Lechon Kawali (fried pork belly)

Lechon Kawali (fried pork belly)

Lechon Kawali is definitely in my top 10 for favorite Filipino foods.

1. It is pork belly
2. It is fried
3. It is crispy.
4. See # 1

What more could you ask for?

Pork belly is most widely used as bacon but is used quite often in Asian cuisines on dishes meant for any time of the day. In our household, we eat it stewed, slow-cooked, grilled, fried, or in soups. We cook Lechon Kawali maybe once every 3 months and consider this a cheat meal. Served with white rice, and liver sauce dip (Mang Tomas liver spread). Another favorite dip is vinegar with finely chopped garlic. Try it, it is yummy!


2 lbs of pork belly


3 cloves of garlic

3 tbsp fish sauce

1 bay leaf

2 tsp of peppercorn

2 tsp five spice

oil for deep frying

Clean pork belly.  Place the meat in the pot together with garlic, fish sauce, bay leaf and peppercorn. Cover the meat with water. The meat must be fully submerged in water. Bring to a boil over high heat. And lower the heat to low. Let it simmer for about an hour or until tender. Strain the meat and place them on a tray, skin side up. Using a fork, poke the whole surface of the skin repeatedly to let release oil and make the skin very crispy during frying. Sprinkle the five spice on the skin and spread. I cut the meat into smaller pieces, for easier cooking. Let it air in room temperature for at least 2 hours. Preheat oil to 375 deg f.  Slowly place the meat into the pan.  (Please be careful in frying pork belly. It splatters and oil may overflow the pan. I recommend using a deep fryer with a lid and vent to release steam. If you don’t have deep fryer, use a tall wide pan with the oil not more than a quarter of the pan.)  Cook it for about 8-10 mins. Until crispy. Serve with rice.




Warm kale and quinoa salad

Warm kale and quinoa salad
I am always hunting for new side dish ideas that my family would enjoy. The inspiration for this recipe was a quinoa salad that I ordered at “Be Our Guest” at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. It was delicious! It was filling but not too heavy.  I tweaked it a little with some ingredients I thought would work well, and that my family would love.



Serves 6

1/2 c rainbow quinoa (raw)

1 c chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. of olive oil

2 tbsp ghee or olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

1 medium onion

1/2 c shredded carrots

1 medium red bell pepper

1 head of broccoli

1 cup of mushroom

2 c of rainbow kale/ just kale roughly chopped

4 tbsp of simple vinaigrette (recipe below)

salt and pepper to taste

In a pan, mix the quinoa, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Add 1 crushed clove of garlic, a tsp. of olive oil and a dash of
salt. Place on high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to
medium and let it cook for about 15-20 mins. Add more stock
if the quinoa absorbs it all, but still needs to be cooked
more. Set aside and allow to cool.

While that is cooling, chop the remaining garlic
and mushrooms lengthwise. Cut the onions into strips and
broccoli into bite size pieces. Heat a pan or wok on high
heat. Add ghee or olive oil. Stir fry garlic first (do not
burn, or it will give bitter taste). Then add the carrots and onions. Stir continuously on high heat for 1 minute, then add
broccoli, mushrooms and kale. This will cook very quickly. I
like my stir fry crunchy or half cooked, so I cook it for
about 4 minutes. You can cook it longer if you want the
vegetables softer. Stir continuously. Transfer it to a mixing bowl and cover with a foil.

Loosen the cooked quinoa and discard the bay leaf. Add it to
the stirfried vegetables, with 4 tbsp of simple vinaigrette.
Stir until completely incorporated. Season with salt and
pepper, and add dressing as desired. Enjoy!


Simple Vinaigrette Dressing

1/4 c good olive oil

1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 cloves of garlic, pressed or chopped finely (more if you like your dressing garlicky)

1 tsp coconut sugar

1 tsp of aioli garlic mustard sauce

Salt and pepper to taste (about 1tsps of each)

Mix all the ingredients in a small air tight container. Seal
it and shake until incorporated. Refrigerate it for about 15
minutes. *To have a thicker dressing, you can either use
chilled ingredients or refrigerate the dressing mixture before