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Pig a la Caja China from Chef Clark Bowen

The Executive Chef of db Bistro Moderne shares his favorite BBQ recipe

Executive Chef Clark Bowen, db Bistro Moderne


2 c sour orange
1/2 c lime juice
1 head of peeled garlic, mashed
1 bunch of fresh oregano, picked and chopped
1 tbsp powdered cumin
3 bay leaves, crumbled


For the seasoning: Dissolve 1/2 cup of water and add it to all the other ingredients. Mix it all together and let the mixture rest for a couple of hours. Then strain the liquid and save both the mixture and the liquid.

For the pig: Open a fresh pig lengthwise from the belly, splitting down the backbone, but be careful not to cut through the skin. Inject the liquid into the meat of the pig, still being careful to not penetrate the skin. Pay extra attention to the legs and jowls. Rub the garlic, herbs, and spices into the inside of the pig. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and let marinate overnight. 
The next day, take the pig out of the refrigerator and let it sit until it reaches room temperature.

Set your pigskin side-down into the box, and secure into the cage. Put your coals in two piles, one at each end of the box, and let them start to Don’t use quick-light charcoal. After the coals are burning, spread them evenly across the pig and leave it alone. Every hour, add more charcoal and make sure it’s evenly distributed. After 3 hours, open the box and carefully flip the pig. After flipping, score the skin, sprinkle some salt on top, and start burning the coals again. Be sure to empty the ashtray after flipping.

Check the pig again after 20 to 45 minutes, depending how crispy you want the skin to be. Remove the pig from the box and let it cool. As long as you can take the heat, get in there and get your hands messy. Be sure to eat the ears—they’re the best part!

Happy dining!

By Jennifer Agress | Miami Editor