Home / Food / Secret Ingredients of Cebu Lechon Revealed


Again, I came upon marketmanila.com after searching for the keyword “Cebu Lechon” in Google. It was titled “Dissecting a Cebu Lechon.” I was searching for some information about Cebu Lechon because I’m writing an article for Ezinearticles.com about the Top Five Most Popular Foods in Cebu.

Cebu lechon in lapulapu city

There isn’t any detailed information about what makes the Cebu Lechon so yummy and so different from other lechons in the country. But what I’ve found out was very interesting.

As a popular and a very reputable food blog in the Philippine blogosphere today, marketmanila.com is getting comments from different kinds of readers but who share common interest and business: food. Most probably restaurant owners, chefs, Culinary Art students, carenderia owners, livestock raisers, Hotel and Restaurant Management graduates, and some ordinary food enthusiasts.

One of the readers of this certain post revealed something what makes a delicious lechon, a Cebu lechon I should say. Since the post by Marketman of Market Manila didn’t come up with the exact ingredient in making a Cebu Lechon other than lots and lots of tanglad, garlic, knorr cubes and salt, one reader commented and this is what she said:

“MM, my folks make lechon regulary because they are hog raisers so let me share with you what we do. Aside from tanglad that is placed inside the pig, we rub it with knorr sinigang mix. Rub it on the inside and out and of course use some salt and pepper as well. The sinigang mix is the secret to our juicy, tasty lechon. For extra crispy skin, we baste with olive oil or canola oil. Try this the next time you make lechon.”

Another reader replied to Asunta, recalling about somebody who mentioned to her about the Sinigang which is mixed in the lechon. This is what the commenter said:

“I remember our helper telling me her lola’s lechon is far more better than cebu’s lechon, she is from capiz, the ingredients she mentioned are sabaw ng sinigang powder and lemongrass added in the stuffing inside, hmmm I really have to ask her her lola’s recipe, i think it sounds yummy. . .”

So it’s pretty obvious that the Sinigang indeed is the secret ingredient of the Cebu Lechon. There she said that the Knorr sinigang powder is rubbed into the swine meat with the salt and pepper, and the olive oil what makes the skin delectably crispy.

There are also readers, among of which are probably lechon makers or an acquaintance of a lechon expert, who shared the ingredients of a yummy lechon like stuffing lots of lemongrass (tanglad), salt, scallions black pepper, and onions. Others stuff the lechon with chorizo and rice along with razor clams. Different preparations and styles for different makers of Lechon. But the majority agree that there is nothing like the lechon of Cebu.

Having said these, there’s still no actual secret ingredient yet for the Cebu Lechon which is being revealed. I mean, something that come from a lechon expert himself/herself; well, because it’s a secret. And probably because many lechon makers in Cebu have their own methods and own ingredients that constitute a very delectable lechon. So, it’s not easy to share a specific ingredient, because again, no expert would share his/her secret. The author of Market Manila, Marketman, himself had observed the actual preparing and cooking of Cebu lechon, but didn’t get a clear view of the process since the folks guarded the lechon as if it was a treasure.

Nonetheless, there is one information on the Net that has been shared on how the Cebu Lechon is made, particularly in Talisay, as being known as the province in Cebu that has the most scrumptious lechon. I’ve even made a post about it titled “How to make the Cebu Insal De Talisay.” Here is the video of that actual preparation and cooking of the Cebu Inasal de Talisay. This video, and of course the cooking, was made in Southern California. It’s a funny video actually. 🙂

If you want to read more about pork recipes, click here.

[Lechon image above grabbed from Marketmanila.com]

UPDATE: 03/03/2014:

I just want to share what I’ve read from Inquirer’s Lifestyle section. It said in the article that the secret to a crispy skin is cook the lechon not with the charcoals but with wood. Means cook it with fire, not just burning coals.

Not a secret ingredient, but sure is one way to achieve a very delectable lechon like the lechons in Cebu.


About the author: Nonoy


A former musician who branched out his interest in creative writing and the World Wide Web.

He writes fiction on his spare time.



  1. I agree that tanglad (lemongrass) is one of the main ingredients of lechon that makes it really delicious. The sinigang mix though is something new for me (“sigh” nagutom ako bigla)

    • Hi Claire. oo tanglad talaga daw: tons and tons of lemongrass. hehe. ako rin ngayun ko lang narining yung sinigang. Thanks for dropping by Claire.:-)

  2. I could remember when a TV show featured “How to make a CEBU LECHON”. The business owner said that they only use native pig’s, because, it gives more meat and less fat. They put in Lemon grass, and some other “SECRET RECIPE” inside the pig, then poured and rubbed soy sauce on the skin. I haven’t tried it myself, but, we all know that CEBU is very famous when it comes to LECHON! Di kaya umasim yung loob ng litson kung lalagyan ng SINIGANG MIX?! hehehe! Pang pabata ito, Nonoy! Hehehe! =)

    • Aasim rin pero ma neu-neutralize atah ng salt and pepper, at ng fats ng Lechon. Oo pampabata, as they always joke, kasi indi na tayo tatanda kapag kakain tayo nito araw araw. hehehe. Thanks for dropping by Jom. 🙂

  3. Lemongrass is always a key ingredient. But take note that you can have the same recipe made by two people but they won’t come out the same. A scene from Kung-Fu Panda comes to mind.

  4. The secret lies in the amount of lemongrass that’s being stuffed all over lechon’s inside. The more the yummier. Other spices should follow suit.

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