Kitchen Chronicles : Oven-Baked Lechon Kawali

Monday, August 10, 2015

At 20-something, I know I should start taking care of my body. When medical professionals told me my metabolism would start slowing down at this age, I didn't know they weren't kidding. I started to feel ~old~ about 6 months ago, when I got out of the hospital. I was admitted for over a week due to a problem with my Liver and Gastritis. My health drastically went downhill from there. I wasn't allowed to eat solid food for a while, I was prohibited from eating spicy and sour food, I couldn't drink alcohol and I was advised not to smoke. I was also REQUIRED to drink a lot of water. This was the hardest for me. I don't like water, that may come as a surprise to some, but I really loathe water. I mean, it's boring, it's tasteless and I bloat easily. I also have a tendency to pee every now and then because I don't know, tiny bladder perhaps? But whatever, it's very inconvenient! But we all know it's good for us so kids and whoever is reading this, 8-10 glasses or more per day!

With that, I've been trying to re-invent how I cook my food. One time, I was craving for Lechon Kawali but then remembered how painful the whole cooking process is and all the fat and oil that comes along with deep frying. I was wondering if it's possible to ~bake~ the pork since I've been addicted to oven-baked everything since I got a mini oven! I know this defeats the purpose of naming it Lechon Kawali but who cares?! It's as yummy so fuck off!

I also don't know if it's considered baking since I set the oven in broil mode. But I figured naming it Oven-Baked Lechon Kawali sounds prettier than Oven-Broiled Lechon Kawali, what do you think? Well, it doesn't really matter since I've already edited the photo that says Oven-Baked so....for this recipe, you'll need the following ingredients : 

  • Pork Belly
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  1. Put water in a pot, enough for the amount of meat you have, and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, you can add the meat and the garlic. Boil for about 30-40 minutes, or until tender. 
  2. Once your meat is tender, remove from the pot and let it cool for about 15 minutes. While waiting for the meat to cool down, set your oven to Broil mode and start pre-heating at 270°C.  
  3. After the meat has cooled down, rub with salt and pepper. You can also experiment with other herbs and spices but since it was my first time, I decided to go with the basics. 
  4. Arrange your meat in a greased oven-safe tray.Your oven should be ready by the time you're done arranging the pork on the tray.
  5. Cook each side for about 10-15 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your pork, it can be shorter or longer. Just make sure you check once in a while. 
  6. After both sides have been cooked to crispy perfection, you can take it out and slice it into serving sizes. Et voila! Lechon Kawali without all the grease! Well, of course Pork belly is still greasy but you get the drift. 
You can choose to serve it as is or with a side of Mang Tomas or a concoction of soy sauce + vinegar + onion + sugar + chilies, adjust the taste to your liking. Also best paired with a cup rice! 

I know this isn't as healthy as going organic all the way, but do I get points for trying? At least it's not deep-fried? No? Okay, lol. I don't really care but I guarantee you that it tastes the same as when it's deep-fried minus all the extra oil! If you plan on doing it the same way, let me know how it turns out! I don't usually give measurements because I estimate everything and adjust when needed. Hopefully the recipe works for you even without the measurements. 

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