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Pork Belly Lechon (Bellychon)

December 31, 2019

Pork Belly Lechon (Bellychon)


The holiday season is upon us again. One of the things I miss dearly is having Lechon for Christmas lunch. Lechon is essentially a spit roasted pig. In the Philippines, it’s mainly served during special occasions. With its crispy skin and flavorful meat, it’s pretty much one of the stars during a holiday feast!

Pork belly lechon or Bellychon is a modernized version of this dish. Think of a Porchetta with a more Filipino twist. Instead of a roasting pit, one can make this with an oven. Working with just a belly slab is easier than trying to roast a whole suckling pig. Salt,pepper, sugar, bay leaves and scallions impart a rich salty flavor to the meat.

Majority of pork belly lechon (Bellychon) recipes call for lemongrass giving it more of a lechon cebu taste (Best pig ever according to Anthony Bourdain). Though it seems that this ingredient is not something readily available in Australian supermarkets. Even my local Asian grocers didn’t have it in stock.

The recipe I’ve developed doesn’t call for lemongrass making it more of a cross between Manila style and Cebu style. Majority of the ingredients can be found in western supermarkets which hopefully makes it easier to plan for. Given the seasoning and aromats are basic, one could make it during an ordinary day and make their meal a tad bit more special 🙂

Pork Belly Lechon (Bellychon)

Easy to make oven roasted Pork Belly Lechon

Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword lechon, pork belly
Prep Time 1 day 1 hour
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 4 People
Author KarinderyaChef

Sangkap | Ingredients


  • 1/2 piece onion thinly sliced
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp peppercorn
  • 2 pieces shallots/green onions
  • 5 pieces bay leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups cold water

Pork Belly Lechon

  • 1.2 - 1.5 kg pork belly
  • 1 piece onion thinly sliced
  • 3-4 pieces shallots/green onions cut diagonally
  • 3 pieces garlic cloves chopped
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • butcher twine

Pagluluto | Cooking Directions

Making the brine

  1. Combine brine ingredients into a saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil making sure the salt/sugar mixes with water
  3. Add cold water (or wait for brine to cool)
  4. Add pork belly to brine. Make sure brine covers pork belly
  5. Refrigerate for 6-24 hours

Prepping the pork belly

  1. Rinse pork belly under running water to remove excess salt

  2. Pat with towel to remove extra moisture
  3. Set oven to 200c (180c fan forced)
  4. Set pork skin side down
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Put onions/shallots/garlic in the middle of the pork belly
  7. Roll up pork from one end to the other end and tie with the butchers twine

Roasting the pork belly

  1. Wrap pork belly in tin foil
  2. Bake for 1.5 hours
  3. Remove from oven
  4. Remove foil
  5. Baste with milk
  6. Turn on oven's broiler function
  7. Put back into oven and bake for another 1-1.5 hours or until skin is crispy
  8. Let pork rest for 10-15 minutes

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