There are a multitude of unique food offerings in the Philippines. This is because of the geographical orientation of the nation. Thousands of islands comprise the country, paving the way to an assortment of dishes: from the most common to the borderline exotic. Our dishes use all kinds of meat ranging from the usual up to the organ meats: name it, and we have a recipe for it.
This diversity in cooking is what makes the Filipino culinary arsenal truly interesting. And one of the many curious and unique food offerings that we have is the featured recipe for this article. We will be sharing with you how to achieve the crunch and the taste that we are looking for when it comes to this organ meat that is best paired with a bottle of beer.
So without further ado, allow us to share with you all the information that you need to learn from the techniques up to the tips that will make you the star when cooking the best Chicharon Bulaklak there is.
What is Chicharon Bulaklak
Chicharon is the Filipino term for crackling: this is usually made from dried pork skin or pork belly boiled and deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. But for this recipe, we will be using pig’s intestines, which for some might already be considered exotic.
But for us Filipinos, intestines will always be a part of our culinary repertoire. The usual dish that we make for intestines is Dinuguan, a type of pig’s blood stew. However, our featured recipe for this article is often served as an appetizer or finger food paired with alcoholic beverages.
This unique treat is made from the ruffled fat, a tissue attached to the pig’s intestines. This is then washed to remove the intense scent, which is natural in organ meats. Others simmer this along with aromatics and vinegar to infuse flavors into it. After simmering, you have to deep fry this delight until crisp.
The glistening, golden brown color after frying is merely irresistible, and dipping it into spicy vinegar makes it even more delightful to chow down. This dish’s name came from chicharrones, a Spanish term for a dish similar to the pork crackling that we are familiar with, and bulaklak or flower, about the ruffle fat’s shape.
Ways to Cook
Deep frying is always the way to go when making Chicharon Bulaklak. This is because it fully submerges the ruffled fat in oil, so all organ meat sides are cooked evenly. But thanks to modern technology, even our kitchen equipment is now more technologically advanced.
So cooking dishes are now made more comfortable with these advancements. With that, here is a list of other cooking methods that you can use to cook Chicharon Bulaklak at home.
The majority of Filipino households still use stovetop cookers because of their reliability and affordability. In most cases, the preferred type is the LPG-fueled one; however, other kinds of cookers are out in the market, such as the electric type and the cooker’s induction type.
And since this recipe requires that it be deep-fried, using a deep-bottomed pot is recommended to ensure that the ruffled fat will be cooked. Ensure that the pot you will be using will hold a high amount of heat. If you have a dutch oven, then that’s better.
These types of stovetop cookers use the same principle in cooking food: direct heat coming from the heating element or burner at the bottom of the cooker. This will heat the pot or pan, transferring the heat across the surface of the pot.
If possible, you can boil the organ meat in water mixed with vinegar and aromatics to remove the scent. Using your preferred cooker, heat a generous amount of oil: enough to submerge the ruffled fat for it to cook evenly. Then fry the organ meats until crisp and golden brown.
If you happen to have this upgraded version of the pressure cooker, then you’re in luck. This functions as a pressure cooker and as a multi-cooker as it can do the function of other kitchen appliances such as steamers, a frying pan, and a rice cooker. All of these functions can be chosen simply by pressing a button.
Pressure cooking, which is the main principle of the instant pot, allows for a quicker cooking time because it forces the liquid to rise above the average threshold. And since this is a multicooker, we can use this to pressure cook the protein and then fry the same using the instant pot.
Pressure cook the organ meat to tenderize it, as it tends to be rubbery when undercooked. Mix in the aromatics while pressure cooking to infuse flavors into it. Then we can also use the same pot to fry the meat. However, the challenge is that the instant pot is not built for deep frying, so it would be wiser to pressure cook it and then deep-fry on a different pan.
If you’re seeking an alternative way to “fry” food without really using a vast amount of oil, then using the oven is the way to go. Since time immemorial, oven baking and oven cooking are the preferred cooking method since it’s faster and you’re assured that whatever you’re cooking will be cooked thoroughly.
There are a few varieties of an oven that you can use for your different needs. This can range from the simple oven toaster to the more industrial types of a built-in oven rotisserie. But the general idea of an oven is to trap the dry heat inside the vessel, then allow that heat to circulate and cook whatever food you’re cooking.
So if you are to use this method, make sure to season your organ meat generously and damp it with some oil to prevent it from burning. Line the baking tray with aluminum foil: this will also help retain the heat and cook the underside of the ruffled fat. Make sure to have your oven preheated before doing all this: this will allow for faster cooking time.
If you happen only to have an oven toaster, what you can do is repeat the cooking process twice: oven toaster at times only has a limit of fifteen minutes of cooking time, so you have to turn the dial again.
This kitchen wonder is currently making its way to fame, and its appeal is specially intended for people who are on the quest for a healthier lifestyle. With a healthier lifestyle is the decision to switch to healthier cooking options. And that is where the Air Fryer shines the brightest.
This piece of kitchen equipment functions like an oven but even better. What it does is that the air fryer produces heat from the top part of the cookware, and this heat is being blown downwards by fans situated just below the heating element. This heated environment cooks and fries food without the aid of too much oil or lard.
For this cooking method, we highly recommend that you boil the ruffled fat first to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly before frying. Then sprinkle or spray the organ meat with some cooking spray or oil, just to moisten it and lock in the moisture inside. Then choose the recommended temperature for meats, and cook them for about twelve to fifteen minutes.
Since the air fryer has an automated timer, it will switch off once it reaches the desired cooking time.
Other Delicious Variants and Recipes of Chicharon Bulaklak
Chicharon Bulaklak is a pretty straightforward dish: you clean the meat, season it well, then deep fry to perfection. This is the charm that this organ meat possesses. That no matter how simple it is, its flavor is something to look forward to.
And with the recipe’s simplicity comes its versatility. That is why we have a list of a few other variants that you can try for Chicharon Bulaklak for your next gathering.
Special Chicharon Bulaklak
We all know that Chicharon Bulaklak is a special treat for many of us. But if you’re asking what makes this variant extra special, then let us share with you why. The parts that we’re using for this recipe are just the ruffled fat, but to make it special, we will be including the intestines.
This variant requires extra care since we need to make sure that the intestines are adequately cleaned. Once you’re done cleaning the intestines, that’s the time to boil them in water mixed with vinegar and aromatics. This will remove the intestines’ scent and will also infuse the organ meat with the necessary flavors.
Once the intestines are tender, cool them down, and deep fry them in oil until they are crispy and golden brown. You can also partner this variant with a dipping sauce made of vinegar, soy sauce, and chilies.
Spicy Chicharon Bulaklak
There is something about spicy dishes that make us crave for them with each bite. This is true in most cases: may they be savory, crispy, or any dish that is laden with ingredients that makes them spicy. And the tender and flavorful Chicharon Bulaklak can be made even more mouth-watering by adding some kick of heat to it.
To do this, par-boil the ruffled fat in water and vinegar mixed with aromatics to tenderize them. You can also now infuse the heating element like chilies into the solution to penetrate the fibers of the organ meat. You may use any kind of chilies that you prefer: finger chilies for milder heat or red chilies for that needed kick and heat.
Another method that you can use to introduce the heat into the chicharon is by glazing it with a spicy sauce. You can do this by sauteing garlic, onions, and chilies in oil: then toss in the pre-fried ruffled fat. Make sure to evenly coat the protein in the spicy glaze for that well-rounded and full-bodied spice and kick.
Technically, ruffled fat is not a part of the intestinal system. In reality, this part of the pig serves as the cavity which holds the intestines in place. And if it’s not apparent, Chicharon Bulaklak rose to fame because it is the choice of tapas or finger foods of people drinking alcoholic beverages.
This simple and very straightforward dish might pose some challenges if it’s your first time cooking Chicharon Bulaklak. But don’t worry because that’s the reason why we’re here. Here are a few tips that you can apply to better quality output in cooking this recipe.
If you encounter cooking this recipe, we have a few troubleshooting steps to remedy your kitchen dilemma. After all, mishaps in the kitchen make us better cooks.
- If the output is somewhat rubbery, we recommend refrigerating them and re-fry to cook the organ meat thoroughly.
- If the ruffled fat gives off an unpleasant scent, sprinkle some calamansi juice to mask the scent.
Best Serve With
This delectable treat is best enjoyed with a few other dishes and not just alcoholic beverages. After all, we Filipinos love to mix and match dishes for a more enjoyable dining experience.
- Taco Fried Rice
This flavorful and aromatic rice recipe is sure to go well with our crispy and savory chicharon. We can even up the ante by dipping the Chicharon Bulaklak in vinegar.
- Suam na Mais
Our featured recipe is flavorful and has a strong profile. For this reason, it needs a pair that has a milder taste to wash down the intensity of flavors that it leaves in one’s mouth. That is where Suam na Mais comes to play: the natural sweetness of the chowder will wash down the taste of the ruffled fat.
- Atcharang Papaya
We know how tasty Chicharon Bulaklak, and how fatty it is. And what’s a better way to remove that fatty taste in your mouth than to cleanse it with a pic
Unique dishes are fun to cook, and it also challenges our creativity in the kitchen. And for an aspiring cook, that is what will make you better. And with all the information that we have shared, we know that you will be more than confident to cook Chicharon Bulaklak at home.
So until next time, happy cooking!
For more delicious recipe, please visit Eat Like Pinoy!
Best Chicharon Bituka Recipe
- ½ cup Alum crystal (tawas)
- 1 kg Pork's Intestine
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 cups Oil
- 1 ½ cup Vinegar
- 5 cups Water
Washing and Cleaning of Pork's Intestine
- Using a faucet, clean the pork's intestine outside and most especially inside. Make sure to remove everything that's in the pork's intestine.
- Boil water in a large pot. Then, pour it on the pig's intestine after the 1st part of washing.
- Let it cool, and clean it again using water from the faucet.
- Now, rub it with salt and vinegar to remove the stinky smell of the intestine. Then, wash it again.
- Prepare water with alum crystal in a basin.
- Now, cut the pork's intestine into rounds and soak it into the basin with water and alum crystal for 10 minutes.
Boiling and Frying
- After 10 minutes, wash the pork's intestine and transfer it into a pot.
- Season it with salt, ground black pepper, and vinegar. Cover and boil for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, drain and set aside the pork's intestine.
- Heat oil in a pot, fry the pork's intestine until half-cooked. Then transfer it into a bowl, refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, heat oil in a pan, and fry the pork's intestine until golden brown.
- Transfer onto a serving plate. Serve with sauce and enjoy!