This lechon belly recipe is an oven roasted pork belly rolled and stuffed with herbs and spices. This is sometimes known as Cebuchon because as far as I know this dish is popular in Cebu city. Unlike the tradition cooking of lechon belly, which is using a bed of charcoal, roasting it in an oven would make the cooking easier and simpler. But, if you want it to taste like the original boneless lechon Cebu, I would prefer roasting is on a rotating charcoal spit rotisserie if you have one. But I think using the oven rotisserie can be used so the cooking process will be easier. You don’t need to turn the pork belly on the rack. It will also cook the skin evenly and prevent burning it on one side.
Another technique on cooking this pork belly is brining the meat. Brine is a salt solution that is use to brine meat by skilled chef to enhance the flavor and moisture of the meat. Although brine is only composed of water and salt, which is enough to make the meat more savory and moist, adding herbs and spices to the brine will make it even more savory and delicious! Try it I’m sure you will love it.
Cooking lechon belly is easier than cooking the whole lechon and some people say that it is more tasty than the whole roasted pig because the flavor is absorbed by the meat by marinating and stuffing it with aromatics and spices. There are also varied techniques in cooking this lechon belly. The instructions here is wrapping it in aluminum foil and roasting it in the oven for 2 hours then removing the foil and roasting it for another hour.
The reason is the foil will prevent burning the skin while still raw inside. Covering it will insure that the meat is cooked inside and crispy crackling skin outside. You can also boil the pork belly on its marinade before roasting to shorten its cooking time. There are also some alternatives if oven is not available. You can use turbo broiler and a stove top oven but you need longer cooking time.
How to Cook Lechon Belly (Boneless Lechon)
- 2 kilos whole pork belly slab remove the bones if any
For the marinade-brine:
- 1 stalk of lemon grass chopped
- 1 stalk leeks chopped
- 2 pieces of laurel bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp. ground black peppercorn
- 5 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup rock salt
- 5 cups of water
For the stuffings:
- 1 stalk lemon grass
- 1 stalk leeks
- 1 pc onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
For the skin rub:
- 1/4 cup rock salt for rubbing the skin
How to Cook Lechon Belly:
- Wash and clean the pork belly slab in running water. Drain.
- In a medium size pot, prepare the brine by combining the water, lemon grass, leeks, bay leaves, pepper corns, garlic, sugar and salt.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes to release the aroma and flavor of the herbs and spices. Turn off heat and let it cool.
- Put the pork belly slab and submerge in the flavored brine and place in a refrigerator. Let it soak overnight for best result.
- After brining, wash the pork belly in running water and pat dry.
- Place the pork belly in a flat surface and place in the center the stuffings: lemon grass, leeks, garlic and onion.
- Roll the pork belly like a jelly roll and tie it with twine until it is secured and will not open up and spill the stuffing.
- To make the lechon skin even more crispy and have a crackling skin, do this extra step: Poke a paring knife or fork on the skin. Rub salt all over the skin and meat then place the pork belly in a refrigerator to chill for few hours.
- Place the pork belly in a roasting pan with a rack and cover with aluminum foil.
- Place in a preheated oven 190°C and roast for 2 hours. Then after 2 hours, remove the foil, continue roasting for another hour until the skin is crispy. Serve hot.
- In case the skin is not yet crackling crispy, extend the cooking time to 45 minutes to 1 hour and raise the temperature to 220°C.
Correction: In some of the comments below, star ratings were mistakenly included. These have now been removed for transparency. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
Nice recipe of yours! This can help anyone who wants to make lechon belly at home. Thank you for sharing 😊
Hello po okay lang po ba nauna ko na iroll bago ko Imarinate sa brine ?kasi natali ko na siya with stuffing parang kung tatagalin ko pa ulit .
Follow up po ginagamit ko po air fryer ngayon kso parang matigas masyado ung balat tsaka laman after maluto.ano po kaya ung mali?
Iba siguro ang air fryer di ko rin alam kung bakit ganun. Try nyo sa conventional oven baka mas ok dun.
Yes po pwede i marinate kahit na i roll na.
I’m not exaggerating but this is the best lechon I’ve had in awhile. Hands down, incredible. Hindi din sya nakaka umay and it’s not oozing with oil!
It was tasty but the skin wasn’t crispy, which isn’t a big factor for me.
HI Marvin, thanks for the kind and inspiring words! and about the lechon belly skin, I think it will be solved by drying the skin with paper towels then rubbing it with salt.
Hi! I’m planning to make this for my family. Just needed some tips though for cooking it in an industrial gas oven without the rotisserie. Is there a way to evenly cook it still and also have all sides of the skin equally crispy? Thanks!
Ask ko Lang Kung dumidikit ba Yung balat sa aluminum foil? Pano maiiwasan to? Thank you!
Hi Marti, hindi po dumidikit yung foil kasi hindi pa naman sya lutong luto. Parang steam bake lang muna kasi pag may aluminum foil. Aalisin din naman bago sya lutuin hanggang maging crispy yung balat.
hello po sir sarap ng recipe mo but question lang po what if lagyan ng 5 spices powder bago e role or sa pag brining maganda din kaya? at may nakikita din ako sa iba na ni lalagyan nila ng tubig na may mixture ng spices and herbs sa luob ng oven sa roasting time, para saan at magandan din kaya? salamat in advance
Hi Nimatsu, thanks for you comment. Yung nabanggit mo tungkol sa tubig sa roasting pan, siguro hindi na kailangan kasi babalutin mo naman ng aluminum foil yung pork sa first 2 hours. Tsaka parang magiging steaming at hindi roasting ang mangyayari. Yung iba kasi kaya nilalagyan ng tubig ay para gawing sauce yung drippings sa roasting pan para siguro hindi masunog yung drippings.
Thank you sir manny for the reply, sana Ok ang kalabasan ng luto ko. Happy thanksgiving from Canada
Hi, I will try this recipe sa thanksgiving, kaya lang ang oven na gamit ko walang roast. Bake and broil lang, ok lang ba sa broil? Kelangan din ba bawasan ang temperature at cooking time kapag sa broil? Thank you and God Bless!
Hi Rico, hindi ko sure kung kailangan bawasan ang cooking time kung broil pero makikita mo naman siguro kung luto na yung lechon belly kung malutong na balat nya. Basta wag lang ma overcook. Yung temperature naman pareho lang sa roast. Pagkakaiba lang siguro ng broil sa roast ay may apoy sa ilalim at ibabaw (sa loob) ng oven pag roast, sa broil sa ibabaw lang.
followed instructions and the taste is perfect
,very savory.however the skin did not look anywhere near your posted picture.
it was crispy but tough.what did i do wrong?
Hi Ruby, maybe you need to cook it longer. Try cooking it in 180°F for 3 hours first. Then increase the heat to 375°F and cook it for another 2 hours.
Hello Kabayan Manny, Like the rest of my fellow kababayan it’s also my first doing this lechon belly. So excited about doing it, because of the video you see how crackling that skin is once you start cutting into it after you put that meat inside the oven. I followed the instruction to the “T” but somehow fell short-my lechon belly even though the flavor was good and the meat was moist, the skin wasn’t as crispy as it supposed to be. What do you think I did wrong. Appreciate your comments. Salamat na lang Kabayan.
Hi Mario, probably you need to increase the temperature or increase the cooking time.
If I wanted to boil the belly first before putting into the oven…Should I use the brine where it was soaked overnight? How long shall I boil and wouldn’t it be too salty?
In addition if I decided to boil should I stuffed it first and roll? TIA
Hi Irene, boiling the pork with the marinade is ok because some have done the same. If in doubt regarding the saltiness just add water in the brine. I think one hour boiling it is enough and yes put the stuffings and roll before boiling.
If I’m making more than 2 lbs of pork belly like 5 lbs how will I put it in the oven?
Roasting in the oven you mean baking it at 375 degrees ,right?
Will try this recipe for Easter Sunday
Hi Elvira, not sure what you mean on how will you put it in the oven. Are you asking how long will it take to cook 5 lbs of pork belly? Roasting is basically the same as baking in the oven.
Hii. Followed the recipe. Problem is the skin was not crispy . I wonder why? And it didn’t turn brown well after an hour
Hi Cris, Maybe the oven temperature is too low.
Hi Manny. This is my first time to make your recipe for the pork belly lechon. I have a question though. I overdid buying the pork belly at an asian market and got 8.5lbs. I cut it in 2 to make one for my house and the other for my mom. Doing so, does this mean i need more cooking time (in foil and without the foil) based on the weight of each slab? And if so, how long usually per per additional pound do you think i should cook it.
Hi Jayri, since you already cut the slab in 2, then each slab is 4.25lbs or 2 kilos. So I think there is no need for additional cooking time.
can i use same method of time if i use 5kg of pork
Kung hnd ko na po sya ma marinate na 6-8hrs(not enough time na po kc) nabasa ko po sa mga comment n pwedeng pakuluan n lng, tapos kung pakukulan dapat ilagay na din ung stuff nya? Kpg po ganun ilang oras pakukuluan at ilang oras na lng iturbo?
Hi Ron, pwede mo pakuluan ng 1 hour the iturbo mo ng 1 hour.
Hi! I’m only making half of the recipe. Should I lessen cooking times?
Hi Karina, yes you need to lessen the cooking time.
Is it okay to roast it in a pit?
Hi Kleng, its alright to roast on a spit.
Good day sir! Pwede po bang i roast sa turbo broiler yung lechon roll with foil for two hours then. Ilagay muna sa ref or freezer? Then pag papalutungin na yung balat on the day of serving bagon ilagay ulit sa turbo broiler? Will putting the cooked piece of lechon roll in the ref or freezer affect the crispiness of the skin? Is it better to do it all at once?
Hi Jay, not sure if the result will be the same but I think it’s okay to store it in the ref then roast it when needed. I think it is similar to cooking crispy pata. Where the pata is stored in the refrigerator after boiling then deep fried.
Hello sir interesting po ung pagluto ng lechon belly.ask kolang po pagkatanggal kopo ba ng foil continue ko pa rin ba iluto ng another 1hr dipo ba pedeng pagpahingahin muna ung turbo broiler for ilang minutes kasi mainit
Hi Xavier, pwede naman yung pahinga muna tapos iluto mo ulit for another 1 hour.
hello. I will try this recipe looks so delicious and crispy. my question is.. do I need to wrap the meat in foil or just cover the roasting pan? thank u
Hi Marichel, yes can cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil. But it is better to wrap it.
can I use traeger grill para to roast???? or oven is still preferred? many thanks!!!
Hi Mary, honestly I’m not familiar with the traeger grill but based on the videos I’ve seen promoting traeger grill, it says it works like a wood fired oven and you can set the temperature like an oven. So I think you can use it and might turn out better because the traditional lechon belly is cooked in a charcoal spit rotisserie.
Hi…can i deep fry the belly instead of oven / roasting?
Hi Gambie, you can fry it but it will turn into lechon kawali.
Hi Manny! What instructions do i tell the local market for this cut? Is this just regular liempo that’s not sliced yet? Thanks!
Hi Angie, yes I think its just a regular liempo slab that you see on meat vendors but usually they are already cut in small slices. Maybe you should ask the vendor if they have a whole 2 kilo liempo slab available to be sure.
Hi Sir Manny, First time ko sana magluto nito. May tanung lang po. Ung oven ko is indicating low and high heat lang po ang nakalagay. Anung gagamitin kong temp low or high and anung burner sa aas o sa baba? And ung sa sinabi nyo po na pwedeng pakuluan ung belly sa marinade tapos pwedeng wala ng foil gamitin. Gaano naman katagal sa oven un?
Hi Ron, siguro yung burner sa taas ang dapat gamitin kasi kailangan ung init ng burner sa liempo mismo nakatapat. Tungkol naman sa pinakuluan na pork belly, siguro mga 1 to 2 hours and cooking time.
Hi Sir Manny, First time ko sana magluto nito. Tanung ko lang po kasi ung oven ko may burner sa taas and sa baba anung gagamitin ko? Di kasi sya pwede pagsabayin. Second po ung indicator ng heat ang nakalagay lang is high and low lang po. Ano pong level gagamitin ko?
Hi Ron, Kailangan kasi talaga alam mo yung temperature ng oven para maluto ng maayos. Siguro mas maganda bumili ka ng oven thermometer.
Nancy Reyes Lumen
Hi I stepped into this and the belly looks belly belly nam nam!!! hmmm. thanks fr sharing the techniques. I also brine with a 16:1:1: formula (16 parts water to 1 part white sugar to 1 part rock salt. Some make the mistake of using fine salt – dapat rock salt… I will try your method here in Houston Texas…only this is ( a lotof the pork bellies here are not so fat—eh gusto ko mataba under the skin para really crispy…Thanks for sharing this. I am now a follower!
Hi Nancy, thanks and its an honor to be visited by the famous “Adobo Queen”. Thanks for your tips and sharing your experience!
hi mr. manny can u give me a tip on how to cook it with the traditional lechon kasi wala po kaming oven hehe..thank you in advance..
Hi Clacky, will you roast it using charcoal spit? I think the preparation is the same as roasting it in the oven.
ok.. ill wrap it with foil pa rin? or pwd ng wala?
Yes you need to wrap it because the skin will burn before the inside part of the meat is cooked.
Hi Patricia, I think it helps to do the milk wash even if there is no skin but it will not be the same as with the skin on it.
Hi! Quick question… do you want I still need to do the milkwash even though it doesn’t have the skin?i just noticed my butcher took it off (bummer!)
Hi Manny, I am about to cook this. Some people say best to brush oil on the pork instead of milk/water. Is this true? Thanks
Hi Peachy, I think the milk/water mixture is for the skin to have a reddish brown color and since the pork belly usually have a layer of fat, using oil is optional. But maybe you can try both using oil and milk/water mixture.
Can I use rotisserie with this?
Hi Joy, I think you can use a rotisserie. Just follow that instructions in the recipe and you are good to go.
This is the most amazing recipe for lechon. Thank you for sharing!
Hi Leeh, thanks for the compliments! Cheers!
Hi Manny, i plan of cooking this, pwede kaya boil ko muna pork belly slab , then stuffed it , tapos turbo broil ko?
Hi Annette, yes pwede mo pakuluan sa marinade pero dapat stuffed mo muna. Then turbo broil mo na.
Sir is it okay to use the rotisserie in oven for this recipe?or just place it in a pan?
Hi Leah, I think you can also use the rotisserie and the same procedure as in the roasting pan (e.g. cover with aluminum foil).
Will deep frying it make the skin crispier?
Hi Rosatita, if you fry it, it will become lechon kawali.
Used this recipe for our noche buena. It was perfect! Di nakakasawa or nakakaumay. Kahit kabukasan masarap parin.
Hi Joy, thanks for sharing your experience! I really appreciate it. Thanks!
Pwd po ba iboil muna ang rolled belly before ilagay sa oven?
Hi Emma, yes you can boil it in the marinade. Then there is no need to cover it with aluminum foil.
Helo po sir, ask ko lang po kung deredretsong 370f ung temp ng oven or need bawasan?
Hi RJ, just maintain the temperature to 370°F hanggang matapos ang pagluluto.
D po ba sobrang Alat ung measurement ng salt?
Hi Aileen, hindi po sobrang alat yung dami nung asin kasi pang marinade lang po ito. 5 cups na tubig and gagamitin kaya tama lang po yun. Kaya nga tinawag na brine mixture yun. Yung iba nga pinapahiran pa ng asin yung balat para lalong maging malutong. Gaya ng pagluto ng lechon kawali pinapahiran ng asin bago iprito.
If i’m using the turbo, do I need to wrap it in aluminum foil?i’m gonna try this on Christmas eve.
Hi Joyce, yes you need to wrap it in aluminum foil to shield it from the heat for 2 hours just like when you are cooking it in an oven.
Eugene Steve R Genzola
Can i use microwave oven
Hi Eugene, In my opinion you can’t use microwave oven but I’ve seen recipes roasting pork in a microwave convection oven and the skin is not crackling crispy.
My turbo temp is max of 250/275 only. Can i still proceed cooking the lechon belly?
Hi Bern, I think you should not proceed. You need 375°F temperature.
I think the 250deg in your turbo is in celsius. This recipe requires 370 deg farenheit. So convert this to,Fahrenheit , it will be 188 deg in your turbo oven to be able to cook this recipe.
Hi Manny, after brushing with milk/water, can i still massage the skin with rock salt? I understand salt helps absorb water from skin that makes it even crispier. Thanks.
Hi ED, I think you can also do that. I read in some articles that salt makes the skin crispier.
How to achieve the crispy skin? Mine was so hard.
Hi Nelle, did you follow all the instructions on the recipe? I can only guess why the skin is hard. I think the oven is not hot enough. Preheat the oven as per instruction and don’t be tempted to open the oven frequently while roasting. The skin should puff up like cooking chicharon or fried pork rind. If the temperature is too low the skin will not achieve the perfect crackling.
Maria Ilma Andresen
Hi. My husband requested this for our dinner today. Its already in brine overnight. But i have a question, can i use a fresh whole milk instead of evap milk?
Hi Maria Ilma, there is a difference between evaporated milk and fresh whole milk. Evaporated milk is half the water content of whole milk. Anyway, you can use it but you don’t need to dilute it with water. You can also simmer the whole milk a little bit to make is more dense.
pwede po bang igrill nalang instead of oven kapag nkabrine method? thanks po..
Hi Ford, pwede roast sa charcoal yung parang sa lechon manok.
great recipe. Just have a question on the milk water mixture: what does the milk do exactly?
Hi Martin, milk makes the skin color reddish brown when roasted. Thanks for your comment!
Excited to try cooking this… yay!!
Is it ok to use pork shoulder instead of belly?
Hi Maila, pork belly slab is more practical in cooking this dish because it is hard to put the fillings on pork shoulder and roll it like a jelly roll.
My passion is cooking,I cook all different type of food and work in restaurant P/T for 40 years, at first I didn’t believe / impossible for the skin will ever / can be” Crisp”after brine and brush with milk mixture ” Too Wet ” as opposite to Chinese crispy skin pork ” Siu Yuk” cooking .which is absolute must ” DRY “skin before and during cooking . but after 2 hrs ,then 1 hrs without the foil , the pork belly came out perfectly crisp and taste heaven … according to my brother in law .. and he is a Filipino . Thanks for the recipe , I will cook this in my next family gathering dinner .” to show off “
Hi Bill, thanks for that wonderful feedback! I’m happy that it came out perfectly! Cheers!
Hi Bige, I think convectional roast is better than the others since air is circulating in the oven which will make cooking evenly.
Hi what can i use in cooking the belly? Convectional bake? Or just bake? Or convectional roast? Or broil?
I’m trying this right now with a pork butt on a Kamado Grill, though not stuffed. Looking forward to this !
Hi BJ, good luck and thanks for sharing your experience in cooking this lechon belly recipe.
Hi Sir, can i use a convection oven?.i just don’t know the difference between those ovens.after wrapping it in aluminum foil do i need to put something on the pan before putting on the lechon?.and how long do i need to preheat the oven?.thanks
Hi Grace, I think a convection oven is better since the air is circulating that makes even cooking. That is only my opinion it’s up to you what is best. Regarding how long to preheat the oven, as long as the desired temperature is reached, you can place the lechon belly in the oven. There is no need to put anything on the pan before putting the lechon.
I’ll definitely be cooking this mouth-watering media noche star tonight using this recipe! Thanks, Manny, for sharing this.
Hi Jam, you’re welcome! Cheers!
Ill be trying this for the first time and hoping it is really good..wish me luck!
Hi Janice, I know you can do it! Good luck!
Can i cut the marinating time to 6hrs, i have no enough time to marinate this overnight. TIA
Hi Rampz, as far as I know overnight means 6 to 8 hours.
Do i need to put water in the pan during the cooking period?
Hi Jenny, I think it is optional to put water in the pan. But I think it is not necessary.
Tried this recipe and its great. My mom initially made a mistake of boiling the pork along with the spices but that actually resulted to a really delicious boneless lechon… even cut the oven time to just 2 hours 😀
Hi Ofel, I’m delighted to know that your cooking is a success! Cheers!
can i know how long did your mum boil the pork belly? thinking of the same method! Manny, this looks delicious, the skin looks crispy…wow. I’m also thinking of stuffing some basmati rice in the belly, not sure if its doable, may not be able to stuff a lot of rice inside.
Hi Kiat, I think the first 2 hours of roasting it in the oven is almost the same as pre-boiling it since you have to cover it with aluminum foil. Anyway pre boiling it will cut the roasting time. As per your suggestion of stuffing it basmati rice, I think it can be done since there are lechon that they stuff with rice but it is wrapped in banana leaves first.
On Step 9, do I need to put cover it again with the same foil after brushing for the 2nd time? Or just let it out open for 1 more hour roasting? Thanks!
Hi Kristine, yes you are right you just let it open for 1 more hour of roasting.
Can we use a roaster oven instead of the regular oven?
Hi Kristi, I’m not sure if you can use a roaster oven and expect the same result of using a regular oven.
Do you use Brown or White sugar?
Hi Kathleen, It’s alright to use white or brown sugar. It’s only a matter of your own preference.