Roasted pork belly roll could be new lechon

WOODSIDE, NY – The roasted pork belly roll or lechon liempo is becoming a hit among kababayans here in the US as the latest must-have in Filipino gatherings.

“We’re so used to having a big lechon, but no one ever eats the head or legs,” Payag Filipino restaurant customer Romeo Pastor said. “This is the best presentation for lechon because they only take the most delicious parts.

“Lechon is really a famous delicacy in Cebu, and many new food trends have emerged over the years from pork belly,” Payag Filipino Executive Chef Rap-Rap Cruz said. “Early 2000, they started it in Cebu and we’re bringing it here to America.”

While it may be more challenging to cook a a whole suckling pig at home or in restaurants like Payag, Chef Cruz says cooking a slab of pork belly is as easy as roasting turkey.

Here’s how to make it:

First step, debone a 10-pound pork belly, then rub the pork slab with seasonings and stuff it with herbs.

Cruz said, “We have lemon grass, we have green onions, garlic, pepper and our special spices at Payag.”

Roll it, tie it with butcher’s twine, and roast it in an open fire or in a regular oven.

Five hours of roasting later and you have a crispy and juicy pork belly lechon roll that can serve up to 15 people.

Payag owner Rena Avendula said, “ On Thanksgiving we called this the new turkey. I think it’s the new trend — the new lechon.”

At $50 to $80 dollars a roll, it’s a more affordable choice for lechon lovers.

Peter Jacobs, a San Franciscan visiting New York said, “If you’re a little bit skittish about seeing the full pig when you’re eating, it’s nice not to. But I’m not skittish. I just find it real tasty and delicious.”

Peter’s partner, Onie Tibay said, “It’s delicious. It’s tender, juicy, and tasty.”

After becoming a big hit in the Philippines, Chef Cruz says this 2015 the pork belly lechon roll is expected to make its way to more Filipino communities in the US.




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  • Phim
    8 January 2015 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    This is actually nothing new. Aside from our Phimnoyfoods’ Lechon, Lechon Pork Belly has been one of my best sellers since 2006! We are the first and only Online Pinoy Restaurant serving the whole of USA!