Chicharrones (Fried Pork Rinds)

by arnold on November 28, 2009

Chicharrones

In my world, there is no finer snack than some chicharrones, a.k.a. fried pork rinds. It’s something I’ve been eating since I was a kid, and Filipinos love it with sukang sili (chili vinegar) and beer.

Over the past year, chicharrones have been embraced by the “mainstream” through the efforts of chefs like Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats, whose chicharrones, despite my initial apprehensions, are other worldly. They’re incredibly light and when they’re fresh, they snap, crackle, and pop in your mouth like porky Rice Krispies.

4505 Chicharrones

Because they’re so cheap and readily available near me, I’d never considered making chicharrones at home until a couple weeks ago. I had some pork skin left over after removing it to making the Momofuku Pork Belly, and it would be a shame to waste such a nice piece of pork skin. There’s also a recipe in the Momofuku cookbook since they serve a piece of chicharron to every guest as an amuse bouche at Momofuku Ko.

The process is pretty simple. First, put the pig skin in a pot of water and boil it for about an hour a half, then chill it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Boiled and Dried Pig SkinPig skin after chillin’ out overnight.

Use a spoon to scrape off any excess fat left on the skin and put it in a food dehydrator for 12 hours. It should look like a brown piece of plastic.

Dehydrated Pig SkinBreak this into small pieces and fry them up.

Next, break the dehydrated pig skin into 1×2-inch pieces. This doesn’t have to be exact, as the small pieces make nice chicharrones, too. Heat some oil (preferably one with a high smoke point) to between 390-400F in a deep pot. Drop a piece of pig skin into the oil and agitate it a bit until it puffs up. This should take about 10 seconds. Fry each piece one at a time, so they don’t stick together. Here’s a short iPhone video I shot to give you an idea of how long it takes.

After frying, season the hot chicharrones with a mixture of equal parts togarashi (Japanese 7-spice powder), sugar, and kosher salt. Serve them hot or at room temperature. You should eat them within a few days when they’re still crunchy, but I doubt these will last more than a few minutes. :)

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

MyLastBite November 28, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I’m sure yours taste 100 times better, but I’m hooked on the Microwave Pork Rinds (can buy on Amazon)! LOL!

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Joy November 28, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Your chicharon looks awesome. I love it but try not to eat it too often. Hehe.

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Kristen November 28, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Oh No, It’s Alive!!!
Arnold, my man, that looks divine. Seriously divine!

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Mel November 29, 2009 at 12:20 am

That’s off the chain! Kudos :) love the video too!

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Connie November 29, 2009 at 9:36 am

Love how it puffs up like a giant rice crispie! The togarashi is a great idea. Reminds me of these fried piggy ears I had at Pizzeria Delfina in SF, with some kind of lime seasoning and chili oil. Its all so good…

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The Duo Dishes November 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm

*nom nom nom* Looks like you achieved pork rind success!

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Marvin November 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Is that a Ron Popeil food dehydrator? ;P The chicharron looks awesome Arnold!

I have no food dehydrator, so I wonder how the skin would fare if that step was skipped. When I made bagnet, the skin crisped up fine after a stay in the fridge. Though with the extra moisture, there was a lot of sizzling.

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David November 30, 2009 at 10:51 pm

It seems so easy to make when reading through. I love chicharrones made from different recipes especially the spicy ones.

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Stephanie - Wasabimon November 30, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Three words: SO FREAKING GOOD.

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Arnold December 1, 2009 at 4:11 am

@Marvin: I think it is a Ron Popeil food dehydrator. It’s my parents and they won it at some Fil-Am raffle a long time ago. I’d imagine if you did the Alton Brown box fan method you’d get similar results. I think what matters most is that the skin is super dry so that it gets really light and puffy once it hits the hot oil

@Connie: Have you been to Animal in LA? They do some good crispy pig ears there!

@MyLastBite: I can’t really hate on microwave pork rinds. I mean, the end product is still pork rinds. :)

Thanks for all the chicharron love, everyone! It’s always great to spread the gospel of pork! :)

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Susannah December 8, 2009 at 1:37 pm

A-everything on Inuyaki is so amazing right now! I love this video. 4505′s really are transcendent…how does making your own compare, taste-wise?

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Arnold December 14, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Susannah, They’re close texture wise…super-light. Flavor is good, too…a little spicy and sweet. Not as sweet as 4505 but still good. Wanna experiment with more flavors though. :)

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Dirk December 10, 2009 at 10:28 am

Does anyone know what kind of oil commercial pork rinds are fried in?

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Arnold December 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I’m not sure, but part of me hopes they’re fried in lard. :)

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harry de lange December 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Hello, I’m glad to find these site. I hope I’m not too late for an reaction. After a vacation in Mexico, I want to try that chicharonne (duritos). But, I live in The Netherlands, and sun is very expensive here .
So I go to the butcher and order, only pork skin, and yes, he want do it. Cost me 1 Euro/kilo.
And here I make a mistake, I try to scracth and clean the skin, while it is hot from the pan.
So, there are still many fat etc on the skin. You tell here, first chill in frigidaire, ayayayaya, now I know. But I’ve not do that.
But in the meantime, I had to throw in garbage 2 kilo dry skin, because that fat taste bad, after too long dry outside, and not clean it more then I did after boiling. And let me tell you, 1 kilo of dry, is 5 kilo fresh, again ayayayaya .
So this week, I decide to order a food dehydrator. And here I see the result, that brown color is what I reconize how it see in Mexico. My pork skin have a pale color. Not yet received the hydrator, so I wait.
So, when my English is not perfect, is not my fault  is not my main language, and because u not undertsand Dutch, so I do it in English. Anyway, fine to find these site.
Bye bye and Selamat………………. P.S. the best result is fry in that pork fat (lard?)

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Annapet April 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Thank you for this post! I shall have chicharon next Lakers game! Salamat!

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Jane Jones November 30, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Hello, I just found your site. How long will the pork rinds stay fresh? I was thinking of dipping them into some dark chocolate :-)

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arnold November 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm

These tend to go stale kinda quick, in my experience. Gotta fry ‘em and eat ‘em! :)

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Homer Frizzell January 16, 2012 at 10:46 am

Delicious! Thank you!

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