A Deeper Lechon Kawali Crunch

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The famous Lechon Baboy (Roasted Pig) of the Philippines is one thing but there is another Filipino dish that satisfies the craving for a good pork meat that has a deeper crunch to it.  Lechon Kawali has been a popular Filipino dish for a very long time now.  It is a pork belly dish that is deep fried.  The crunch from the bright golden brown pork skin is mighty delicious and the flavor of the meat is just perfect.  Dipping this in vinegar with a mix of soy and chili peppers makes Lechon Kawali all the more scrumptious.

How many of you remember the fiestas that you used to attend back home?  Lechon Kawali seems to be always present at the serving table ready to be devoured first.  It is embedded in our culture.  Don't we all miss that?  If you've been in America for a while now, you know what we mean here.  But what if you can do your own homemade Lechon Kawali right now?  Wouldn't that be something awesome?  Would that bring back memories of family bonding back home where food was largely a part of it?  Let's relive that experience here!

We want to share a simple Lechon Kawali recipe with you:

Ingredients:

2 lbs pork belly (boneless and skin-on) cut in half
8 large cloves garlic (minced)
Canola or peanut oil for frying (you can use vegetable oil as well)
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp black pepprecorns
4 bay leaves
salt to taste

(Dipping sauce)
1 part Soy sauce
2 parts Cane or Apple Cider vinegar
Hot chili peppers (your own preference)
-   mix and add more of each to your own taste.

Directions:
1.  In a large pot, add enough water to completely submerge pork belly meat, skin side down.  Add all the garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil (medium-high heat).  Lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about an hour until pork skin is tender (when knife can poke through with no resistance).

2.  Transfer pork to a wire rack set on a baking sheet.  Season pork liberally all over with salt.  Refrigerate pork overnight or until skin has completely dried.

3.  Remove pork from refrigerator and cut into 3/4-inch slices.

4.  Fry pork in a wok or Dutch oven with 4 inches of oil heated to 375°F over high heat.  Fry pork, in batches, to golden & deep brown where skin gets bubbled and crisped (about 7 to 10 minutes).  Transfer pork to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt to taste.  Cut pork slices into bite sizes and serve immediately with the vinegar mix for dipping.

We hope you'll enjoy this dish with your family and friends.

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