Baked Lechon Belly

If there is one thing that Filipinos love, it is lechon. Cooking the whole pig can be somewhat difficult if you are doing this alone and can also be too much if you are feeding only your family. You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to have your lechon fix. You can actually create your own version of lechon at home with the help of your oven and this recipe.


  • 2 kilograms of Pork belly slab

For the brine:

  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 1 stalk spring onion
  • 2 pieces of laurel
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 5 whole cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup rock salt
  • 5 cups of water

For the filling:

  • 1 stalk of lemon grass
  • 1 stalk spring onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed


  1. Make the brine ahead of time to allow for proper cooling. 8 hours before brining is ideal. In a pot, place your 5 cups of water with the other brining ingredients, namely the lemon grass, bay leaves, onion, black peppercorn, garlic, and salt.
  2. Bring this to a boil and let the herbs steep in the water. Turn off the heat after 10 to 15 minutes and let the brine cool for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. To prepare the pork belly slab, first wash the pork slab properly and remove any hairs that are on the skin with tweezers. Stab the skin of the pork slab with a fork a few times to create “pores” that will absorb the brine as it marinates. Set aside.
  4. Place the pork in a basin and pour the cooled brine over it. Let this sit in your refrigerator for at least 10 hours, better if left to sit overnight.
  5. After the allocated time, remove the pork belly from the brine and wash under running water to remove excess saltiness. Wipe dry with a clean towel and place on a flat surface, skin side down.
  6. Place the stalks of spring onion, lemon grass, and chopped garlic in the middle of the slab. Roll the pork slab to form a roulade with the herbs in the middle. Tie this with cooking twine to hold the shape. Optional: Brush the outside of the pork with milk and let dry. You can also do this with Coke. This is to give the outside of the baked lechon belly a reddish brown color when it is cooked.
  7. Preheat your home or bakery oven to 375F or 190C.
  8. Put your lechon belly on a grill rack placed in a grill pan. Cover it with foil and place in the middle of the oven.
  9. Bake your pork belly lechon covered for 2 to 3 hours, then remove the foil to finish cooking and browning the outside. To ensure even cooking of the skin, turn the belly over every hour or so. Total cooking time can vary, depending on the thickness of the slab. This can take between 3 to 4 hours.
  10. If your oven has a rotisserie feature, you can cook the belly roll using this, covering the roll with foil for the first 2 hours then removing it and baking for the rest of the time uncovered until the outside is reddish brown and crispy.