Lechon is a Spanish word meaning “suckling pig”. In the Philippines, Lechon always means a whole roasted pig commonly known as Lechon Baboy. Beef and chicken are also popular as lechon commonly known as Lechon Baka and Lechon Manok, respectively.
The method of cooking the lechon is that the whole pig is roasted slowly over live charcoal. This method is also similar to the way the Chinese Peking duck or the Balines Guling celeng is cooked. The tedious method of long-hours roasting the whole pig leaves the meat very tender inside and a crispy skin outside.
The lechon is a popular dish in any of the festivities in the Philippines such as fiestas, holiday seasons, and special occasions like birthdays, weddings, and other family gatherings. It is said that celebrations are not complete without the lechon as the table’s centerpiece. It is always served with a liver-based sauce making it more tasteful and delicious.
The lechon kawali is another version of lechon in the Philippines. The method of cooking includes boiling the pieces of pork first then fry till it turns into golden brown.
The leftover lechon is recycled in the Philippines. It is easily turned into another delicious dish called Lechon Paksiw.
In Manila, Philippines, La Loma is the popular place where one can buy the delicious lechon. Many food establishments are selling it throughout the year in this area.
Cebu City, Philippines is famous for cooking the mouthwatering lechon. Other regions in the Philippines have their own way to cook lechon but the ones from Cebu City are the favorite. The lechons are air-shipped from Cebu City to different food establishments throughout the Philippines.
The lechon in Cebu City has its own distinctive taste that is why it is the Filipinos’ favorite. Cooking lechon is very simple but arduous.
A whole pig is cleaned very well, taking the pig’s internal organs out at the belly’s opening. After cleaning, seasonings are stuffed into the pig’s stomach such as garlic, onions, soy sauce, lemongrass, salt, and monosodium glutamate. The measurements of the seasonings are according to the desired taste.
When the seasonings are all stuffed in, the pig’s stomach is stitched to keep the seasonings from spilling out. The whole pig is impaled on a clean bamboo pole like a barbecue. The pig is then bathed in soy sauce and roasted over live charcoal.
The average time for roasting the pig is about two hours. When it is cooked, the pig is now turned into a lechon. A crispy and juicy lechon can really satisfy your appetite.