Chicharrón is a dish made of fried pork skin. It is hugely popular in Latin America. And it it delicious.
By Giulio Sturla
When I lived in Ecuador on many road trips to the Andes, and almost in every little town there is someone selling a menu with many different pork preparations, one of them is Chicharron (pork rinds). They fry the skin of the pork in a big pan until crispy and completely blistered.
- Half pork belly
- 2 lts oil
- 1 tsp dried chili
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp dried bay leaves
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp salt
- Starting with a very sharp knife and then with the pork belly, remove the skin of it taking care to get the least amount of fat as possible. Put the skin on the chopping board with the fat side up, try to remove all the fat with the knife tip, cut the clean skin in strips of 1 x8 cm. Cook the strips in boiling water for 10 min and then strain, let them cool a bit and put them separated on a tray with teflon paper to dehydrate them completely in a dehydrator or an oven at 50C for at least 12 hrs or until dried (it should be hard).
- After prepare a pot with oil at 180 C, add the dried skins, they will puff very fast so be ready with a dotted spoon and a plate to place them on. Help with the spoon to dip them in the oil until done. Remove from the oil and place them on a plate.
- Put all of the dried products in a mortar to mix. Use this for seasoning.
Giulio is a nature and food lover. He has been cooking for the last 12 years. He endeavors for local, honest, delicious food to be shared with everyone. He is now pursuing his dream project in Lyttelton - New Zealand, a community restaurant based on good values and respect for the soil.