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Cebu Lechon (Suckling Pig)

Jonna Mae Magno from Philippines

Serves
16
Preparation
10
Cooks in
30
Country of origin
Philippines

Lechon is one of the most popular food in the Philippines that is loved by many, foreign or local. When it comes to the best Lechon, Cebu is the best place to go.

I was 22 years old when I went on my first solo travel experience in Cebu. Being scared as a first timer, I googled everything I needed to survive. I created my own itinerary. In my first morning in Cebu, I Skyped my mom and told her that I was alone. She knew I was going to Cebu but she did not know that I was alone so she was totally surprised. Yeah, that’s the rebel me. Anyway, I set foot for all the destinations on my DIY itinerary (by ‘set foot’, I mean literally! I walked my way to each of them) I would admit that I was lost at times, but I was also found. Do you wanna know how the famous Cebu Lechon found me?

Well, here goes my story. I have reached the last spot I wanted to see in Cebu on that day. Since I walked all day, I was tired and hungry. My legs were literally shaking. I was also a bit wet because of the rain shower from earlier the day. Talk about feeling feverish! I looked for a jeepney that could take me back to my hotel but the jeepneys in Cebu are number coded. Jeepneys are common in the Philippines but coded jeepneys are only in Cebu. Instead of seeing a signage of the destination, you would only see numbers. All signs were unfamiliar to me so when I saw a jeepney gong to SM Cebu, I grabbed the opportunity to ride on it. I was so hungry and I know SM malls would have some affordable fast food restos. I was also hoping that it would be easier to get back to my hotel since malls typically have jeepney stations for all destinations.

When I got inside the mall, I asked the lady guard about the location of the restos. To my surprise, she suggested a good place outside the mall called CNT Lechon so I can taste the famous Cebu Lechon. She was a true Cebuana. I found the place with the directions of locals and I must say, every bite of the Lechon skin is meltingly palatable!

Ingredients

  • Lechon: 1 whole native pig, salt and pepper, and soy sauce
  • Glaze: 1 liter of Sprite soda
  • Stuffing: 9 bundles of lemon grass
  • 1/4 cup star anise
  • 6 pieces of laurel or bay leaves (cut into small parts)
  • 5 cups of crushed garlic
  • 2 kilos green onion leave
  • 8 pieces of halved saba bananas. (half-cooked thru boiling)
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Method

  • Prepare the whole pig by shaving the hair follicles and removing the innards.
  • Then, get the salt and pepper and rub it to the whole body of the pig inside and outside.
  • Next, rub and massage the inside of the pig with soy sauce.
  • Combine the stuffing: anise, garlic, green onion leaves, and laurel. Then place it inside the body of the pig.
  • The last stuffing you should add is the lemon grass. It should be placed in the belly part of the pig.
  • After that, stitch the pig’s belly to ensure that no flavor and stuffing comes out.
  • Skewer the pig with a bamboo.
  • Start roasting the pig on blazing hot charcoal. Note: the charcoal should be on the sides of the pig not directly underneath.
  • From time to time, you can turn the bamboo so the pig would cook evenly.
  • The secret to a crispy lechon skin is the application of the glaze from time to time. You can use a sponge to apply it on the slow-roasting pig.

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