Cebu Style Lechon

This is my take on the celebrated Philippine dish of Lechon. In the Philippines it is served at celebrations and is usually made using a whole suckling pig roasted on a spit over charcoal. The overnight brining and the long slow cook results in exquisite, meltingly tender pork meat and the crispest of skin which shatters when you smash it up to serve. Incidentally a great dish to make using one of our Monolith BBQ’s.

May 26, 2020
: 4
: Overnight plus 15 min
: 5 hrs
: Overnight 5hrs 15 min
: Very Easy

So simple, and yet so delicious!


  • 1kg boneless pork belly
  • 60g salt
  • 2 litres water
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 4 spring onions, top and tail then bundled
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, smashed then bundled
  • 3 star anise
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Step 1 Prepare the brine by dissolving 60g salt in the water in a deep dish. Cut the string and unroll the pork belly and lay so it is submerged in the brine. Leave overnight in the fridge, or at least for a minimum 4 hours.
  • Step 2 The next day pre-heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/ gas mark 1.
  • Step 3 Remove the belly from the brine and pat dry using kitchen towel.
  • Step 4 Turn the pork belly meat-side up on a dry surface. Season with the sea salt and black pepper. Pop the garlic and star anise on top of the meat and arrange the spring onions and lemongrass so the stalks stick out at either end of the roll. Roll the meat and tie tightly with cooking string. Place it in a rack in a roasting tray to allow the juices to run down into the tray during the long slow cook.
  • Step 5 Cook for 5 hours, turning the joint every hour to ensure even cooking. For the last 40 minutes of the cooking time increase the heat to 200’C/180’C fan/gas mark 6 until the skin becomes crispy.
  • Step 6 Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 7 Delicious served on its own on a platter with the crisp skin smashed into shards with the juicy, tender pork pulled apart, or on a plate with fragrant rice and salads.
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Filed Under: By Ingredient, Pork