Recipe: Oven Roasted Pork Belly (Lechon Cebu-Style)

Melt in your mouth goodness, topped with crispy oven-baked skin

As requested by my good friend Cindy, I am posting this recipe. I made this for her when she came to visit me in Switzerland last year. This is a workaround recipe and caters to anyone out there who, like me, is far away from home and do not have ready access to lechon.

– 1 kilo  slab of pork belly with skin on
– 6 stalks lemon grass
– 1 medium size garlic, peeled and crushed
– salt and pepper to taste
– water
– 2 tbsp soya sauce

– Foil
– Aluminum rack
– Metal-based baking pan

1. Preheat oven at 150 degrees C.
2. Wrap the baking pan with aluminum foil. This ensures that you do not have a lot of drippings sticking on your pan making it relatively difficult to clean up after, or if you have a teflon pan, it will not ruin the protective coating of your pan.
3. Cut up lemon grass stalks into 1-1.5 inches and spread it all around your pan.
4. Peel and crush garlic cloves and spread around your pan.
5. Wash the meat and rub salt and freshly crushed pepper on it. Also season the marinade of lemon grass and garlic with salt and pepper.
6. Put the aluminum rack on top of the pan and add water to the same level of the rack.
7. Place the meat over the rack, making sure that that the meat is tightly sealing all sides of the pan. Use a pan that is the same size of your meat to ensure that you lock up the moisture while baking the meat.
8. Bake meat for 2 hours in 150 degrees.
9. After 2 hours, check if the meat is tender and if necessary, add some more water (if it has already dried up).
10. Brush soya sauce on the skin and bake the meat at 180 degrees for another hour or so, brushing soya sauce on the skin every half an hour.
11. If the skin is not yet crispy, increase the baking temperature (adding air) to 220 degrees, checking every 15 minutes. The skin should be crispy and reddish.
12. Cut and serve as desired.

You may also make a gravy from the fat drippings, but this is very unhealthy, so I would not share the recipe here!

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15 Responses to Recipe: Oven Roasted Pork Belly (Lechon Cebu-Style)

  1. ellen bustamante says:

    Hello. Thanks for your recipe. I really want to do roasted pig. i find your recipe very good. But theres no measurement in salt. Its very important my dear friend. I hope you can share with me.

    God bless.

  2. admin says:

    Hi Ellen,
    Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, I am very unconventional in the kitchen and I do not really follow standard recipe. Rub salt and pepper as desired… :-) Enjoy it!

  3. Rose says:


    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe I love it! <3

  4. jojie sigle says: deliscious kaayo.I’ll try this recipe one of these state doesnt have filipino I will surely follow your recipe..labina cebuano jud ang timplada..thanks for sharing your it.!

  5. Dorene says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I’d just like to clarify was the pork resting on the lemongrass in the rack? Or are the lemongrass below the rack and filled with the water?

    • rhea says:

      Hi Dorene,
      Thanks for dropping by my blog. I have done it both ways. I am leaning towards the meat resting on lemongrass simply because it makes it tastier. There is no right and wrong, only what makes your palate happier. :-) It doesn’t affect the tenderness of the meat, if you are wondering having the meat touch the water will affect how the meat cooks in the oven. Just don’t fill it up with too much water that it will bloat the meat, but just enough to keep it most. Dry heat has the tendency to dry up the meat, thus putting water is advised. Enjoy your lechon… and do keep me posted how it goes… would love to see a picture how it turns out!


  6. Gaye says:

    I insert lemongrass bulbs or grass all over the pork meat. It comes out fragrant.

  7. 'nakPanu says:

    Just wondering; would loosely covering the meat with foil work in lieu of a “snug-meat in a pan?”
    about the amount of salt, i always start with 1/4 tsp/lb of meat and work my way up.
    So, soy sauce on pork skin ha….

    • rhea says:

      Hi ‘nakPanu!
      Thanks for dropping a line here. I have never tried the foil trick so I couldn’t really say if it will work. I did remember using foil once to protect my pan and it was very difficult to clean.
      Yes, the soy sauce trick works wonders!

      Hope you enjoy it!

  8. Zanne says:

    instead of the pork belly flat on the rack, you can roll up the pork belly with the lemongrass and garlic inside it and tie it up into a log roll. Season the skin as desired. It comes out perfect! Like a little roasted lechon.

  9. via says:

    tried it and it was perfectly delicious. thank you for sharing . :)

  10. monica al says:

    Can you clarify the way you set the meat up in the oven? I know you put the lemon grass and garlic on the bottom of the baking pan, add water, sit the meat on a rack above the water…do you have any sort of cover on the meat? Or just let it bake as I just described? Thanks, and I am excited to try this! P.S. I’m thinking Mang Tomas lechon sauce?

  11. Vanessa says:

    Thank you for sharing! I tried it and it’s great! I’m going to try to customize it a bit to experiment.

  12. ethel says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe I will try this on Saturday. Just wondering if I should leave it covered after I brushed soya sauce on the skin? Thank you.

  13. jonathan says:


    How can i cook lechon without too much smoke?

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