make me happy. home cooking rocks! thanks for the recipe. next in my list is your chicken picante :) have a good day!

  17. Marj says:

    I just tried this and turned out great. I used a regular gas oven, cooked the lechon kawali at 450 for 40 minutes and the skin turned crispy. Thanks for the idea!

  18. gina says:

    @ celeste: what happened to your cooking? we have the same oven setting that is why im interested about the result… tnx in advance for sharing…

    @ ms. connie: thank u so much for sharing your wisdom of cooking… you are really an angel to us who dont really know the ins and outs of cooking… god bless and more power!!!

    • celeste says:

      hi gina! the pork slab turned out crispy, juicy and puffy. just perfect for me :)put it in the highest setting, mine is at 250c and then you cook it for an hour. check it from time to time. since it was my first time i initially set it for 30 mins and then had to set it again for another 30. i open both the top and bottom heat and then had to adjust near the end to just the top heat.:)

      • gina says:

        tnx celeste for the information… i’l try this on my hubby’s birthday next week…

        kudos ms. connie!!!

  19. Muriel says:

    Thank you for your daily recipes. We made this for our dinner today.

  20. dashaman says:

    Hello connie, Here is my lechon kawali adventure http://www.dashaman.com/2010/11/lechon-kawali-and-pancit-habhab-delight.html thanks and kudos for the idea. =D

  21. A says:

    Do I have to turn the meat over after the 20 minutes? Or will the meat be puffy and crispy already without turning?

  22. This looks so delicious. I can taste the pork just looking at the picture. I recently became a vegetarian, but I remember the taste of lechon when I ate meat. I grew up around a lot of Filipinos and I now live near Little Manila in NYC, so the smells of Filipino food always fills the air. It’s hard to be a vegetarian around so much yummy Filipino food!

  23. Charlotte says:

    Hi Connie,

    Did the pork / oven smoke too much? I don’t want to set off the smoke detector. I have a regular (big) convection oven but not outdoors like yours.


  24. Jamie says:

    oh no!!! I failed to read the “convection” oven part! I was too excited to try this one that I failed to read the *note!

    I’m doing it anyway…I just hope the result will be good, if not the same. I’ll let you know what the outcome is.

  25. andie says:

    hi ms. connie! i just have to share that this is a spot-on recipe! tried this last week and it turned out delicious!! at first i thought the skin didn’t crisp up in my broiler bec it didn’t look like yours (not as brown and no ‘popped’ skin). pero when i chopped it, sobrang lutong! tried and tested talaga lahat ng recipe nyo and i want to thank you as always for sharing. i’ve been reading your blog since 2006, from the time i was single till now that i am married. and am really grateful for all that you have shared. more power to you!

  26. arlene says:

    hi connie, i tried this with my convection oven and it turned out perfect! thanks

  27. mae says:

    Hi, Connie! Thanks for posting this. I’ve been cooking lechon kawali in oil and had no luck in making the skin crispy.

    I saw this posting 6 months ago and I finally got the chance to try it yesterday. I was very surprised on how well it turned out! It was very crispy and I think healthier than deep frying! :)

    I boiled the pork butt for over an hour the night before and froze it. Thawed it out in the fridge and placed it on a grill rack like you said. After 10 minutes in my oven (not using convection) on 475 degrees, the skin started to pop already and there’s no oil splatter at all! I did alter the cooking times based on what I saw. I noticed after 25 minutes the batch I was cooking was 50% crispy (skin-wise). So, I baked it for another 15 minutes and it was about 75% crispy. I decided to take it out and let it rest for 20 minutes. I put it back in again for another 15-20 minutes and it was 100% crispy.

    Besides adjusting the cooking time, I was very impressed with this technique. I didn’t know that you can cook lechon kawali without frying it in oil and that baking it in high heat can make the skin real crispy.

    Thank you for posting it!

  28. Ed says:

    Thanks for the posting this.
    Ive been cooking lechon kawali using this method for a month now.

    But this is what i did

    1. Boiled the pork for 45 minutes or so until it becomes tender. Salt and bay leaves
    2. Left it outside the house (temp outside was -10 or so with windchill to -22
    3. Fry it till it becomes slightly brown. I think about 25% brown. Low heat
    4. Dried it using paper towel
    5. Left it outside to cool and again theres the windchill factor
    6. Convection oven 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then switch it to broil at 500 degrees for 2 minutes

    And its really crispy. And also really noisy because Of the fire alarm. Hahahahhaa.

    Also i tried cooking it without frying and made
    Lechon kawali sisig.

    Again thanks for posting this connie

  29. Thanks for sharing! I really must get an oven.. :)

  30. takamsalechon says:


    I think I have a traditional oven. It has a rotiserie on top with the hot grill.

    I have tried cooking lechon kawali in this oven before just by using the gas range but after 2.5 hours of baking, it never became crispy. It was a chewy rubbery skin but the meat was good. I am going to try grilling it after baking for a few minutes, how high do you think I can place the meat? Right under the grill or the second rack below that?


  31. Camille says:

    Thanks for this – will definitely try it!

    Do you have other recipes for convection ovens? We bought one for our mom (Asahi) and we have no idea (yet) on what to cook or bake with it!:)


  32. Valerie Te says:

    Omg!! I just read the part where you did not use the xonventional oven!! My pork is in the oven right now with no foil!! I’m not sure how it will turn out!! Wish me luck!