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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Lola’s Kitchen Tips: HOW TO SELECT THE FRESHEST PRODUCE (feat. PANASONIC’S AG CLEAN)

How to select fresh produce

You’re reading my blog right now probably because we share a common interest—we both love Filipino food. But our passion for the local cuisine should not start in the kitchen; it begins at the market. Knowing how to check the freshness of the foods and ingredients that you buy is just as important as cooking and food preparation.

Whether you shop at your neighborhood palengke or a posh supermarket, picking the freshest produce is a skill that one learns from experience. The freshness of the food that you buy will definitely affect the outcome of the food or dish that you prepare.

How to select fresh produce

I personally love grocery shopping and going to the market. There’s something about it that I find therapeutic. But I also understand that not everyone likes doing this chore, so I’ll make it easier for you with some of my tips on how to pick the best and the freshest produce. But first, here are my rules of thumb:

  • Support your local public or farmers’ market.
  • Use your senses of touch, smell, sight, and hearing. Taste if possible.
  • Preferably, shop in the morning. The early bird catches the worm!
  • Buy produce in season for the best price and taste.
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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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