Three Little Piggies…


We did three lechons/inasal in-house for the marketmanila eyeball in Cebu. One lechon was a “traditional” cebu-style lechon, highly salted and very flavorful. Two lechons were my Accuchon style version with a bit more western influence on the herbs and spices, and far less salt. We also ordered another two lechons, one from CNT and another from Rico’s lechons so that guests would have something to compare against. I figured that each lechon had a good 5 square feet of skin from the prime areas of the pig, and thus each guest could easily have consumed half a square foot of lechon skin if they so desired… Yes, half a square foot. :)


The lechons were stuffed and sewn up by 9:30 a.m. and placed on a VERY HOT fire by 10 a.m.


This was the first time we tried cooking three pigs at a time…


… and while there seemed to be ample room in the lechonan…


…the pig in the center got singed early on, and we quickly removed some of the coals to reduce the intense heat, the hottest I have ever experienced with this lechonan.


This is a photo of me taking a rare photo that day, as most of these photos were taken by others from my office or my family… I just didn’t have the time to be clicking away… and I noticed others took what are collectively hundreds if not over a thousand photos of the festivities, and I am hoping we will get to see some of those great photos somehow…


The three piggies we roasted were laid out on one buffet table…


…and before long a SWARM of guests surrounded the table to taste the lechons, which were pretty good, but I have to say, not as crisp as we have had them before. I am not sure if it was the heat reduction mid-way, the humidity or as one guest puts it “na self-conscious yung baboy” but these were probably only an 8 out of 10 on the marketman lechon crispiness scale… but I will wait for comments from guests to see what they thought…


The crowd had their fill of skin and meat and within say 20 minutes…


…this is all that remained! Unfortunately, I don’t have photos of the two commercial lechons we also ordered, but they weren’t nearly as decimated as these ones were… I am hoping someone like Joey of 80breakfasts will chime in with a comment or post comparing all of the lechons as I noticed she was carefully making the rounds and tasted all FIVE lechons/inasal! I barely managed to taste one of the lechons! Stay tuned for more photos from the eyeball, up next!


65 Responses

  1. hehe–the “before and after” shots! they sure looked good to me..

    those flower arrangements really pop out,MM. everything looks great!

  2. That was really something to miss. For sure everyone had a good time. Better luck next time for me.:(

  3. back in davao now after a wonderful, wonderful party! MM, i wish i could tell you which lechon was best, and why, but all i remember now is that all three lechons had crisp skin, all tasted wonderful, and all had delicious ribs. (no, i ate only three ribs from only one lechon, not from all three).

    but the day’s winner for me was the lechon sisig….me and lechon sisig are best friends now. i dreamt about it last night, honest!

    nina, we did not have to wait for the leftovers to eat paksiw, because there was a large chafing dish of very tasty paksiw na lechon on the buffet table. and amazing kinilaw. and a whole lot more. plus a dessert buffet, and take-home presents, to boot. and a tour and a happy hike afterwards.

    so many things to eat, wonderful people to meet, new friends to make….everything was wonderful!

    MARKETMAN AND FAMILY AND CREW, thank you for going out of your way to give everyone the coolest, funnest, super-duper Saturday!

  4. I do not know of anyone personally who would do what you have done, MM, giving a “get-together/meet and greet/or show and tell” or whatever it’s called…To say that I am truly impressed doesn’t even scratch the surface!!!! I have always wondered…it is nice to put a face to a name…by now you must have close to 200 faces with names in your memory bank!!!

    Is there going to be a repeat performance of this Lechonan?…PLease like CecileJ said…LECHONAN 2 coming soon?

    And to your FAMILY AND CREW…even though I am thousands of miles away, I would be totally honored to have been a part of this and maybe one day would get the chance to meet all of your crew!!!…like Jane , Victor that we just know by name!!!

  5. congrats MM, family & crew! We can only wish we were there too but vancouver is thousand miles away. Maybe some other time we would get to meet you and taste your great cooking and great hosting!

  6. I guess everyone had lechon overload after MM’s get together this weekend. I’m pretty sure, the photos don’t do justice to the laid out feast, ambiance and set up. Glad to hear everyone had fun and enjoyed the lechon.

  7. Those piggies sure look yummy! Looks like everyone had a grand time and good thing the weather held out.

  8. Wow! You’re on a roll! Amazing MM how you can get these many people together through sheer genius and pure unadulterated pig fat!

  9. the lechons were the star of the show. The cams never stopped clicking. But when zero hour came, there were soooo many good things to choose from.

    The lechon was absolutely delicious and so tender. So was the kinilaw- incredibly creamy! Imagine the surface of the tanguige meat just translucent from the vinegar and coco milk. Yum! And the paksiw was perfect. The grilled prawns were sweet and juicy. Oh, even had a bit of the dinuguan, I could not resist.

    And for the first time, I tasted sisig that I actually liked! Normally I stay away from this dish because I hate the thought of eating pig face. But MM’s version is meaty and savory.

    And what can I say about the desserts? Mrs U’s Tocino del Cielo was to due for. I had 4 servings, eggyolks and cholesterol be damned! The bico, broas, budbud kabug, ice cream ( I used it to top the Tocino, more deadly that way), hay I can go on and on.

    Kudos to MM, family and crew! The host, the guests, the food, the setting, It was the perfect EB!

  10. Ok Everyone….Let’s ALL stand up and give Mr. and Mrs. MM, The Teen, and The Crew a BIG round of Applause!!!!

    BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!!! BRAVO!!!!

    ….And also a round of applause for Manong Sorbetero who walk 2 hours with his dirty ice cream cart to make it to the event.

  11. Looking at the pictures…reading the comments of the guests… this is extreme torture…

    As always and as expected, you did more than excellent job MM. My hat’s off to you, your family and the CREW.

    This could be on every MarketManila readers’ dream.

  12. lee, thanks for posting, and many, many thanks for the souvenir cards -such a fun way to end the event! our arteries did survive the lechon eyeball! (lee, may i grab some photos from your flicker site, just to add to my personal album of photos from the event? i have no blog and do not intend to publish the photos in any form)

  13. While we were enjoying the budbud kabug and the tocino del cielo at marketman’s lechon eyeball, I mentioned espasol to my seatmates, Millet and Mrs. U. I promised to email them my espasol recipe. I will do that but I thought that posting it here as a comment will share it with others who weren’t seated in our “Bisaya” end of the eyeball table. Hahaha, Mrs. U. There are personal tidbits and useful advice which you can find in:

    To make espasol, toast 6 cups mochiko (glutinous rice flour) until light brown. From the 6 cups toasted mochiko, set aside 1/2 cup for dusting later. Bring 5 cups coconut milk (extracted from 2 extra large coconuts) to boil. Add finely chopped calamansi peel from 4 pieces calamansi, 2 3/4 cups white sugar and stir continuously for 15 minutes. Stir in 5 1/2 cups toasted mochiko and 3-4 cups scraped and chopped buko, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix thoroughly. Cook over low fire, stirring constantly for 1 to 1.5 hours until mixture is thick. When done, let cool for a while. Dust a platter with the reserved toasted mochiko. Spread mixture on tray and flatten to about 1 inch thick with a rolling pin. Cut into small diamond-shaped bars or roll 2 1/2 inch cylindrical pieces and dust with toasted mochiko.

  14. ivy, thanks for the link, I viewed the terrific photos but couldn’t leave a comment, do I need to be a multiply person? At any rate, thanks for coming to the eyeball! Lee, thanks for posting photos too! moni, thanks for posting that espasol recipe!

  15. I’m happy for all those who made it to the EB. More than the food and calories, I think it was the camaraderie and good vibes between the host and the guests who made it such a big success. I’m sure there will be another chance for us who weren’t able to go.

  16. thanks, lee..and thanks, moni. can’t wait to make it. yes, the Bisaya end of the table was a lot of fun! marissa and maryjoan, thanks for the sylvanas!

  17. To say I had a fabulous time would be an understatement! Where else in the world would I want to be but surrounded by 5 lechons??? Hehe :) Throw in a bunch of great people passionate about food (and James Bond) and that makes a pretty much perfect Saturday! With the added bonus of: THE most amazing kinilaw, awesome sisig, fantastic dessert spread (hello torta!), delicious homemade lechon sauce (I loved it MM!), and such succulent prawns (yum!) — all the stuff of very sweet dreams :)

    The lechons were wonderful MM! I loved the accuchon skin which was really a great new way to experience the fatty crunch! The one stuffed with all the herbs had fabulous, but fabulous tasting meat! And juicy too! It was lovely because I enjoyed the skin and fat along with the meat…even the “white” meat parts were moist and tasty! The 2 Cebu lechons were also delicious – a different flavor thanks to the “secret” ingredient, but still good (I think it’s ok to indulge in the “secret” ingredient once in a while ;)). However, your lechons had a depth of flavor and a taste personality which I feel had more dimensions to it…so (and this is saying something coming from me) it wasn’t all about the fat :) Although, returning to the fat and the skin…accuchon I need to taste more of you…HINT HINT! :)

    Thanks again MM and family for a perfect day!!! I had an absolute ball and it was wonderful to meet fellow bloggers and MM commenters! :)

    Lee, thanks for the great souvenier! I love it! We survived!

  18. The kinilaw was the best. The tangigue was so fresh it felt almost like a predatory experience, like sharks feeding on fish. Almost, except for the fact that sharks don’t have access to perfect native vinegar, gata, chillies, onions, etc…

    Posted more pics!

  19. Grabe, naiinggit ako! Just looking at these pics and those shared by those who got to go, tumutulo na ang laway ko.

  20. Wow! Saw the pics and you guys look like you really enjoyed yourselves. And the set-up is so NOT cowboy /cowgirl style. =)

  21. MM, would you believe my husband Jojo still dreamt of the sweet corn! He was amazed at how something so simple can taste heavenly when grilled the way you did it.How did you do it na nga ba? It was the first time I saw him with enjoying a meal with strangers. He’s a very private person like you, hehehe. The lechon I enjoyed most was the on the right of the accuchon, but the accuchon’s belly smelled heavenly from all the herbs inside. THe biko was divine, so was the durian cheesecake of millet. Grabe, time flew so fast I wanted to put it on slow mo so I can savor each dish! Thank you again MM, Mrs. MM, the Teen and the fabulous crew! Moni, thank you for the pineapple. Artisan, I definitley will visit your store this week.

  22. it’s 3:26am and im getting hungry from all these lechon pics and some….this is torture!!!! now, those are happy faces in the pictures indeed.

  23. Wow…..super nakakainggit. Makes me hungry even after dinner. Hope I can join the next EB! Kudos MM! Quite a feat!! Fantastic to bring so many people together who have one thing in common—-Food lovers with orchestra master MM!!! Kudos!!!Inggit!

  24. Thanks Ivy!!! Just saw your fotos on multiply.. Hahaha…thanks for the foto with our beloved Mr MM!!! Salamat Ivy.

  25. One of the guys I met at the eyeball (Mel), ask me how to make a perfect cup of hot cocoa. This is my silky and decadent formula. This is different from our tsokolate.

    one cup fresh milk
    one cup heavy cream
    half cup shave good quality milk chocolate block (I prefer callabaut)

    1)Shave milk bar
    2)Bring milk and heavy cream to boil in a small heavy bottom non-reactive sauce pan over medium heat (be careful milk will boil over quickly once it reaches boiling temp). Make sure to stir occacionally to prevent the milk from burning at the bottom.
    3)Remove pan from heat and add the shaved milk bar. Let it stand for a minute, then whisk starting from the center and work your way out until well combined. Or use an immersion blender if you have one.
    4)Transfer to mug and enjoy.

    To make it decadent, top off with whip cream and sprinkle cinnamon powder over it
    To make it wicked, add ground sweet chili pepper to the milk when you heat it
    to make it a toady, add your favorit liquor
    To make it “Christmassy”, add peppermint

    Adjust the amount of the shaved chocolate to your taste
    You can substitute the milk chocolate with dark chocolate
    NEVER, NEVER substitute the chocolate bar with cocoa powder. You wont get the same silky mouth feel, since the powder lacks the cocoa butter.

    If you want to make life simpler and have access to a Bed, Bath and Beyond store. Buy the Back to Basic Brand Cocoa Latte Hot Drink Mixer. It cost only $29.99. All you do is throw in all the ingredients, press the start button. it will stop when its done and ready to drink.

  26. Thank you Artisan for the Hot Choc drink recipe.!!!!! The weather here is really nippy and my boys and their friends always get their fill of Hot Chocolate at our house. Since I have to make for the ENTIRE neighbourhood kids…here’s what I usually do. I make sort of a ganache using similar proportions of cream to chocolate you posted. I make a Whooooole caldero of it. Then I cool it down and put them in tubs and freeze. When the kids come knocking on our door, I just heat up the milk, scoop the ganache and they can adjust it to their taste. If I have a lot of gancahe, I even send the kids home with their own BAON of ganache.

    For special friends, I put this ganache in a “flippity flop” glass bottle, then find the neatest coolest mugs I can find at craft fairs and buy a whole kaboodle….fill them with shortbread cookies (have you made them again, Millet…remember you need cool weather…ask MM if you can use his air conditioned kitchen!) or cinnamon toffee cookies. Oh, my recent find….a white GIANT CUP with saucer…the cup is equivalent to 6 HOT CHOCOLATE MUGS!!! I will give this to our MR. Sanitation Guy and our MAIL CARRIER filled with Shortbread, cinnamon toffee bites, and Black Forest Chocolate Crinkles…this together with ARTISAN”S Hot Chocolate Ganache (must remember to add instructions and tie with ribbon to the cup!) and a small bottle of Starbuck’s coffee liquer or Bailey’s I think would make his day!!!

    I BET EVEN SANTA WOULD GO FOR THIS than a glass of milk!…must remember though …NO BOOZE on SANTA’S HOT CHOCOLATE or he’ll never make it to LEE’S HOUSE ON TIME!!!!!

  27. great before, during, and after shots of the event. I love gatherings and you guys sure look had a grand time. kaka-inggit!

    moni, thanks for sharing the espasol recipe. I love espasol and I miss it so much! it’s one of the few Filipino food my husband had tasted and he doesn’t like it :-) lols he said it has no taste at all! maybe he just finds the texture strange. anyway, I plan to make this for our guests this Thanksgiving, and hopefully my husband will like it this time :-) Yes, it may not belong to the starring food of the season but I think it will be a very pleasant offering.

  28. Felicitations! what a successful EB! Now THAT’S a LECHON FEAST!!! Congratulations once again!!!

  29. Teresa, the espasol recipe is easy to follow. The scraped buko and finely chopped calamansi peel give it another twist that is simply divine. Every time I make it for friends at Christmas or for potluck events, it always draws raves from everyone who lives far from the source of the best espasol — Nagcarlan, Laguna.

    I have a biko recipe for a small crowd (5-6 persons) that I have calibrated so it always works. If anyone wants it, I will post it here.

  30. I cannot find the right word to put in here. You are one kind of breed where you go out of your way to make everything exceptionally good in look and taste. You are simply amazing. Your Lechon Day is awesome from traditional to the Accuchon style which I believe will be the lechon of today and tomorrow. With the edge to edge food at the table is spectacular. You start a trend in lechon. Now, I even pick up a take home recipe espasol of Moni, hot chocolate of Artisan Chocalatier and Betty q. I cannot ask for more!

  31. wow bettyq can i be in you christmas list too???? hahaha! that’s a neat idea of making ganache in advance. do you use bittersweet chocolate?

  32. Lee, thanks for posting your pics in Flickr. Would you allow me to use some of your pics (with photo credits to you)in my niche blog ( to make a point about the power of blogging as a communication approach and how MM’s lechon eyeball brought the readers together and enhanced a sense of community among food and market lovers? There’s a lesson to be learned from what MM has initiated.

  33. You most certainly are Joan! ….For the ganache, my boys and their friends prefer milk chocolate and the GROWN-UPS (which means the parents!) prefer bittersweet choc. So I meet them halfway… let ‘s say for every pound of chocolate…I use 12 oz. dark and 4 oz. milk chocolate but you can customize it. if it’s too chocolatey for you, then you might want to use 8 oz. dark and 8 oz. milk or more milk chocolate than dark. I find that dark chocolate in it added with the milk chocolate just gives it the right balance of chocolatey-ness(?)

    Oh, Moni…maraming salamat for sharing your espasol recipe. Last time I had it was about 25 years ago…I am not kidding! I will make it one of these days. I have to buy buko …good thing my sister sent me a buko/melon scraper!

    Hey Ted…if you want to try this, I have a few extra melon/buko scraper (she sent me quite a big BUNDLE) The one my sister sent has a wooden handle that looks very sturdy than the tin one. Let me know if you don’t have one and \i shall mail you one!

  34. moni, please do share the biko as well. The 5-6 people batch is a good start for me, and perfect for my Thanksgiving crowd. thanks in advance.

    betty q, you’re making me remember my childhood. I remember that melon/buko scraper cause I always volunteer to scrape melon for our melon juice during dinner time. We also use the same to scrape young buko. where did you buy it?

    MM, your EB story and photos made all of us readers very happy. Thanks for sharing. I see you full-frontal in the photo albums of the guests :-) coming out of your shell, finally? lols joke lang po :-)

  35. Teresa…where are you? My niece bought those wooden handle melon/buko scraper at UNI-MART . I bought a tin one at a Filipino store here a few years ago for $3.99! it didn’t last long and it broke. Luckily, a friend welded it back for me. I have used the wooden handle for a few years now and it is still in one piece!!! If you are here in Vancouver, i can give you 1 of my wooden handled buko scrapers.My sister sent me quite a few and I have given them to some of my dear friends here. My Canadian friends are actually amazed by it. I made them melon drink with milk and they were raving about it. They were thrilled when I gave the scraper to them.

  36. Moni! I won’t forget your kindness of bringing the pineapple over. you are so right about how big and effective a communication tool this blogging can be, judging from MM’s success. I also second the motion of Teresa’s request for biko recipe!

  37. thanks bettyq. yes, the “bigger” kids would want it more chocolatey. i wish i was a relative of MM but i wish i was your neighbor too! hahaha!

  38. Lee, thanks a lot. In my communication research class today, I talked about MM’s lechon eyeball and suggested a possible research question: What drives blog readers to freely share information and interact with people they have not met in person?

  39. Teresa, here is my biko recipe. This recipe serves four hungry persons so you may need to double or treble the measurements if you’re cooking for a bigger group.

    2 cups malagkit (preferably tapul or black)
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 big coconut, grated
    1 1/2 c water
    1 tbsp finely chopped peel calamansi or grated lemon rind
    2 tbsps pounded ginger

    Cook 2 cups malagkit or sticky rice in rice cooker pot or thick pot using an equal amount of water. Add 1/2 tsp salt and pounded ginger; push the ginger to the bottom of the pot. Cook until done. Add 1 1/2 cups water to the grated coconut and extract the milk. Mix coconut milk, 3/4 cup brown sugar and chopped calamansi peel in a thick wok (kawali, kawa). Bring to a boil, then put in medium heat and keep on stirring until the mixture is thick. You need to stir continuously to prevent the coconut milk-brown sugar mixture from curdling. [To test the mixture for thickness, put a drop of the coco milk-sugar mixture (latik) in 1/4 cup water.] If it dissolves in the water, it isn’t ready yet so continue simmering until it is thicker. Stir in the cooked malagkit and mix thoroughly with the latik.

  40. Little pigs, little pigs. Let me come in…or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in. No no I wont let you come in not the hair of my chinny chin chin. Yan lang ang masasabi ko, hindi ko natikman eh!!

  41. bettyq: Can i be the Sanitation Lady at your street so I can also have a huge white mug with cocoa ganache and yummy cookies? Next to an MM EB, I would love to join a bettyq Tummy Treat!!!! (But I live in Manila….waaah!)

  42. i second joan’s comment, wish i’m a relative of MM and a neighbor of bettyq,
    bettyq, you’re so full of ideas…galing!!!!, actually my friend and i wish that we’re really you’re neighbors, we’ll be happy to be your dakilang alalay sa kitchen, we’ll learn so much and most important we’ll never get hungry…heheheheheh :)

  43. CecileJ, Edee , Joan….halika na kayo!!! Don’t I wish I have more Pinoy kapitbahays here!!!! My hubby cannot understand why when I cook, it looks like we always are having a handaan even though there is just 4 of us at home. I always tell him ..just in case someone drops by unexpectedly, I won’t have to call for “home delivery” food…mwahahhahaha!

  44. Hey, …that didn’t sound right! I meant ….How I wish I have more Pinoy……”…

    MM…have you received my most recent e-mail? …Oh, what am I thinking…it is still 2 a.m. there….so sorry!

  45. Thanks for the wonderful food and experience

    To be honest i really don’t like Lechon but after tasting MM Pricked Lechon i can say i’ve been converted, but the problem now is FINDING a TASTY Lechon here in manila with out using the sauce to put taste in it.

    I loved the corn and the SISIG.

    THANKS agian MM

  46. Because of your site MM, I learned about Cebu lechon and got curious about it. Today I went to the one and only store here that sells Cebu lechon. I bought only 1 lb just to try. My sister and I shared, and oh boy it was very good. Unfortunately it is only sold on weekends, so hindi ako makakabili soon again. They do take order for whole lechon, eh paano naman yan, dalawa lang kami sa family na kumakain nito. So ayun, I will have to wait next weekend to buy again. They also sells chitcharon from Cebu.

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