Filipino-Inspired Lechon Tacos

Crispy Filipino lechon kawali gets a new zesty home inside of a taco.


  • For the pork:
  • 2 lbs pork belly
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ cup soy sauce, plus more for basting
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated but skin on
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • For the quick-pickle atchara:
  • ½ cup cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup carrots, shredded
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, sliced or minced
  • 2 serrano chili, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • For the rest:
  • Crema or sour cream to serve
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Corn tortillas


  1. In a large pot, add water, pork belly, bay leaves, garlic, soy sauce, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
  2. Place cooked pork belly on a tray with a rack and pat dry. Allow to cool and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pickle. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a jar, and chill in fridge.
  4. Slice the skin down the middle. Brush all over with soy sauce. Then rub coconut oil all over. Bake at 400°F until the skin is very crispy and crackly.
  5. To serve, slice lechon into bite-sized pieces and place on top of corn tortillas with the atchara, crema, and cilantro.