Kitchen & Pantry

Fried lechon

No, I am not talking about lechon kawali (see my non-fried version). This is about day-old lechon that has been refrigerated overnight. In Filipino cooking tradition, leftover lechon is usually cooked as a sweet-sour stew, called paksiw na lechon. That’s what I do when the amount of leftover is good for several meals. But when there is only enough for one meal, is it worth the long hours of simmering? Here’s an alternative that I learned from my mother-in-law.

With a little cooking oil (not necessary if the lechon is very fatty and you have a non-stick pan), fry the leftover chopped lechon over very high heat. Sprinkle generously with rock salt and fry until the pieces are golden brown and crusted. Drain on paper towel, serve with garlic fried rice and it’s a delicious breakfast.

If you’re wondering why there is lechon in the house — and this should explain too the lack of posts for the last couple of days — our youngest child, Alex, will be off to college next week and, for the past three days, we have been attending to everything she’ll need. First, there was enrollment, then we had to hunt for a larger condo to rent that she’ll be sharing with her older sister, Sam (who’ll be a sophomore in the same school) and Sam’s best friend, Joan, who has been Sam’s roommate for the past year.

Needless to say, with me out of the house most of the time, not a lot of cooking got done. Last night, with Alex asleep at the backseat after a tiring day, we passed by Lydia’s lechon, I ordered a kilo of lechon and some fresh lumpiang ubod, brought them home and those were what we had for dinner. The kilo of lechon was too much for a meal, the leftovers were refrigerated and, this morning, we had the fried lechon for breakfast.

It is 8.01 a.m. as I compose this entry and, yes, ordinarily I’d still be asleep at this hour especially since, officially, summer break isn’t over for the girls yet. If you’re wondering why, at this hour, we’re already done with breakfast… well, I woke up to the sweetest sound I’ve heard in a long, long time — the sound of rain on my window pane. It was like music and I felt invigorated after all the sweltering humid weeks that we have been experiencing in this part of the world. This has been a particularly hot summer and the rains were so welcome. So, I got up, decided to fix breakfast and since it looks like it’s going to be comfortably cool all day, I think I’ll bake an eight-inch New York cheesecake in a while. Ah, the things I can accomplish when I don’t feel like passing out from the heat.

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