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Lechon Kawali

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

Super Delicious Filipino Crispy Fried Pork Belly with Papaya Salsa, Jasmin Rice, and Adobo Sauce.

What is Lechon Kawali?

Lechon Kawali is a Filipino dish where Lechon - Pig is deep fried in a wok - Kawali. The meat is traditionally served with Jasmin rice a selection of dipping sauces and one of them is prepared from pork liver - the Lechon sauce.

How to cook Lechon Kawali?

The most delicious food always takes a little bit more time to prepare. Slow-cooking the meat transforms it completely and the connective tissue changes into super soft gelatin.

The perfect range of cooking temperatures for this to happen is between 70C - 90C.

Lechon Kawali with Papaya Salsa & Adobo Dipping Sauce
Lechon Kawali

This recipe makes 4 portions

Ingredients for Lechon Kawali:

  • 700g (1,5 Pound) of pork belly boneless joint with skin (use the best quality as possible)

  • 6tbsp of soy sauce

  • 50g (1.7oz) piece of ginger

  • 5 garlic cloves

  • 20 peppercorns

  • 7 bay leaves

  • Enough water to cover pork belly in the slow cooker (around 1,5L)

  • 500ml of flavourless oil for deep frying

Ingrediends for Papaya Salsa:

  • 1 ripe Papaya

  • 10 ripe cherry tomatoes

  • 1 small red onion

  • 1 green chilli, seeds removed

  • 1/2 lime juice

  • 1tbsp of chopped parsley

  • 1/4tsp of salt

  • black pepper to taste

Ingredients for Adobo dipping sauce:

  • 1tbsp soy sauce

  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions for Pork:

1. Cut pork belly in half and place it in the slow-cooker or a large enough pot. Cover with water and add all the remaining Lechon Kawali ingredients. Place a lid on top and slow-cook on low for 12 hours, if using a stovetop method I recommend bringing the liquid to the simmer and lower it below that point so no movement of water is present (The ideal temperature zone is between 70C-90C (160F-200F)

2. Once the pork is ready, remove it very gently from the liquid, allow it to cool on the counter for 30 minutes and place it in the fridge until completely cooled (You can prepare it ahead and store it in the fridge for a couple of days).

Slow-Cooked Pork Belly Food Photography
Slow-Cooked Pork Belly

3. In a small pan preheat the oil ready for deep frying and slice the pork into bite-size pieces, some of them can be bigger and some smaller, which will give you slightly different textures.

Slow-Cooked Pork Belly Portions on the plate
Slow-Cooked Pork Belly Portions

4. Deep fry the pork pieces for around 2 minutes or until golden brown. Do it in 3 separate batches, make sure you give the oil enough time to heat back up again between the loads to achieve the maximum crispiness. The oil may splash a little so make sure to use a lid for the pot, but do not cover it completely. Remove the pork with a spider ladle and place it on a paper towel to drain the oil.

5. Ready to serve! Follow the instructions below for Papaya salsa.

Instructions for Papaya Salsa:

  1. Finely dice the small red onion and one green chilli, place it in the bowl and sprinkle with salt.

  2. Drizzle with the juice of 1/2 lime (you can also add zest if you like to).

  3. Add diced Papaya, cherry tomatoes cut into quarters and 1tbsp of chopped parsley.

  4. Season with black pepper, mix through and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Salsa tastes better with time so you can prepare it in advance as well.

  5. Serve with Lechon Kawali and Jasmin Rice. To prepare the Adobo sauce, simply mix equal amounts of balsamic vinegar with soy sauce. Enjoy!

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Papaya Salsa ingredients in the bowl
Papaya Salsa


  • Eating collagen/gelatin very is beneficial for our health, especially bones, ligaments, and cartilage. It also makes our skin and nails more flexible. If you want to look younger and erase some of your back pain this is the perfect addition to your diet.

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