Lechon Macau

Filipino Chinese Style Crispy Roast pork cooked in garlic and onions spiced with Chinese spices like star anise and five spice powder

Crispy pork anyone? I guess most Asians consider this one of the best ways you can make with pork, tender savoury meat topped with a crispy skin and melting fat what more could you ask for. There are many variations on how to cook this in Asia, in the Philippines there are also several ways to prepare it some fry them, some roast them and some do it the Chinese way like what we are posting today.

From the name alone you can guess that it has its Chinese influence, literally translated as Macau Style Roast Pork. So, what makes it different with the lechon kawali just the normal roast pork? Well first this dish is not fried but roasted, it is also spiced with Chinese spices like star anise and five spice powder mixed with popular Filipino ingredient like garlic and onions.

This is probably the best crispy roast pork I made, it takes some time but it’s all worth it, just make sure to follow the easy steps below to achieve crackling heaven.

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Lechon Macau 1

Lechon Macau

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 50 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 mins
  • Yield: 5-6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Filipino Chinese Style Crispy Roast pork cooked in garlic and onions spiced with Chinese spices like star anise and five spice powder


  • 2.5 kg whole pork belly or cut into large slices
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 pcs star anise
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 1 large white onion quartered
  • rock salt


  1. In a pot place your pork belly, add enough water just to cover the rest of the meat. Add around 2 tablespoons of rock salt, sugar, star anise, garlic and onion. Bring it to a gentle boil and simmer in low heat for 30-40 minutes or until cooked but still firm and not really tender.
  2. Remove from the pot then let it drain and air dry. Once cooled down brush it all over with the Shaoxing wine. Place it in the refrigerator uncovered for 24 hours.
  3. Remove pork from the refrigerator then generously poke the skin with metal skewers, fondue forks, “Pig Sticker” or Chap Zai/Jaccard. Season skin with salt and the meats / bottom side with the five-spice powder. Let it sit for a while until its warm and in room temperature. Pat it dry with paper towel making sure there is no moisture on the skin.
  4. Place roasting pan with a bit of water on the pan then roast in a 200C preheated oven skin side up 45 minutes.
  5. Increase the heat to 220C and roast for 15-20 more minutes until the rind crackled up.



3 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    If there’s anything better than pork belly, I don’t know what it is. And this one? Wow!

  2. mjskitchen says:

    Oh I could do with some crispy pork right now. The spices you use are very interesting. My mouth is watering.

  3. I really need to make this, I have everything at home, including Shaoxing wine bought in China. Looks so amazing and releived it is roasted lol.

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