Lechón (Tagalog: Litson and Cebuano: Inasal) is the Spanish word for suckling pig. In the Philippines, it connotes a whole roasted pig, lechón baboy. Chicken and beef are also popular. The process of lechón involves the whole pig/piglet, chicken, or cattle/calf being slowly roasted over charcoal.
According to Vocabulario de la Tagala printed in 1613 Lechon = Biik. pp. buyik. pp. Buik. pc. bowik. pc. bolaó. pc. Lechon bermejo = Bolias. pc. Lechoncillo = colig. pc.
Lechón is often cooked during national festivities (known as fiestas), the holiday season, and other special occasions such as weddings, graduations, birthdays and baptisms, or family get-togethers. The lechón is usually the highlight and the most popular dish of these events. It is usually served with a liver-based sauce. However, in some cases, it may be served Chinese style with steamed buns and a sweet plum sauce.
Another version of lechón, called lechón kawali, involves boiling then frying pieces of pork.
Leftover lechón in the Philippines is easily recycled into another delectable dish, Paksiw na Lechon. Paksiw na Lechon involves cooking the left-over Lechon by boiling it in vinegar making the meat moist and the skin very soft.
Lechon Cebu is a very popular variety of the dish.
The typical Filipino method of roasting involves placing the pig on a spit and roasting it over charcoals while wiping the skin with a brush made out of leaves drenched in water and the pig's own fat. This makes the skin "pop" and become crunchy.
The pig had always been the center of communal feasts in pre-Hispanic Philippines, and "Lechon" is the normal manner it is prepared.