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LECHON'S MANY INCARNATIONS 

You can do so much better than paksiw na lechon the morning after Christmas. Here are a few ideas on what you can do with your leftover lechon. For Filipinos, nothing quite matches lechon as the penultimate symbol of feasting. A whole pig with glistening, crisp skin instantly brings smiles and encourages friendly competitions over crunchy ears and tail. Even the most avid vegetarians have been known to crumble, breaking their no-animal diet for a bite of roast pork, oozing with natural juices. Ulcing's Cebu Lechon (Image by Noel Pabalate) Ulcing’s Cebu Lechon (Image by Noel Pabalate) Although an object of culinary adulation, lechon is seldom given the respect it deserves. It is most often served only one way: straight from the chopping block, where it is brutally attacked with a heavy machete. The sliced and chopped flesh and bones are almost always served slathered with garlicky, liver-infused, sweet sauce called pebre. READ MORE...


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Lechon’s Many Incarnations


Ulcing's Cebu Lechon (Image by Noel Pabalate)

MANILA, DECEMBER 29, 2014 (MANILA BULLETIN)  by Sol Vanzi - You can do so much better than paksiw na lechon the morning after Christmas. Here are a few ideas on what you can do with your leftover lechon.

For Filipinos, nothing quite matches lechon as the penultimate symbol of feasting.

 A whole pig with glistening, crisp skin instantly brings smiles and encourages friendly competitions over crunchy ears and tail.

Even the most avid vegetarians have been known to crumble, breaking their no-animal diet for a bite of roast pork, oozing with natural juices.

Although an object of culinary adulation, lechon is seldom given the respect it deserves. It is most often served only one way: straight from the chopping block, where it is brutally attacked with a heavy machete. The sliced and chopped flesh and bones are almost always served slathered with garlicky, liver-infused, sweet sauce called pebre.

A friend narrated how she used one whole lechon to serve different dishes for a family Christmas reunion: roast pork with apple sauce and gravy, baby back ribs, Bicol express, sisig, pata tim, stroganoff, schnitzel, pizza, spaghetti, shawarma, minestrone, and pad Thai noodles.

Days later, when everyone in the family was tired of rich food, she used pork bones to make post-holiday comfort food: arroz caldo and sotanghon soup. Here’s how it’s done.

Separate Parts

To maximize use of lechon, separate the portions for each dish.

First, cut off the head, knuckles, and tail and set aside. Slice off the boneless, fatty pork belly and fry the skin on belly until crunchy. Serve as bagnet or lechon kawali.


LECHON KAWALI

Next, pull off all the crisp skin and cut into bite-size pieces with a pair of scissors.

Serve with dip of spicy vinegar or lechon sauce.

Some Chinese lauriat tables use lechon skin instead of Peking duck as stuffing for flour pancakes, together with plum sauce and green onions.

Yankee Pulled Pork


PULLED PORK SANDWICH

The kasim, or pork shoulder, is almost identical to ham in meat-bone proportion and quality. This is perfect for pulled pork BBQ, which is one of today’s hottest food trends worldwide.

It is prepared by smothering the skinless shoulder with tart BBQ sauce and roasted until crusty.

The meat is then pulled into shreds, sauced thoroughly, and roasted again before being piled on burger or hotdog buns with salad vegetables and more sauce.

Roast Leg with Gravy and Apple

The two legs, called pigue, are the prime parts of lechon. Plate them whole and slice on the table like ham. Serve with gravy and sliced apples, sautéed in butter and brown sugar.

Pata Tim

For quick and easy pata tim, combine pig’s feet, snout, ears, and leftover pieces of lechon skin in a thick pot.

Add just enough water and one bottle of beer to barely cover. Simmer with soy sauce, a little brown sugar, several pieces star anise (sangke), a small piece of smashed ginger, and a handful of green onions.

To this basic pata tim, one could add any or all of the following: sotanghon noodles, baby corn, pechay Baguio, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus. If desired, thicken the gravy with a slurry of corn starch and water. Sprinkle with sesame oil before serving.

Baby Back Ribs

Skinless ribs are coated with thick, spicy BBQ sauce, roasted whole in the oven or over charcoal, and served whole. Favored accompaniments are roasted fresh pineapple chunks, grilled peppers, and tomatoes.

The possibilities are endless. It’s time to venture beyond paksiw na lechon.

SOME IMAGES ARE FROM GOOGLESEARCH.COM




Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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