Its been years since I last had my lechon back home in Manila. One great thing in Dubai is … Pork is allowed in this city! Yay!!!
It was Christmas 2014 when my Mom visited Dubai and spent the holidays with me and my Beau, first time I made this and guests absolutely loved it.. On occasions, friends would personally request this from us for their birthdays.
For my fellow Filipinos living abroad and craving for Lechon, you might find my recipe helpful to satisfy your craving for Cebu Lechon.
4 kgs of Pork belly (need the whole slab)
5 bundles of Lemongrass
4 bundles of spring onions
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 white onions, chopped
4-5 pcs Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper
4 tbs. Soy Sauce
5 tbs. Fish sauce
7-8 tbs water
Cotton String for Meat
Wash the pork belly with running water. Making sure no hair are left on the skin. Pat dry the meat with kitchen tissue.
Once meat is dry, poke the skin as well as the meat. This will allow the ingredients to set in later.
Marination: (I don’t boil or marinade the pork with water)
Instead, sprinkle generous amount of salt and pepper unto the meat and massage the fish sauce on the meat and skin.
Pound the bulbs of lemongrass and scatter on the meat along with spring onions, chopped white onions, garlic and bay leaves, at this time you will smell the aroma of it.
Wrap your meat with cling film and leave it for 6-8 hours.
Preheat your oven to 350ºF ( best to roast this at medium temp and slow cooking)
Whilst you are preheating your oven, prepare your pork belly to be tied up.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the meat part prior to rolling.
Roll and tie your meat tightly. Once rolled and tied, once again massage the skin with a little fish sauce.
Place the pork to the oven and let it stand for 3 hours.
You will notice the pork has started to get cooked and skin is turning brown.
Pull the pork once and brush the skin with water+soy sauce mixture. This will make your skin crunchy, shiny and reddish brown.
Roast the pork for another hour and half and finito!
Enjoy your Lechon Belly!
(tip: if you want the skin of your lechon to taste like lechon kawali, after 3 hours of slow cooking, light up the heat on top instead of the bottom stove, this will give direct heat to the skin, giving you the lechon kawali feeling.)