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I once saw a pig being slaughtered practically in front of me in Bali. The screams and the frightened blue eyes (so human) were unsettling.

But no, it hasn't put me off babi guling or any other pork product. Yet.


I once saw a cow being dragged along the street towards the mosque for slaughter (this was Hari Raya Haji). It was definitely resisting - I understand that cows are actually quite intelligent. I didn't eat beef for a few years after that!



That was fascinating - even if it was a bit disturbing to see the lechon & soon-to-be-lechon piglets so close to each other. Thanks for this glimpse of making them!


yumyumyum... for me the spit-roasted piglets are the best! they're called "lechon de leche"... soo juicy, the skin so thin and crispy...

the sarsa (sauce) is made from the liver of the slain pig mixed with spices, vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, etc.


Mmmm. I love lechon. Here in California, my grandmother orders one every Thanksgiving. Although I only have it once a year, I make sure to bring home as many lechon leftovers as I can.

Nate 2.0

I see what you mean by indirect cooking - the coals are lined up in rows between the pigs, not directly underneath. I also notice that the pigs are roasted whole on a spit instead of butterflied as they do in the South. What amazes me is how smooth the skin is compared to the blistered product you see in Chinese roast pork stalls.


Roasted pigs make up an important part of culinary tradition in many Asian countries but also in Europe too. In Serbia, sucking pigs are taken to the local bakery (they have the biggest ovens) and roasted for parties, weddings or any other excuse to eat this delicacy. They are first brushed with a salt sloution or beer to give the skin a beautiful parchment like crunch. Its eaten usually at room temperature with vinegary cabbage salad to cut through the grease. My favourite parts are the jaw, the cheek muscles are so tender after long slow cooking also the brain, the size of a large walnut is deliciously creamy.

Ive heard in spain that the true test that its perfecly cooked is if you can cut through the meat with a plate!

Steamy Kitchen

What great photos! I love the "popcorn machine"


Mmm. Lechon.

I love when you guys cover the Philippines.

By the way, my mom makes the Best. Lechon Sauce. Ever. I don't care what anyone says.


Keep up the great blogging - I enjoy your blog so much!


where to next?


I love the shot where the delivery man is holding the lechons behind him, like piggy skis.


Cupcake, Pille, and Elaine - yeah, a bit unsettling. But I am a confirmed carnivore ... for now.

juls - I agree, the small are best. I prefer my lechon sans liver sauce, just vinegar, and chilies. But I sampled on liver sauce I quite liked, on the sour side and loaded with black pepper.

Marvin - a great Tgiving tradition! Do you do turkey too?

Nate - cochinillo asado (which I also sampled in Manila!), the Spanish version of lechon de leche, is done butterflied. My understanding is that the blistered skin is achieved by spraying or brushing the skin with water while the pork is cooking.

Luke - interesting! In the Philippines the pig is sometimes basted with Coke to achieve a nice burnished 'glow'. The vinegary slaw sounds like a great complement to roasted pig.

Steamy and mags - thanks.

Mamita - we are in Malaysia for a while. Will most likely be back to the PHI again before the year is out and, with any luck, Vietnam.

Thanks N. I quite like that one as well. Of course no one ever looks twice at a guy dragging a couple of spit-ed pigs down the street.

Rasa Malaysia

The road side pit is interesting...we will never see this in Malaysia. The pig looks darker and drier than Chinese-Malaysian roast pig though...

annette Gengos

Lechon means celebration of life in the Philippines. In Iloilo City, down south of the country, we stuff the pig with tamarind leaves,lemon grass and banana grass for that tangy, lemony flavor.


Rasa - there's a few differences to Malaysian style, the main one being that Malaysians seem to prefer a thicker layer of fat betw skin and meat (we were told again and again in Manila that the fat layer should be thin) and Malaysian roast pork has a blistered skin. The Philippine version is not at all dry, bec the pig is roasted whole, keeping the moisture in. And the meat can be very fragrant, depending on what the pig is seasoned/stuffed with before it's roasted. A definate must-try!

Balikbayan box

Our balikbayan always find this whenever they are in the Philippines.


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