Lechon belly is a popular Filipino dish that is known for its succulent and crispy roasted pork belly. Traditionally, lechon belly is cooked over an open fire for several hours, resulting in a perfectly cooked meat with a crispy skin. However, not everyone has access to an open fire or a roasting pit, so cooking lechon belly in the oven is a great alternative.

Cooking lechon belly in the oven allows you to enjoy this delicious dish without the need for special equipment. It’s a straightforward process that requires a few key ingredients and some patience. By marinating the pork belly in a flavorful mixture of spices and cooking it at a low temperature, you can still achieve the same mouthwatering taste and crispy skin that lechon belly is known for.

This article will guide you through the steps to cook lechon belly in the oven. From preparing the pork belly and marinating it to achieving that perfect golden crispy skin, you’ll learn all the tips and tricks to create a delicious and impressive dish that will impress your family and friends.

So, whether you’re craving a taste of the Philippines or simply looking to try something new and exciting, cooking lechon belly in the oven is a fantastic option. With simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can create a dish that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Get ready to indulge in tender and flavorful meat with a satisfying crunch!

How to prepare lechon belly for oven cooking

Preparing lechon belly for oven cooking is a crucial step in achieving a mouth-watering and perfectly crispy lechon belly. Follow these steps to ensure that your lechon belly turns out flavorful and tender:

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 pounds of pork belly, boneless
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Instructions:

  1. Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the pork belly diagonally. This will help the skin to crisp up during oven cooking.
  2. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, minced garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, and paprika. Mix well to create a marinade.
  3. Place the pork belly in a large resealable bag or a deep dish. Pour the marinade over the pork belly, making sure it is well-coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  5. Remove the pork belly from the marinade and place it on a roasting rack in a baking pan. Make sure the skin is facing up.
  6. Pat dry the pork belly skin with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This will help to achieve a crispy skin.
  7. Season the pork belly with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
  8. Place the baking pan with the pork belly in the preheated oven and roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy, and the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).
  9. Once cooked, remove the lechon belly from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
  10. Serve the lechon belly with steamed rice and your favorite dipping sauce.
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Now that you know how to prepare lechon belly for oven cooking, you can enjoy this delicious Filipino dish in the comfort of your own home. Bon appétit!

Ingredients for lechon belly

Before you start cooking your delicious lechon belly in the oven, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients available:

Main Ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg pork belly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Marinade:

  • 4 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons calamansi juice
  • 4 tablespoons lemongrass, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Basting Sauce:

  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup

Make sure to gather all these ingredients before you proceed with the cooking process. Happy cooking!

Marinating the lechon belly

Marinating the lechon belly is an important step to infuse it with delicious flavors. Here’s how to marinate your lechon belly:

  1. Prepare the marinade by combining the following ingredients in a bowl:
    • 1 cup of soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup of vinegar
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon of sugar
    • 1 tablespoon of salt
    • 1 teaspoon of paprika
    • 1 teaspoon of chili powder (optional)
    • 1 tablespoon of calamansi juice (optional)
  2. Place the lechon belly in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag.
  3. Pour the marinade over the lechon belly, making sure it’s fully coated.
  4. Massage the marinade into the meat, ensuring that it reaches all parts of the lechon belly.
  5. Cover the bowl or seal the plastic bag, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Marinating the lechon belly overnight will result in a more flavorful and tender meat. Once marinated, you can proceed to cook the lechon belly in the oven according to your preferred recipe.

Preparing the lechon belly for oven cooking

Before you can start cooking lechon belly in the oven, it is important to prepare the belly properly to achieve that crispy and flavorful skin. Here are the steps to prepare the lechon belly:

1. Clean the lechon belly:

Clean the lechon belly thoroughly by rinsing it under cold water. Make sure to remove any dirt or impurities stuck on the surface. Pat dry the belly with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

2. Score the skin:

Using a sharp knife or a meat tenderizer with pointed ends, carefully score the skin of the lechon belly. This will help the skin absorb the flavors and make it crispy when cooked. Make shallow cuts in a diamond or crisscross pattern, being careful not to pierce through the meat.

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3. Season the belly:

Season the lechon belly generously with salt, pepper, and other desired seasonings. You can also add herbs and spices such as garlic, bay leaves, or thyme to enhance the flavor. Rub the seasonings all over the belly, making sure to get them into the scored skin and meat. Let the belly marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to penetrate.

4. Roll and tie the belly:

Roll the lechon belly tightly, starting from the longer side, until you form a cylindrical shape. Secure the rolled belly with butcher’s twine or kitchen string, tying it at regular intervals to hold its shape during cooking. Make sure the belly is evenly rolled so that it cooks uniformly.

5. Let the belly come to room temperature:

Before placing the lechon belly in the oven, allow it to come to room temperature for about an hour. This will ensure even cooking and prevent the meat from drying out.

By following these steps to prepare the lechon belly for oven cooking, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a delicious and crispy lechon belly right at home.

Cooking the lechon belly in the oven

Before cooking the lechon belly in the oven, it is important to properly marinate and prepare the meat. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Start by marinating the lechon belly. Use a mixture of garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and other preferred seasonings. Rub the marinade all over the meat and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
  3. Remove the lechon belly from the marinade and place it on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
  4. Cover the lechon belly with foil to prevent it from drying out during the cooking process.
  5. Place the lechon belly in the preheated oven and roast it for about 2 hours. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the meat, so it’s best to use a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  6. After about 2 hours, remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 400°F (204°C). This will help crisp up the skin.
  7. Continue roasting the lechon belly for an additional 30 minutes or until the skin becomes crispy and golden brown.
  8. Once the lechon belly is cooked to perfection, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  9. Serve the lechon belly with your preferred dipping sauce and enjoy!
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By following these simple steps, you can easily cook a delicious lechon belly in the oven. The result will be a succulent and flavorful meat with a crispy skin that will surely delight your taste buds.

Serving and enjoying your lechon belly

Once your lechon belly is perfectly roasted and golden brown, it’s time to serve and enjoy this delicious Filipino dish. Here are some tips to make the most out of your lechon belly:

1. Carving and Presentation

Carving the lechon belly is an art form in itself. Start by cutting through the crisp skin using a sharp knife. Once you’ve cut a portion, slowly slice through the succulent meat, making sure to get a good mix of the tender meat and crispy skin in each serving. Arrange the slices on a platter for an appealing presentation.

2. Serving Suggestions

Lechon belly can be enjoyed on its own as a main dish or paired with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some serving suggestions:

Side Dishes Dipping Sauces
Steamed white rice Mang Tomas sauce
Fresh vegetable salad Spicy vinegar dip
Garlic fried rice Soy sauce and calamansi

Feel free to get creative with your side dishes and sauces to complement the rich flavors of the lechon belly.

Now that you’ve put in the effort to prepare and cook the lechon belly, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy this mouthwatering Filipino dish with your family and friends. Happy eating!

FAQ

What is lechon belly?

Lechon belly is a popular Filipino dish made from a whole pork belly that is slow-roasted until the skin becomes crispy and the meat inside is tender and flavorful.

Can I cook lechon belly in the oven?

Yes, you can cook lechon belly in the oven. The oven provides a convenient and controlled cooking environment for achieving a crispy skin and juicy meat.

What is the best way to cook lechon belly in the oven?

The best way to cook lechon belly in the oven is to first marinate the pork belly with a flavorful mixture of spices and aromatics. Then, roast the pork belly at a high temperature to crisp the skin, and lower the temperature to cook the meat until tender.

How long does it take to cook lechon belly in the oven?

The cooking time for lechon belly in the oven depends on the size and thickness of the pork belly. On average, it can take about 3-4 hours to cook at a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius. It’s important to cook it slowly and patiently to achieve the desired crispy skin and tender meat.

What is lechon belly?

Lechon belly is a popular Filipino dish made from a whole slab of pork belly that is marinated and cooked until the skin becomes crispy and the meat is tender and flavorful.