Lechon is the Spanish word for suckling pig. In the Philippines it is connoted with a roasted whole pig or lechon baboy. The process of lechon involves stuffing of lemon grass, garlic, soy sauce, salt, thyme vinegar and black peppercorn after that the whole pig/piglet is slowly roasted over charcoal. A small pig is roasted for about 3-4 hours and the larger one takes about 5-6 hours. This day-long and arduous method of roasting leaves a crispy skin and very moist meat inside.
Lechon is often cooked during national festivals, the holiday season, and other special occasions such as weddings, graduations, birthdays and baptismal or family get-togethers. The lechon is usually the highlight and the most popular dish of these events. It is usually served with a liver-based sauce.
Another version of lechon is called lechon kawali, involves boiling then frying pieces of pork. A part of a pig will be boiled and then deep fry till the meat is tender and the skin is crispy. One Filipino invented the pritchon (pritong lechon) which is deep fried whole lechon or “pritong biik” wrapped in pita wedges and served with different kinds of sauce.
The leftover of the lechon is recycled which is called lechon paksiw (Roast Suckling pig stew)
The Best Lechon in Asia
Time magazine, in its recent issue, hailed the Filipinos’ favorite roasted suckling pig or lechon as the “Best Pig” in Asia. In an article written by Lara Day entitled “Pork Art,” she said it was the review of TV chef Anthony Bourdain, “whose love of all things porcine is famous,” of the lechon that helped it gain international attention. Bourdain, with his show No Reservations, visited Cebu and declared that he had found the “best Roasted pig ever” Next to Bali and Cuba.
Lechon In Other Countries
In most regions, lechón is prepared throughout the year for any special occasion, during festivals, and the holidays. After seasoning, the pig is cooked by skewering the entire animal, entrails removed, on a large stick and cooking it in a pit filled with charcoal. The pig is placed over the charcoal, and the stick or rod it is attached to is turned in a rotisserie action.
Within Chinese cuisine, the pig is usually consumed in small quantities via siu meat within the siu mei category of Cantonese cuisine. When served as a whole, it is known as piglet, ru3 zhu1.
Suckling pig is known in German cuisine as Spanferkel. It can be roasted in the oven or grilled, and is often served at festive occasions such as Oktoberfest.
The suckling pig is still used in Cajun cuisine in the southern U.S., where the Cochon de Lait festival is held annually in the small town of Mansura, Louisiana. As its name implies, during this festival, suckling pigs are roasted and made into items such as pork rinds. Other uses for the suckling pig, throughout the nation, include slow roasting in the oven or (as in a Hawaiian-style pig roast) in a pit. The latter remains popular in the American Deep South. In Cuba, this dish is traditionally served on New Year’s Day. In this tradition, as in the Hawaiian luau, the pig is usually covered with banana leaves and cooked over a coal fire in a pit that’s dug in the backyard.
Babi guling (spiced roasted pig) is the most famous dish in Bali. Traditionally, babi guling is made with a whole suckling pig that has been stuffed with a fragrant bumbu (spice paste) and spit-roasted over a barbecue. Lemongrass, turmeric, galangal, and coriander make this one exquisitely flavorful pork dish.
Where you can buy the best lechon:
- Los Talas del Entrerriano
Brigadier Juan Manuel de Rosas, Av. 1391 – José León Suárez
25 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019
- Great NY Noodle Town
28 Bowery @ Bayard
- Big Wong King
67 Mott Street New York, NY 10013
194 Elizabeth St., New York, NY 10012
nr. Spring St.
- Daisy May’s BBQ USA
623 11th Ave. (corner of 46th St.)
New York, NY
- Osteria Marco
1453 Larimer Square
Denver, CO 80202
- Ongpin Restaurant
73 Camaritas Drive, So. San Francisco, CA 94080
Tel 650.615.9788 or 650.544.4408
- Milas Lechon
41 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City
Tel Nos.: 455-3070; 454-5332; 426-8615; 259-7640132 West Trade Center Ground Floor
West Avenue, Quezon City
Tel Nos.: 371-9061; 416-5987; 3719062
- La Loma
District of Quezon City
- Sabroso Lechon, inc.
Along E. Rodriguez cor. T. Morato
515 8253 , 515 8259 & 357 0659
- Zubuchon Cebu’s Best Lechon
CHAINS LIFESTYLE LINK SUNDAY MARKET
Banilad Town Center, Banilad, Cebu City
- CNT Lechon
1377 V. Rama Avenue
Guadalupe, Cebu City
Phone: (6332) 254-4249, (6332) 254-6641
- Porky Best/ Porky’s Lechon
Kawayan Matina Road, Davao City, Pilipinas
082 296 1289
- Lydia’s Lechon
49-A Roces Ave. Corner Scout Reyes, QC, (Philippines)
(632) 376-51-73, (632) 376-90-16
FAX: (632) 376-51-73
- Triple AC Lechon de Cebu
Santan St., Malaking Parang, San Jose, Antipolo City
Cell Number: (63-2) 09184409650/09083967302/09272822115
Contact:Ms. Maricor L. Sinco
- Charlie’s Pritchon the original pritong biik
43D Kalayaan Avenue,
Phone Number: (63 2) 921-0405, (63 2) 921-0415, (63 2) 426-5501, (63 918) 531-8851
- Anthony Bourdain No Reservation
- Visit Pinas
- Bill’s Barbecue
- Epicurious for people who love to eat
- ABS-CBN News
- The Philippine Star
- Wikipedia the free encyclopedia