Chicharon

Crispy Pork Rinds

Chicharon or pork cracklings are crispy fried pork skins, oftentimes served as appetizers with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce.

Not a lot of Filipino households would make their own chicharon. Most would rather buy than make it from scratch.

But it is rather fun to know how it is made, and making it made me understand why some are quite hard to bite and no flavor, while others are real crispy.

I found out that boiling the rinds until really soft makes a great difference in texture in the end product.

Also the seasoning (or lack thereof) of the simmering liquid accounts for the taste or flavor once fried.

Now, why do we need to dry out the pork rinds?.

Drying the rinds will fluff the skin during frying and this gives it that delectable crunch.

chicharon

YOUR SHOPPING LIST:

  • Pork Rinds or Balat ng Baboy


IN THE PANTRY:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Salt
  • Peppercorn

  • Cooking Oil for Frying

INGREDIENTS

  • Pork Rinds or Balat ng Baboy, fat trimmed
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 large Onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Peppercorn
  • Enough Water to fully cover rinds
  • Cooking Oil for Frying

1 Simmer the pork rinds in water seasoned with garlic, onion, salt and peppercorns. Cook until tender, about 40-50 minutes.

2 Using a pair of scissors, cut the rinds into 1 1/2" squares.

3 Bake in a 200°F; for about an hour up to one hour and a half or until the rinds are thoroughly dry.

4 Remove from oven and set aside to cool down, or refrigerate to fry at another time.

5 To fry, heat up enough oil for deep frying. Use medium to medium high heat or at 350°F;.

6 Fry until golden brown or 2-3 minutes and drain excess oil.

7 Sprinkle salt and pepper right away.

8 Serve with vinegar dipping sauce..

BENG'S TIPS

  • Make sure the pork rinds are fully submerged in the simmering liquid as they have a tendency to float on the surface.

  • Using scissors to cut the pork rinds is much easier than using a knife. Also cut the rinds after (not before) boiling so they are tender and cuts easily.

  • Other than salt, you could use garlic or onion powder to season the chicharron. Also, make sure you sprinkle the seasoning immediately after you took them out of the oil, just like how you would french fries or adobong mani.

  • You could dry the rinds out in the sun, but make sure to cover with a net or thin cloth to keep out the flies and insect.


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