3 Ways To Cook Crispy + Delicious Lechon Kawali
No craving for liempo and lechon kawali will go unsatisfied if you know how to use your kitchen appliances to their maximum potential. Whether your stove suddenly runs out of gas or the electricity goes down, you have a way to cook a meal that's satisfying and delicious.
The well-beloved lechon kawali is a great example of a favorite family meal. The beauty of this recipe is that it's a make-ahead recipe. You can tenderize any number of pork liempo slabs on a day you have some extra time, wrap each in foil, and then chill or freeze until ready to cook. The boiled and chilled pork is perfect for getting that extra crunchy skin on the outside as well as super tender and moist pork on the inside.
If you're one of those people who have a number of appliances you don't use very often, take a look at these three ways to cook this pork cut so you can start using those appliances every day.
1 Deep Fry It
The most classic way to cook the crispiest lechon kawali is on the stove. It's a two-step process: boil the whole liempo slab in seasoned water until tender (you can even use a pressure cooker to speed up the process) before deep-frying in hot oil until crispy.
The trick to cooking it with confidence is using a large pot (should be bigger than the liempo) and cooking one pork liempo at a time. Add just enough hot oil to submerge the liempo then heat it up. Once at the right deep frying temperature, use tongs to slowly lower the cold pork into the hot oil. The hot oil will sizzle at the beginning, so you can place the lid on immediately after placing the pork for the first 5 minutes until it stops sizzling violently. Then remove the lid and let it cook until the entire liempo is browned and crispy. Repeat with the other pork liempo slabs you're cooking, and dinner is served!
2 Use Hot Air
Don't let its space-age looks fool you into thinking it can't cook an entire liempo in an air fryer. It can. The incredible thing with air fryers is that it's essentially an oven with a convection fan function. But since the basket is extremely small (it's just the right size to fit 1 to 2 pieces of pork liempo), the hot air circulating around the pork pieces ensure that no spot is left uncooked. Not only that, there's no need to chill or freeze the pork once tender nor is there a need to add extra oil to cook the pork.
The air will dry off any moisture from the surface of the pork, ensuring you get crispy pork, while the natural fats in the pork will render out on its own, creating a natural baste for the liempo. Pull out the basket and you'll see exactly how browned and crispy the liempo gets with just hot air blowing through it.
Got a turbo broiler? It uses the same concept as the air fryer since the fan and heating coil is located on the top.
3 Roast It
Before the fancy appliances, there was the oven. Using the oven to cook lechon kawali is just as easy as on the stovetop. In fact, it's easier because the oven, once preheated, retains heat. You can leave it to cook on its own while you can do other kitchen tasks, unlike a stove which need constant vigilance. Plus, there's no danger of any of those dreaded oil splatters when you roast the liempo in the oven.
Any appliance with a heating source can cook pork liempo into the lechon kawali you love. Take a look at these recipes to see how you can maximize the use of your kitchen appliances so you can become more confident in using each one and still create delicious and enjoyable meals.