Recipe #52: LECHONG KAWALI

Lechong Kawali

There was a classic jest at home when I was younger whenever we asked our lola what’s for dinner—she would respond that we’re having lechong kawali, then she would hand me the kawali (lechong kawali literally means roasted wok).

Of course, lechong kawali is neither a lechon (roast) nor a kawali (wok). It is what you make at home when you’re craving for a lechon, but don’t have the time or the luxury to buy or roast an entire pig. Lechon is usually only served during special occasions.

Filipinos created lechong kawali (perhaps with Chinese influence) as an attempt to ‘imitate’ the succulence of a lechon without all the fuss. Although this simple pork belly dish is not roasted, it is cooked twice: by boiling and deep frying. Some recipes require a second deep fry to achieve that crispy pork skin. Traditionally, the pork belly is cooked in a kawali hence the name, but any deep pan can be used.

Lechong kawali is quite similar to many Asian dishes such as the Chinese Siu Yuk and the Thai Moo Grob. Personally, nothing beats our local version when it comes to flavor.

Check out the recipe below:

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Recipe #51: PANDESAL

Pandesal recipe

Pandesal is one of my favorite breakfast carbs, next to garlic fried rice or sinangag. Perhaps, the most popular type of bread in the Philippines, pandesal or pan de sal is a simple yeast-raised bread that, despite its name (which is Spanish for salt bread), actually tastes sweeter than salty reflecting Pinoys‘ love for sweets.

If it’s your first time to bake bread, I tell you, this pandesal recipe is fairly easy to make. In fact, pandesal was the first type of bread that I made and it came out perfectly!

Although it’s important that you religiously follow any kind of recipe in baking, this pandesal recipe is very forgiving if you made minor mistakes in the process. For example, if you added too much liquid, you can always add more flour. You can also add filling, such as cheese, corned beef, or pork giniling for a tastier treat.

Pandesal recipe

Pandesal recipe

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Recipe #49: CRISPY PORK BELLY ROAST

I finally got a new oven! And it’s not just any oven, it’s the Breville Smart Oven!

YAYAY! I’m so excited!

I couldn’t be any happier since I got my hands on this gorgeous gadget. God knows how long I’ve been wanting to buy a new oven as I’ve been itching to learn how to bake. Yes, I’ve baked cookies and pasta before, but I’ve never really taken serious time to explore more intricate baked goodies. This means more exciting recipes ahead, so brace yourselves! 🙂

The Breville Smart Oven is a serious must have if you love baking, but I’ll tell you more about it some time next week. For now, let me share with you this delicious pork dish, which is absolutely one of my favorites in my Asian trips.

My Crispy Pork Belly Roast recipe is actually inspired by a popular Chinese pork belly dish that is usually served in the streets and restaurants all over Asia. I’ve tried so many variations of this dish, which is sometimes served with rice or stir-fried noodles. Many times, pork belly is deep fried to a perfect crisp. But today, we will roast it in the oven.

Crispy Pork Belly Roast

The original Chinese recipe uses five-spice powder, but I replaced it with garlic powder and paprika for some Filipino touch (I personally love the aromatic flavor of five-spice, but some people may not like it).

Hey, use any kind of spice that you like! However, the trick to turning the skin into cracklings is by making sure that it’s free from moisture. Score (or prick) the skin so that the vinegar will be absorbed which will make it ‘pop.’

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