Lechon Paksiw in a Palayok a la Marketman

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Return to the roots of each dish to understand it’s soul… then evolve or improve from there if you want. That has become the unofficial battlecry of Marketman’s experiments with respect to some pretty iconic pinoy dishes like sinigang, adobo, paksiw, lechon, etc. And it doesn’t just apply to the ingredients… I am now much more convinced that wooden and charcoal fires and clay vessels or palayoks do a lot to make a dish all the more distinctive and delicious. I did a paksiw na lechon recipe before, here, with a bit of enhancements like thyme and cinnamon. It was very good. But I also wanted to do a more basic version using a palayok over a wood fire…

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Into a palayok went 1.5 kilos of lechon, roughly a cup or more of vinegar, a touch of soy sauce or salt or both, but calibrate this to ensure it doesn’t get too salty, 3 tablespoons of good muscovado sugar, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, lots of peeled and smashed garlic and some water and place this over a hot wooden fire, uncovered. Wait about 10-12 minutes until it is boiling and the vinegar has vaporized? a bit then cover and cook another 10 minutes or so until the meat gets soft. Add a cup or two of liver sauce (preferably made the day before with the lechon) and adjust your seasoning or add water to ensure you get the right consistency. Take this off the flames roughly 30-40 minutes after you started cooking and serve hot with lots of rice (in this case we served this with puso, the rice cooked in banana leaves) and a side of homemade acharra. This was brilliant. Delicious. Fragrant and smokey. Sweet and sour and salty. Rich. A personal favorite. :)

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50 Responses

  1. Yumm! Definitely a personal favorite. I’ve been trying to find a good clay pot in northern California but have been unsuccessful.

  2. Brownedgnat: I have seen in Chinatown this clay pots that has a “big Belly” but more upright. I know it can be used on top of the stove for I have seen my mom-in-law use it…she boils this soup that takes forever and most likely medicinal for it has this different things in there and she makes us drink it…So maybe this clay pot would work as well for cooking LECHON PAKSIW and PAKBET,etc. over a wood-fired open flame.

    Have you seen one of those clay pots there in your Chinatown?

  3. this is also the way i cook my lechon paksiw except that i don’t have a clay pot how i wish i have one! Yummy, i think i will cook this again this weekend (it has been sometime since we have this).

  4. boy! I can smell those cozy-feel aromas! We often just heat our kalan like a fireplace to induce that nostalgic feel of my grandparents’ time. My husband loves it too! I still have to cook some lechon paksiw too! Thanks for the tips, MM!

  5. The picture above makes me want to go home so I can have a taste of this. O how I miss the sweet and tangy yumminess of lechon paksiw. I love it more than lechon!

  6. Even a mediocre lechon can be transformed to outstanding paksiw….an outstanding lechon reincarnates to an even better paksiw. I love it with a dipping sauce of patis, calamansi and just a little sili. This translates to ‘quiet time’ at the dinner table : )

  7. same way we cook this. we like it simmered a long time until the skin is chewy-tender and the fat is almost melting. tastes even better when it’s been chilled and reheated the next day.

  8. If just because of this post, i’d fly all the way to the EB! Hahaha! It looks, sounds and practically smells wonderful, MM. I’m a bigger fan of lechon paksiw than of the lechon itself. Pamatay kasama ng plain rice. Haaaay.

  9. Hey MM, thanks for putting up the new poll. I’ve been wanting to suggest this weeks ago pa but was unsure if you’d think it appropriate. Very curious to know what readers think, but most of all, where you stand!

  10. Have you ever seen a black palayok? They used to sell it here in the country market in Paseo de Sta Rosa. I think one can still order it but they no longer stock it in their stall. They say that cooking in that particular black pot has some medicinal properties. Cooking sinigang and adobo in it gives it a distinct taste. I bought one but it broke na. Sabi nila one should not cook any dish with vinegar, calamansi (anything acidic) in an aluminum pot because it gives a toxic reaction.

  11. I love lechon paksiw a day after it cooks, especially if it was extra garlicky! Arg, and all I have for lunch is steamed veggies and brown rice.

  12. Hi, MM.

    Are we going to have lechon paksiw as well on the Nov 15 lechon eyeball? But that means you’ll have to roast a lechon the day before so you can prepare a paksiw from its leftovers. Ha! Ha! I easily get “umay” with lechon, but when it’s pinaksiw, I can eat a whole palayok of it!

  13. Socky…beware what you wish for… :) Not sure what the final menu is yet… it keeps getting longer and longer… Everyone will have to eat 10,000+ calories on average, will have a legal “release form” absolving me of fat and caloric overdose for all guests to sign before the event… hahaha. Mila, are you on a diet? diwata, I have seen the black palayoks, I wasn’t sure if they were just red ones that had been flamed to already get black… T.Greentree, yes, I am absolutely a fan of cooking in the clay pots… cumin, I was curious what readers thought about the candidates, I would probably vote for Obama personally, rather than the Republican candidates… tricia, you can find clay pots at any large wet market I would imagine, in this case, I bought these at the Tabo-an market in Cebu.

  14. Hooray! More things to make in my palayok! MM, thanks for sharing these recipes…I am enjoying a palayok-honeymoon :)

  15. my favorite part of fiestas when we were growing up, aside from the unlimited sodas we were allowed to drink (as it was kinda forbidden on ordinary days) is the day after for that yummy paksiw na lechon. mmmm, am already salivating like crazy just imagining the taste and smell. kainisssssssssss!

  16. joey… I am a huge palayok convert. My next quest, say over a year or two will be to build a wood fired brick oven that hopefully achieves upwards of 600+ degrees and see how the palayoks do in there as the heat wanes and slow cooks from ALL around the palayok instead of just heat underneath… ah, so much to do, so little time… :)

  17. Good luck on that task, then, even if it’s still over a year or two. Thinking about it now, my only experience with palayoks was when I was still little, playing lutu-lutuan, and I was amazed that you really could cook from them. But now that I’m grown up, I’ll surely try cooking with one. And, MM, just so you know, since I’m really a novice in the kitchen, my mom does all that – I give her recipes (copied here..hehehe) and they all turned out very well, indeed! So thanks to you :)

  18. paksiw na lechon! yum! definitely love it more than plain lechon. am waiting for you to build that brick oven MM. it would be interesting to see the results :)

  19. Has anyone tried using the tagine pot and the kulon/palayok and be able to compare the similarity or difference between the two? and which is best. My mother uses the kulon outside the house, we call the dirty kitchen. She keeps bundles of ‘tugas’ or ‘uling for slow cooking.

  20. Hi Diwata, I always see a black claypot here in singapore so I thought it’s chinse. The claypot are polish and shiny different from the one that I own which is a normal chinese white claypot. Whenever I see one I always imagine how a filipino food will taste on those black claypot.

  21. Sarap looking. Just need rice. Paksiw, is like adobe, laing, dinuguan, it gets better after you put it in the fridge and reheat it.

  22. MM, paksiw also please during the EB! Ãœber Yummy! I will have my executive check up before then so I know how much cholesterol my body can still take in.

  23. The palayok I bought in Batangas City Market (about 2 years ago), was black and was glazed inside. Is that how an authentic one supposed to be? I don’t remember my tiya’s palayok in Quezon (the red one) having a glaze inside. But isn’t the “unglazed” palayok not healthy for cooking? Anyway, this black palayok that bought in my trip there did not survive my balikbayan box. When I arrived in Houston they were broken (2 palayok). What survive was 3 sets of the mini-ones which can be decorative or use for play cooking. Ummm.. I wonder if I can use this for “local fondue?”

  24. The closest I got to working with a palayok was as a kid during parties…breaking the palayok full of candies…hehehe

  25. So delicious MM! Do you think i can get the same results if i placed the claypot on a regular stove? This weekend, i might get the chance to cook over a wood fire. I’m just curious how you control the heat? Like if i want it to simmer for an hour?

  26. Glazed palayoks may even be more hazardous to health unless they used lead free glaze. That’s the problem with most earthenware mole and puchero pots found in many mexican neighborhood stores in the US.

  27. peterb, it will be okay on a gas stove, but it won’t have the smokiness acquired from the fire… To control the heat, just add or remove wood or charcoal. Better to start with less heat and add than the other way around…

  28. Jun …I just went to the Asian store this morning and saw that palayok you were talking about. I hesitated because it’s made in China and it is shiny so I was not really sure if they use a glaze that’s lead free as Michael stated.

    So I had a “lightbulb “moment just now. There are pottery classes here in the Rec Centre or Arts Centre. I will show them a picture and maybe they can do this for me. Or I can take classes and make my own palayok! Heck, I might be lucky enough to ask them to do a “bibingkahan “for me if I can describe it to them…

  29. Hmmmm…I’ve got to get my palayok and try that. I always cook paksiw na lechon and my hubby loves it…but have never tried it in a palayok.
    Also,thanks bettyq for the wonderful tocino recipe. I cooked tonight the first “experiment” batch!! It was really good tocino and the kind I wanted. I just have to tweak the sugar quantity a bit. Domo Arigato!

  30. have nothing else to say …………..inggit ako sa EB. i cant come.. it’s entarnce exam for Phil Sci HS of my niece…i have to accompany her. hmmm

  31. My only request is for someone to take a lot of pictures during the Eyeball and post it where i can at least see how you’re enjoying all the good food and the wonderful Lechons.

  32. I like lechon paksiw a day or two after it is cooked. The older the better. For me it’s more delicious after repeated reheating. Don’t you think so?

  33. Nina….my apologies! I don’t really know now where I posted it now..there are soooooo many posts!….Marissewalangkaparis! where did I post the recipe? which post did you see it?

  34. Nina….my apologies! I don’t really know now where I posted it now..there are soooooo many posts!….Marissewalangkaparis! where did I post the recipe? which post did you see it?

  35. Nina…i found it…please go back to the archives and search for Chika-an Cebu. It’s somewhere in there…Let me know if you still can’t find it!

  36. Once again I am thankful for your site and the internet! Copied your recipe using leftover Lechon Kawali. And it is superb (sooopehb!) Muchas gracias MM!

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