• 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds pork belly
  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons salt, divided
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups cooking oil, for frying


  1. First slice and mince your garlic. Set aside.

  2. Place the pork belly, peppercorn, bay leaves, soy sauce, minced garlic, and 3 tablespoons of salt in a large pot. Cover with 4 cups of water.

  3. Cook the pork belly over medium-high heat until fork tender, about 30 minutes.

  4. Using a pair of tongs remove the pork belly from the pot to a wire cooling rack. Allow the meat to cool — about 15 minutes. When the pork belly has cooled, using your hands rub the remaining salt all over the surface of the meat. Transfer the meat to a plate and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour to dry out.

  5. Next, remove the pork belly from the refrigerator. Carefully slice the pork into cubes, about one-inch in thick.

  6. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. When the oil reaches, 350 degrees use a slotted spoon to place the cubed pork belly in the pot. Use a splatter guard to prevent hot oil splatters.

  7. Fry each side of the pork belly for 5 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove the pork belly with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Serve with Lechon sauce and rice. Enjoy!


  • 2 large pots
  • tongs
  • wire cooling rack
  • 2 plates
  • slotted spoon
  • splatter guard
  • paper towels

Lechon Kawali or crispy fried pork belly is a wildly popular Filipino dish, and for a good reason. It's astonishingly delicious! Lechon Kawali is also a relatively simple and straightforward meal and can be prepared in just a few steps.

First, boiling the pork belly is an essential step of ensuring not only the crispiness of the outside layer of your pork but also the tenderness and flavor of the meat. Home cooks will not achieve the same deliciously crunchy textures by skipping this step and going straight to deep-frying the pork belly in a vat of cooking oil. After boiling, salting and drying - deep-frying will provide the pork belly with a lovely golden outer crispy shell.

Choosing The Right Pork Belly For Your Dish

pork belly slabs

When selecting a slab of pork belly for your Lechon Kawali dish, choose a cut that is easily 1-1/2 inches thick with equal parts of fat and meat. A slice of pork belly that is thicker may result in an undesirable texture, such as dry or chewy rather than in a pleasing melt in your mouth feel.

Dipping Sauces For Lechon Kawali

lechon sauce

Traditionally Lechon Kawali is served with a side of steamed rice and dipping sauces. Dipping sauces may vary based on personal preference. The most common sauces for Lechon Kawali are spicy vinegar, a combination of soy sauce and vinegar, banana ketchup, Mang Tomas All Purpose Sauce, or homemade Lechon sauce.

Try your hand at preparing Lechon sauce from scratch using this homemade Lechon sauce recipe. Lechon sauce is a tasty, robust sauce consisting of liver pate, breadcrumbs, onion, and garlic. This flavorful sauce is an excellent addition to any Lechon Kawali dish!

Additional Filipino Recipes

Brittany Baxter

Lechon Kawali is one of many popular Filipino dishes! Explore the mesmerizing flavors of the Philippines in your home, by trying some of our favorite recipes:

Easy Filipino Chicken Adobo

Easy Filipino chicken adobo is a classic Filipino dish of chicken marinated in a hearty soy sauce, garlic, and vinegar mixture often served over steamed rice.

Quick And Easy Pancit Bihon And Lumpia

Quick and easy pancit bihon and lumpia is a delicious combination of delicate rice noodles with chicken and an assortment of vegetables. The pancit is served with a side of golden crispy spring rolls, filled with ground pork and vegetables.

Lechon Kawali is a crispy melt-in-your-mouth delight! This stunningly gratifying dish will quickly become a family favorite! We guarantee this meal will gain a spot in your recipe line-up to share with friends and family for years to come!

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