"A Filipino fiesta is never complete without a lechon. It is always the centerpiece of the groaning dining table".
Lechón is an Hispanic-style cuisine. The word Lechón originated from the Spanish term, meaning roasted suckling pig. Lechón is a popular cuisine in the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and other Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America, and Spain. The dish features a whole roasted pig, cooked in charcoal. The term Lechón is also used for roasted chicken, and beef cuisines.
Lechón is often cooked during the festival season (known as fiestas), the holiday season, and other special occasions. The cuisine is made by placing the pig on a large stick, and cooking it on a pit filled with flamed charcoal. The meat is placed on top of the flamed charcoal, and roasted on all side for several hours. The meat's own fat is used as cooking ingredients by wiping the skin with a brush made out of leaves drenched in water. This makes the skin crunchy. Lechon is served with sauce, plum sauce, vinegar, and other food preparation.
Other types of cooked meat such as Lechón asado, and Adobo are also a popular dish. In the Philippines, the term Lechón is also used to refer to meat cooked on a pit such as Lechón baka (roast beef), and Lechón manok (roast chicken).
There is another Philippine version of Lechón, known as Lechón kawali, and Paksiw na Lechón. Lechón kawali involves boiling the processed meat, and then frying the pieces of pork into a frying pan. The Paksiw na Lechón involves cooking the left-overs of the main-course Lechón by boiling it in a vinegar making the meat moist, and then stir-frying it along with marinated ingredients.
1 whole pig (about 20 kilos)
5-10 bundles lemon grass (tanglad)
20pcs. Banana (saba variety), peeled then halved or
20pcs. Taro (gabi), peeled
1. Clean and prepare the pig by removing innards, washing and scraping the body of bristles. Rinse and allow to drain a bit before stuffing
2. Rub with salt and pepper inside and out.
3. Rub soy sauce on the skin of the pig. This will make it nicely red when roasted.
4. Stuff the belly of the lechon with lemon grass along with saba and gabi. Sew to close.
5. Skewer the pig and split roast over live charcoal or traditionally, in some parts of Cebu, under live fire. Roast until crisp.
6. Serve with lechon sauce or alternative dipping sauce is - vinegar with scallions, pinch of sugar and pepper may be served along with it.
Tip: For the best lechon, it will be slowly roasted over hot coals for several hours. It has to be turned continuously in order for it to be cooked evenly. Several people will rotate in doing this tiring chore. All will be rewarded with so tasty eating when it's fully cooked.
Now, even Filipinos abroad/overseas can surprise their loved ones by preparing them this sumptuous meal for special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, fiestas, graduation and etc. Surprises really matters!... enjoy.