Filipino-Style Roast Pork Belly with Chile Vinegar


Serves: 8-12

This method for roasting pork belly simplifies and mimics the effects of traditionally boiled and deep-fried lechon kawali, the celebratory Philippine pork dish with crackling skin and succulent meat.


1 (4–5-pound) skin-on, boneless pork belly

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 (12-ounce) bottle unseasoned rice vinegar

12 garlic cloves, chopped

6–12 green Thai chiles, lightly crushed but le whole

2 serrano chiles, torn into small pieces

4 (12-oz.) bottles hard apple cider

2 tablespoons honey


Season pork generously with salt. Set, skin side up, on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.

Chill at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour 4 cups water into baking sheet with pork. Rub pork skin with oil; season with more salt. Roast, adding more water to pan as needed, until skin is golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork registers 195°F–200°F, 1 1/2–1 3/4 hours.

Meanwhile, pour out 1/2 cup vinegar from bottle (save for another use). Remove pouring spout from bottle and add garlic, chilies, and a large pinch of salt. Cover and shake to distribute; let sit until ready to serve. (Or, combine in a glass jar or bowl).

Bring hard cider and honey to a boil in a large saucepan; cook until thickened and very syrupy, 30–45 minutes.


Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. But, it takes two to tango so stay tuned to see who will master the steam oven first, or whether Mr. Porter or Ms. Charles comes up with the best new recipes.

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