Lemongrass and Garlic Pork Belly Roll

Words: Mikka Wee/Photography: Mylene Chung/Styling and Recipe Development: Katherine Jao /July 20, 2012


If heaven had a menu, what sort of food would it serve?

For decades, earthling imaginations have always dreamt about what heaven would feed its inhabitants. Some would like a river of San Miguel. Others would want a tower of chocolates. A few would love to stroll on a beach with fried rice as sand.

But we’re not that hard to please—all we want is one little dish.

So while you’re still mortal, here’s a sinful solution that will definitely appease your raging belly and turn you into a borderline glutton. And because gluttony is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, we are possibly shortlisted for eternal doom.

Just as there are several circles of hell, this Pork Belly Roll has its own circles of heart-stopping goodness.

The first circle is the crackling skin that’s so crispy, it’ll shake your soul away to a distant universe. The second circle is the buttery soft, melt-in-your mouth meat that’s as tender as a baby’s bottom. The third circle is filled with the infusion of lemongrass, garlic, and bell peppers that will give you an otherwordly sensory experience.

Consequently, both saints and sinners are sure to put away all their differences and lust over this deadly dish.  The greed that comes from not wanting to share is indeed inevitable, as well as the wrath in knowing that someone took a huge bite while you weren’t looking. Oh, and let’s not forget the sloth that comes as a result of eating more than you can carry. But most importantly, the pride that comes from preparing this simple yet tasty dish, with bystanders reeking of envy as they salivate over your precious slab of pork.

Yep, that’s a lot of sin alright. But don’t worry, it’s never too late to knock on heaven’s door and ask for forgiveness.

Lemongrass and Garlic Roast Pork Belly Roll

Yield: 8 servings


  • 3 kg pork belly, leave whole
  • 3 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 stalks lemongrass (white part only)
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled
  • 2 pcs bell pepper, sliced into strips


  1. Clean pork belly properly. Trim off excess fat and skin.
  2. Generously season with salt all over— put more salt on the meat and less on the skin.
  3. Lay skin side down.
  4. Arrange lemongrass, bell pepper and garlic in one line at the belly’s center and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  5. Roll belly into a log and tie with cooking string.
  6. Brush skin with the rest of the olive oil.
  7. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 380 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 3 hours.
  8. Remove foil and bake for another hour.
  9. Turn on broiler and broil pork until skin becomes crispy while turning the belly so that all sides are broiled.
  10. Serve with sarsa.

Mikka Wee

Managing Editor

Mikka Wee’s goal is to travel the world with a backpack stuffed with her books and not much of an itinerary. With an appetite thrice the size of her 5-foot frame, waffles are the one thing that makes her weak in the knees. She also likes to torture herself with sci-fi movie marathons until her brain turns into goop. Her list of not-so-secret culinary crushes includes David Chang, Ivan Orkin, Rene Redzepi, and Anthony Bourdain. Alexander Supertramp is her hero. See More.

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  • Holy Crap, that looks amazing. It shouldn’t be too hard getting the ingredients for this. I have a question about the oven, though. It says broiler, but I don’t understand what this means in terms of using an oven. My oven has about 6 settings: Heat on top, On bottom, on both top and bottom, and convection? (with fan) on any of those three.

    • Colleen

      Hi Kat,

      Read your comment, I think I can help. Your oven  sounds like it’s a pretty standard oven as far as North American ovens go, we just use really weird terms. 

      Heat on top only is called broiling, we call the element in the top of your oven a broiler or a grill. Heat on the top and the bottom alone is frequently called a roasting or roast setting and is great for slow cooking meats evenly. Heat just on the bottom is the bake setting, it’s also what the majority of north american cooks are usually referring to when they give an oven setting, and convection is convection all over the world. 

      Hope this helps!

      • Thanks for this Colleen. 🙂

      • Thanks for the info! Just a follow-up, though: does this mean that I have to keep on using heat on the bottom when I first bake this because this is usually what is referred to when they give an oven setting? Or can I just use my standard top-and-bottom setting without compromising the recipe?

  • This is definitely what they would serve in my version of heaven!!  Pork rules in my book, and pork belly even more so!  Doing this soon…

    • hahaha! Enjoy Joey! Hope you like the recipe!:D

  • Vinz

    Oh my, oh my!!!!!!!!!!! I’m about to start my diet soon and now I see this…DANG!!!!!! To die for!!!

    • hahaha! Screw diet, go eat! 1 week of exercise will definitely make up for it.XD haha!

  • Great flavors on this pork belly a.k.a. lechon! Love the photos ! I just roasted a whole slab of pork belly and here in the USA, it drove my friends crazy! I must try your recipe with lemongrass soon. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Elizabeth!! Glad you like the post! Try the recipe soon and tell us what you think!!:D Hope it doesn’t disappoint!

  • pepper.ph, you are going to be the death of me!

    • lol!! We’ll send you a heavenly feast while we’re at it!

  • kitkat

    OMG!!! This is L.U.T.H. (Level Up To the Highest) Great to feast on rainy days!  Can I use Turbo Broiler since I dont have an oven? Thanks.

    • You can but I can’t assure you’ll get the same crunchy popping skin. 🙂

  • Beautiful, I have to make this very soon.

  • Milca

    What can you substitute instead of lemongrass? 🙂

    • sandrita

      this is easy to find because groceries sell them in little bundles.

    • You can try other herbs and even ginger, galangal or pandan. 🙂

  • Alex Ca4160

    It’s a recipe that makes me want to become a non-practicing atheist and start believing in the concept of a superior and benign Being who guides us all.

  • CoolinaryGabey

    It looks like a cross between balamban liempo and porchetta. Also, this reminds me of MarketMan’s zubuliempo/boneless zubuchon. Stunning photos, btw. I bet this tasted as great as it looks. 🙂 New fan here. 🙂

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  • sandrita

    Yup, looks similar to projects by Marketman and Burnt Lumpia. We Pinoys love our pork belly 😀

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  • Dante Reveche

    i am trying it right now…

  • jarrold

    pede po ba sa turbo broiler?

    • Carlo

      I wish you’d respond to this comment. I think it’s a legitimate question. Don’t be a snob!

    • lindus

      pwedeng pwede!

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  • Eli

    What if I only have a 1.8kg meat?