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Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Lechon

November 10, 2014

No family gathering or party is complete without a plate of chopped lechon or a roast pig delivered right before the meal starts. Some of us love drowning the rice in sarsa before eating spoonfuls of the juicy meat, while others join the Hunger Games-like race to get the crispiest skin on the plate. In the Philippines, Cebu lechon has gained worldwide recognition, but other provinces have their own unique touches to roasting a pig. Some of the identical preparation methods lechoneros share include coating the pig’s skin in soy sauce, coconut water, or even milk to give the pig color. But it’s the type of stuffing, specific cooking time, and the kind of pigs used that distinguishes one lechon from another. To find out how a pig is prepared before it’s roasted to become lechon, we had Charlie Gaw of Sabroso Lechon show us his business’ own process. Sabroso takes its preparation methods from Bacolod, as the province’s own way results in a more fragrant flavor and prevents that “nakakaumay” effect one usually gets from eating pork.

Step 1: Stick a stainless steel rod or bamboo pole through the pig’s body

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The belly part should be cut open before placing the rod inside. Tie the hands and feet of the pig to prevent them from coming apart during roasting.

Step 2: Prepare the ingredients for the lechon stuffing

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Bacolod lechon stuffing uses salt, batuan fruit, and lemongrass.

Step 3: Spread the salt by reaching the hand into the stomach cavity

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After the salt, place pieces of the batuan fruit inside the pig.

Step 4: Fold the lemongrass (tanglad in Filipino) before stuffing them inside the pig

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Two large bundles of lemongrass were placed inside this pig.

Step 5: Sew up the stomach cavity or belly opening using an oversized needle wire and kitchen twine

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Pour coconut water, milk, or soy sauce on the pig. Roast the pig according to the time it will be served. After the pig is roasted, remove the rod before preparing the lechon for serving.

Step 6: Chop at the neck to remove the head

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Step 7: Remove all of the lemongrass

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Step 8: Start cutting at the backbone until the end of the pig

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Don’t forget to remove the stitch sealing the belly.

Step 9: Cut the pig according to the desired parts

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Ribs are best served with the meat still on the bone.

What type of lechon do you like to have during parties or family gatherings? Does your own province have its own way of preparing lechon? Sound off in the comments section below!

Gela Velasco Gela Velasco

Gela is a young adult slowly settling into her late twenties. She likes to make a mess in the kitchen when no one’s looking, dance till dawn on long weekends, and dream about beef on lazy afternoons. On some days she learns how to write good in graduate school. Her life goals include sashaying somewhat like Beyonce and to write a cover story on Leonardo di Caprio.

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9 comments in this post SHOW

9 responses to “Here’s a Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Lechon”

  1. Never really bothered to know how lechon was made before, but it’s actually pretty fascinating! Is it as interesting in person?

  2. Volts Sanchez says:

    Step 10
    Check your blood pressure.

    Damn, that looks good!

  3. Chastine says:

    Lechon from Tanauan, a few minutes away from Tacloban City, are the best! Lechon from Tacloban are good too. They’re fragrant and flavorful – no sarsa needed. You need only a dipping sauce of vinegar, crushed garlic, sliced onions, and a little bit of salt, and you’re all set! I’ve always wondered why people from Metro Manila eat their lechon with loads of sarsa or Mang Tomas.

    • Nguyen Vung Tau says:

      Chastine,.Tinatanong mo kung bakit gusto namin na kainin ang litson na may sarsa ni mang tomas,simple lang ang sagot,.ito kasi ang gusto namin at tulad mo na simple lang kainin ang litson na sinasawsaw lang sa suka na may bawang at sibuyas,ito kasi ang gusto mo o ninyo,.’wag ka na ulit magtatanong sa sarili kung bakit ang ibang tao ay hindi kagaya mo at sasakit lang ang ulo mo,.okay? sige kakain muna ako at ang ulam ko ay litson na sawsawang mang tomas.

  4. Mia says:

    I’d love to read about how to make stuffed lechon. I think it’s quite different. I recently heard about Pepita’s Kitchen’s lechon truffle. It’s lechon with truffle rice inside. Quite interesting.

  5. Jay Yuki says:

    This post… just made me hungry & craving for lechon… 😀
    I dont have a particular fave…
    All of them are so sinfully heaven good…
    But I still think that lechon roasted with 7Up basted on it has the crispiest & unique tasting skin… 😀

  6. Amy says:

    What does “roast the meat according to the time it will be served” mean?

  7. boc villamor says:

    a 25-30kg (dead weight) carcass takes 5hrs to cook.

  8. boc villamor says:

    20-25kg – 4hrs
    15-20kg – 3hrs
    10-15kg – 2hrs

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