Thursday, August 10, 2017

Instant Pot Lechon Kawali

     I'm so happy I've finally made the attempt to make on of my favorite Filipino comfort foods in the Instant Pot which was Lechon  Kawali. I've made this several times in the oven but with its high fat content and with the high oven temperature, it would smoke out my kitchen. Plus it took a while for it to cook too. So since I've been slowly trying to convert nearly everything I cook via stove top or oven,   I knew there had to be a way to at least prep cook the pork belly and finish off with broiling the top layer of fat.

     My local Costco sells pork belly cut into about 2-inch or so thick slices. I normally use his cut of meat to marinate in a char siu sauce and layer grill on the BBQ. I finally had a very late epiphany to try to make Lechon Kawali with it and finally did so a few days ago. I just seasoned each pork slice with black pepper and garlic salt, added 1 cup of water to the IP liner, and set the cooking time for 20 minutes. Once done I sliced each pork piece and baked for 10 minutes. Set oven to broil and broiled each side for about 7 minutes each time. Everything worked in my favor and it turned out SO delicious! 

     I maybe could have broiled it a little more longer but I got impatience and hungry 😝. Next time I make this though, I'm going to try the baking and broiling without slicing up the pork beforehand. I'll just leave it in whole slices so I can get the top layer of fat more crispier. 

     After the Lechon was done cooking, I turned it into a specialty dish well known at a local Filipino restaurant in Hawaii (Thelma's of Waipahu) called the Thelma's Special. Which is pretty much lechon with chipped yellow onions, chopped tomatoes, and seasoned with shoyu and apple cider vinegar. I got my Waipahu raised hubby's seal of approval and said it's nearly like the real thing 😄. So for your eating pleasure here is the recipe.



4 lbs boneless pork belly 
Black pepper 
Garlic salt
1 cup water


Season all sides of pork belly with black pepper and garlic salt. Add water to instant pot liner. Add pork slices to liner. Cover with lid and set timer to manual for 20 minutes. Be sure valve is at sealing. When timer is done, let NPR 10 minutes and then QPR. Heat oven to bake at 400 degrees. Remove pork from IP. Slice pork into 1-inch pieces and place onto wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. When done, change oven temperature to broil. Broil one side of pork for about 7 minutes or until you see it crisping over enough...just keep your eye on it. Remove from oven and flip pork pieces to opposite side and broil the other side to repeat process. Once done remove from oven and let cool. Serve with lechon sauce or use pork to make your very own "Thelma's Special".



2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup shoyu
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar


Place cooked lechon in bowl. Add tomatoes and onions. Mix shoyu and vinegar. Pour about half of mixture over pork and vegetables. Add more to taste. Then ENJOY!


  1. Aloha! I have been following you, especially your Instant Pot recipes. You are great, especially for me being Filipino and grew up in Hawaii. So different and unique from all the other bloggers out there. Anyway, I thought you should know :) ~ this pork lechon kawali has been a staple for me and all of my brothers and sisters. lol.

    1. HI! Thanks for stopping by and enjoying the recipes. I apologize for the late reply. I'm terrible with keeping up with this blog but I'm trying to be better at it. Keep on visiting and be on the lookout for more recipe postings :).