Lechon Belly (Ala Lechon Cebu) Recipe

If you miss eating lechon, then you should try doing this lechon belly (ala lechon Cebu) recipe! It can guarantee the same taste as your favorite Cebu lechon!

Considered one of the unofficial dishes in the country, lechon is very popular among Filipinos. It is prepared all throughout the year and served for special occasions and festivals. Whenever you hear someone is preparing lechon, you can easily tell that they are celebrating something. It will be a feast!

Although lechon is a Spanish term used to describe roasted pig generally, this term often refers to adult roasted pig, not the young ones or milk suckling pigs (lechones). The dish or the tradition of roasting pigs also started prior to Spanish colonialism in the Philippines, as well as in other Austronesian regions.

Lechon can be prepared in two ways: Manila/Luzon or Visayan/Cebu way. The Manila/Luzon variant uses salt and pepper to season the pig. What makes it distinct is the liver-based sauce or lechon sauce, which is made from brown sugar, vinegar, mashed liver, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and breadcrumbs. The Cebu version, on the other hand, is prepared by stuffing the pig with herbs, including bay leaves, black peppercorn, garlic, scallion, salt, tanglad or lemongrass, and even leaves from tamarind trees or native citrus trees. It is then served with minimal dipping sauce, such as salt and vinegar or a mixture of soy sauce, chili, and calamansi. Nevertheless, you can already find lechon prepared by using these two techniques. Some people also use carbonated drinks!

This recipe is based on the Cebu way of cooking. Lechon belly is an easier way of cooking lechon. Only the pork belly part is used, and no roasting over charcoal is done. Instead, a turbo broiler is utilized. That is very convenient!

Are you ready to cook a feast for the family? Try this recipe now!

Lechon Belly (Ala Lechon Cebu) Recipe


  • Pork belly slab about 2 kilos
  • For the brine/marinade:
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass tanglad
  • 1 stalk on onion leeks scallion
  • 2 pieces of laurel bay leaves
  • 1 table spoon of ground black peppercorn
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • ½ cup rock salt
  • 5 cups of water
  • For the fillings:
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass tanglad
  • 1 stalk on onion leeks scallion
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • For the glaze:
  • 3 part of evaporated milk + 1 part of water


  • Wash the pork slab with running water and make sure that hairs on the skin are shaved.
  • In a casserole, put 5 cups of water then add lemon grass, leeks, bay leaves, onion, black peppercorn, garlic, and salt.
  • Make the brine/marinade: Bring water to boil then lower heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes. This will allow the herbs and spices to release its flavor and aroma.
  • Turn off heat. Set aside brine solution until it cools.
  • Pour the brine on the pork slab and marinate overnight
  • After marinating, remove the pork from the brine. The surface of the pork is quite salty so we have to rinse with fresh water then pat dry with paper towel.
  • Lay the pork slab on flat surface and place the rolled lemon grass, leek, and garlic.
  • Now roll up the pork slab, form a roulade with the garlic, leeks, and lemon grass on the center. Tie pork with twine (string) to keep its roulade in shape.
  • Brush the surface with mixture of milk and water. Set aside for at least an hour to allow milk to set in the skin. Milk makes the skin color reddish brown when roasted.
  • Set and preheat your turbo broiler (or oven) at 375 deg F (190 deg C). Maintain this temperature up to end of cooking.
  • Put the pork roulade on the turbo broiler but cover with aluminum foil. I put aluminum to cover the meat temporarily for the first 2 hours of cooking to shield the hot air from the oven fan otherwise the outer part of the pork will be cooked quickly yet the inner part is still half cooked.
  • After 2 hours remove the aluminum foil cover. Continue cooking but rotate the roulade, at least every 10 minutes to evenly cook the skin. Check if the skin is already crackling crispy then it is done.


One comment

  1. Fail.
    This milk glaze makes it difficult to remove the foil from meat. The foil sticks to the skin. When you remove the foil, the skin is removed altogether.

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