A lechon paksiw recipe that you will absolutely love! Sweet, tangy, rich, and extra saucy! It's the perfect dish to use up leftover lechon or lechon kawali the morning after Christmas and New Year or any special Filipino holiday at that.
Lechon paksiw is a popular Filipino dish made from leftover roast pig. After a festive occasion or celebration where lechon is served, there are often leftovers, and lechon paksiw is a creative way to make use of them.
"Lechon" refers to a whole roasted pig, which is a well-known and beloved dish in Filipino cuisine.
It is one Filipino pork dish that I always look forward to during the holiday season. It just completes the whole lechon experience for me. I grew up waking up to our whole house smelling like paksiw on Christmas morning and it makes me immediately hungry and crave food waking up.
If you love lechon paksiw and want to learn how to make it the easy way, then you're in the right place.
What you need
Here are the key ingredients you need to make lechon paksiw:
- Leftover lechon - use store-bought, homemade lechon belly or lechon kawali
- Soy sauce - you can use regular soy sauce or Filipino soy sauce
- Vinegar - options are distilled vinegar, white wine vinegar, coconut vinegar, and rice vinegar can be used interchangeably.
- Brown Sugar - or white sugar works well too.
- Spices - Garlic, bay leaf or laurel leaf, and whole peppercorns. You can add onions if preferred.
- Lechon Sauce - Use store-bought (e.g. Mang Tomas) or homemade lechon sauce.
- Broth - Any meat broth should work or dissolve
Make it special
Lemongrass - add towards the end of the cooking process. Gives a lovely aroma to the lechon paksiw. I highly recommend adding this if you're using lechon kawali which lacks that roasted pork flavor that you get from a roasted lechon.
Liver Spread - Bottled lechon sauce like Mang Tomas often doesn't include liver as one of the ingredients (go ahead and check!). Adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of liver spread or liver pate should make up for that missing flavor.
Lard - If you made your own lechon, save all that grease in the pan and use it to make any paksiw dishes. It will give the sauce a nice rich flavor, glistening with fat. Yum!
What part of Lechon should be used?
Basically, the whole pig can be used to make paksiw. More often, the ribs, feet, and face (ulo), pork knuckle (pata), or pork legs are untouched parts in a whole roasted lechon. Thus, becomes the main ingredient for lechon paksiw.
Use a deep pot - the high edges will allow the heat to spread evenly without letting the liquid evaporate quickly. This yields tender and moist meat (not dry).
Simmer the vinegar - to reduce the acidity. Add the first seven ingredients to a cold pot including the vinegar. Turn on the heat and let the liquid boil until fragrant. This should take 5 to 7 minutes. Don't stir until it's ready.
Add the lechon sauce and liver spread towards the end of the cooking - this will allow the meat to tenderize without the liquid becoming too thick or dry.
The sauce will quickly thicken at this point. Simmer until it reaches the desired consistency. If you prefer an extra saucy (masarsa) lechon paksiw, just add hot water and simmer a little bit more. Adjust, sugar and salt as needed.
Although lechon paksiw looks like more of a dish for dinner, back home my Mama often serves it for breakfast and lunch; sort of a post-Christmas/ holiday meal celebration for the whole family.
It's best served with rice and atchara (pickled papaya) on the side. I love dipping it in a vinegar dipping sauce to cut the richness. But, that's just me 🙂
Storage and Shelf-life
Leftovers can last in the fridge for up to a week, sometimes even longer. Store in an air-tight container. To further extend the shelf life, freeze in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw before reheating on the stove or microwave.
Frequently asked questions
In some parts of the Philippines, lechon paksiw is cooked without a liver sauce and it's known as Bisaya-style. The resulting dish will be less thick and not as rich but definitely still delicious! You can add a cornstarch slurry to make the sauce a little thicker if preferred.
You can make Lechon paksiw with normal cuts of meat like pork belly and pork ribs. I've seen some use chicken too. Note that cooking time will be a little longer. Having said this, it will become sort of like a sweet adobo with liver lechon sauce.
Substitute with canned liver pate. You can also use make your own–season 1 piece of chicken liver with a touch of soy sauce and black pepper. Pan-fry for 2 to 3 minutes then mash with a fork until it forms into a paste.
Watch how to make it
Looking for more recipes for the holidays? Try these...
Lechon Paksiw Recipe
- 1 kilogram leftover lechon (lechon or lechon kawali)
- 1 whole garlic (peeled and smashed)
- ⅓ cup soy sauce (see note 1)
- ½ cup vinegar (see note 2)
- 4 tablespoon brown sugar (add more if preferred)
- 4 pieces bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorn
- 1 ½ cup broth (see note 3)
- 2 tablespoon lard (optional)
- ¾ cup lechon sauce
- 2 stalks lemongrass (cut and bruised)
- 2 tablespoon liver spread (see note 4)
- In a deep pot, place lechon, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaf, black pepper. Simmer uncovered until fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Do not stir.
- Pour broth and lard. Cover with a lid and cook until meat is tender. Add more water as needed.
- Add lemongrass and lechon sauce. Stir gently. Simmer until sauce thickens. Taste and adjust sugar, salt as needed.
- Serve immediately with rice. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Soy sauce - use regular soy sauce or Filipino soy sauce. Note that taste and saltiness will vary.
- Vinegar options- distilled vinegar, white wine vinegar, coconut vinegar, and rice vinegar can be used.
- Broth - use chicken or pork broth or dissolve 1 piece chicken or pork bouillon in 1 ½ cup hot water.
- Liver Spread - substitute with 1 piece chicken liver. Season with soy sauce and black pepper. Pan-fry for 2 to 3 minutes then mash with a fork until it forms into a paste.
- Cooking time - can vary depending on the cut of pork you're going to use. I used lechon belly here and only cooked it for 20 minutes. If using tougher parts, cooking time can take 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Make it spicy - add chopped red chilies like siling labuyo or Thai red chilies.
- Shelf-life and Storage: Store in an air-tight container. It should last in the fridge for up to a week. To further extend the shelf life, freeze in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bags. Thaw before reheating on the stove or microwave.