Lechon Carajay are crispy slices of pork belly that were boiled with spices and then deep fried until golden brown and crispy. This dish is the same as the popular lechon kawali and it can be served with a spicy vinegar and onion dipping sauce or the rich and tasty lechon sauce. If you want to be more adventurous with the dipping sauce, I found that the mixture of mayonnaise and bagoong also works great.
Lechon Carajay is prepared by boiling the pork belly with other spices. This makes the belly tender and lets it absorb the flavors of the spices that it was cooked with. To those of you who are not too familiar on how this dish is prepared, boiling the belly is a must because it helps get it light and crisp when deep fried; deep frying the belly without boiling it will not give you the same result in terms of texture.
I used my trusted deep fryer in making these crunchy morsels. It helps me cook the pork belly evenly and it shows me the current temperature of the oil. The best thing that I like about my deep fryer is that it keeps me at ease and not let me worry about oil splatters. I can simply cover the entire fryer with its special cover and just wait until the lechon carajay is done – meaning golden brown and crispy. Deep cooking pots can also be used to deep fry the belly, but you have to be very careful. Always have the cover of the pot with you as the oil can get really wild. Note that when you cover the cooking pot do not cover it completely. Leave a little opening so that steam can come out. Otherwise, the steam will just form into water on the base of the cover and it will drop back to the oil which causes more splatters.
Lechon carajay can be enjoyed as a main dish with rice or as an appetizer and pulutan. You can simply make a spicy vinegar dip for this dish or use lechon sauce. We have a recipe for lechon sauce wherein I showed how to make one from scratch. If in case there will be leftovers (which I doubt), you can make lechon paksiw out of these.
Try this Crispy Lechon Carajay Recipe. Send me your feedback by commenting below.
Watch the Lechon Carajay Cooking Video:
- 2 lbs. pork belly
- 6 pieces dried bay leaves
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 6 tablespoons salt
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 to 6 cups water
- 4 to 5 cups cooking oil, for deep frying
- In a cooking pot, bring water to a boil.
- Put-in the garlic, onion, dried bay leaves, and 3 tablespoons of salt. Let boil for 3 minutes.
- Add the pork belly. Cover and boil in medium heat for 40 minutes.
- Remove the boiled pork belly from the cooking pot and place in a clean plate. Let it cool down for a few minutes.
- Rub the remaining salt along with the garlic powder and ground black pepper all over the belly slices. Cover the belly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (this will let the meat absorb the flavors from the rub).
- Heat cooking oil in a large cooking pot or a deep fryer. Once the oil gets hot (around 375F), start to deep fry the pork belly per batch. Cook it until the color turns golden brown and the skin gets crisp. Note: be extra careful during this step.
- Remove the belly from the fryer and let the excess oil drip.
- Slice the deep fried lechon carajay into bite sized pieces. Arrange in a serving plate and serve with a dip composed of chopped onion, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili peppers.
- Serve. Share and enjoy!
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