How to Cook the Best Crispy Pork Belly Chicharon
Looking for a simple yet delicious pork belly dish recipe to serve at home? Well, you don’t have to worry because you found the right place.
Cooking a versatile protein like pork belly which is boneless fatty, uncured, and unsmoked part of pig’s meat is easy when you have any idea of the recipes you want to make. You can create a variety of dishes and recipes like lechon kawali, Grilled pork belly, roasted pork belly, and many more. But, one of the most well-known dishes to this fatty cut of meat yet boneless part of pig’s belly, Pork Belly Chicharon or Chicharron.
You can’t ignore this unique, yummy, crunchy, and crispy chicharon pork belly dish. When you taste this, you will want more and more of it. Whether children, adults, or young at heart, they will love to eat this crispy meaty dish with rice or as a finger snack. When there is a big family gathering and boodle fight, also known as kamayan, chicharon is the best to go dish to serve.
So, without further ado, let’s discover how to cook the best crispy pork belly chicharon in the comfort of your home through this article. This post may contain affiliate links where you can find more information about this recipe!
What is Crispy Pork Belly Chicharon?
Filipinos are food lovers. They loved to create and eat different varieties of food, especially meat. One of the most popular and classic dishes is Chicharon. In the Philippines, this can be served as a finger snack, appetizer, or main dish.
You can make a different kind of chicharon because it has a wide variety of protein use including beef, mutton, or chicken. But, the most common protein is rib cuts, pig skin (also called pork crackling when done), and pork belly.
Traditionally, classic chicharon was fried and seasoned in lard attached means making it with its own fat attached to it.
This dish is not only popular in the Philippines, but it is also a very popular dish in Mexican snacks. They used pork skin or pork rinds and deep frying it, also seasoned it with salt (you can use kosher salt, optional), garlic powder, and onion powder. It is delicious, crunchy, crispy, and salty and yet has a great meaty flavor which makes it irresistible to eat.
It is the perfect partner with alcoholic beverages and dips with spicy vinegar sauce which serves as finger food or pulutan.
Ways to cook Crispy Pork Belly Chicharon
This fried pork belly snack cuisine can be created in different ways or methods. In this part, you will know the three most typical cooking processes of homemade pork rinds (also known as homemade pork cracklings):
The easiest way of making the pig belly or pork rinds (pig skin) is through the instant pot. Simply add the pork belly first in a large pot, then add garlic powder instead of minced garlic, onion powder (optional), and ginger- stir it with a slotted spoon. Then, put the protein in the instant pot, close the lid of the instant pot, and for 60 minutes.
Heat the oil in an oven skillet over medium-high heat for about 400 degrees Celcius. You can make the skin side crispier by adding baking powder to it. Then, put the pork belly on and roast it for about 20 minutes. Remove the pork chicharon from the instant pot and serve
Another way of making it is by using this method. Since you will use a pork belly, you can pressure cook the meat at a gauge pressure of fifteen psi for about two hours. Cool the airtight pot and depressurized it. Then, strain the tough skin of the pork belly using a sharp knife. Scrape gently the excess fat.
Using a paper towel, you can dry the skin at 63 degrees Celcius / 145 degrees Fahrenheit until the pork skin or pork rind flexes slightly before snapping in half, about ten hours. Make sure that you preheat the oil to a hundred ninety degrees Celcius or 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the pork on a wire rack above the baking sheet and pour out the hot oil on the pork belly skin to make the crispiness.
Using this method is a much cleaner, much easier, and way faster cooking process than the first two methods. It will help the protein to have a crispy texture outside and be super juicy inside. This convection oven pork belly aka chicharrones is super crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
In the air fryer, place the parchment paper or baking sheet before putting the meat. Before placing the meat, in a pot, combine all the seasoning of the meat then put the pork belly. Add oil and baking soda over the pork skin of the pig’s belly. Mix it very well.
In a single layer spread the pork belly in the air fryer. For twenty minutes set the pork chicharon at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. After twenty minutes, flip the meat so the fat side will be golden brown. Then, you can increase the temperature of the air fryer to four hundred degrees Fahrenheit. For about five to ten minutes the chicharon until it has a crispy texture.
If you have meal plans, you have to know not only delicious dishes but also healthy recipes. So, aside from the pig which is rich itself used to make the crispy pork belly chicharon, there are several healthy recipes you can make if you are on a diet and you are checking the nutrition facts of every food and dish you eat. Here are some variations you must know:
If you are not a fan of pig belly but you love chicharon, one of the healthy recipes alternative for fried pork belly chicharon is mushroom chicharon.
Mushrooms are a good source of protein, and great antioxidants, are rich in vitamin C, and are a low-calorie source of fiber. It also contains low carbohydrates which is the best alternative to meat. Oyster mushroom or white mushroom is the main ingredient of this version. It has no cholesterol and is perfect for those who want to eat chicharon at the same time to lose weight. On the other hand, pig belly has high in saturated fats, high in calories, and total fat but has a low amount of protein.
Prepare all the ingredients needed, and mix the dry ingredients all together in a bowl except the bread crumbs. Add generous amount water of to the dry ingredients and mix it well until fully combined. Then, you can now add the oyster mushroom to the fully combined mixture. You can also add to the mixture some baking powder or baking soda to create extra crispiness to the dish.
Preheat cooking oil in the deep frying pan on medium-low heat since mushroom chicharon is very easy to make. Once golden brown, you can place it on a wire rack to rest and not burn it. Then, you can sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt which is a less additive type of salt, good for those currently on diet. You can serve it with spicy vinegar.
Vegan Pork Rinds Version
Pork rinds are considered high in sodium and fat. But pig skin is low in carbohydrates which is good for low carbohydrates-diet. However, if you are a vegan person, you can find pig skin alternatives for vegan people and it is rice paper.
It is best to serve people who are diabetic and wants to control their sugar level, and also those people who want to enjoy eating chicharon without animal meat. It has the same texture as traditional pork rinds.
Cut at least two pieces of rice paper into small pieces. Mix the dry ingredients and seasonings. Add water to it and dip the small pieces of rice paper into the mixture. Then, you can toss the small cuts of rice paper’s thin layer into the hot oil. When you hear it sizzle and see it puff up, remove it from the oil and placed the fire to medium-low so the rice paper’s next batch would not be burnt. You can serve it with spicy vinegar.
This version is very quick and easy to make. If you are checking the nutrition information of this variation, don’t worry! It is also a soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan dish which is crunchy, crispy, and 5 stars in taste.
Keto Pork Skin Recipes
If you are not vegan yet on a keto diet, this variety of pork skin chicharon is the best for you!
Did you know that pork rinds are considered one of the most keto-friendly food or snacks you can find? Pork rinds keto is not just low in carbohydrates, since it is made full of protein and entirely fat, it has no carbohydrates.
The process of making pork rinds is much easier and faster. You can prepare the seasonings and dry ingredients. Put some water into the dry mixture. Mix it well until fully combined. You can add oil to it and then, deep-fried it. Once deep fried, remove to the pan and place on the rack to remove the excess oil and season it with kosher salt which is perfect for the Keto diet.
Gluten-free Pork Chicharon
Homemade pork rinds or pork cracklings, also known as Spanish recipes for homemade chicharrones, is gluten-free snack and perfect for those who are on diet and cannot consume gluten which refers to wheat products or protein that is rich in wheat proteins.
To create gluten-free pork chicharon, you have to find pig skin. Then cut the pork skin using the primary sidebar or kitchen shear. Wash the pork skin and boiled it until tender. Prepare the seasonings and heat oil to medium heat then, deep fry it. Once deep fried, remove to the pan and place on the wire rack to remove the excess oil and season it with kosher salt. You can serve it with spicy vinegar.
Stewed Fried Pork Rinds
Stewed fried pork rinds also known as chicharrones guisados are deep fried pork skin or pork rinds simmered in a tomato-based sauce and tomatillo. Unlike the first four variations of chicharon, this version is very different. Same protein which is pork skin but it has a sauce.
Same method for the pork rinds. But, you have to make the sauce. Saute onions and add garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat until golden brown. Then, you can cumin and oregano, once you smell fragrant, add serrano peppers, chipotle peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillo. Seasoned it with salt. Once browned and the tomatoes and tomatillo are softened, reduce heat to medium-low. Continue stirring until the sauce is thick. Add the pork skin and chicken stock or water, simmer it for about five minutes and then remove from heat.
Best served with
Pork belly chicharon is best to serve with other dishes. These are the serving suggestions that you can take note of so you can pair the dish with suitable food to serve.
Rice is the most common dish to serve with this pork belly dish. It is the perfect combo with spicy vinegar. You can’t go wrong with this pair.
Pancit Palabok will not be pancit palabok without chicharon. If you topped this dish with pork chicharon, it gives an extra crunchy and crispy texture to the pasta-noodle dish. It gives a unique, peculiar, and delicious taste to it that you can’t resist.
Ginisang gulay is another dish to best served with pork chicharon. The pork belly chicharon dish adds more saltiness and flavor to the vegetable dish.
Tips for making dishes are very essential for newbies or first time. To avoid mistakes, here are some troubleshooting techniques that you might need.
To avoid dryness of the pork belly, do not overcook it.
The fat side of the pork belly is important when you are making chicharon. Do not discard it.
Use paper towels to dry the pork belly before seasoning it.
Do not add batter to the dry ingredients to avoid the lumpiness of the mixture, you can add water while you are stringing it.
Do not fill the pan or skillet with the pork belly or pork skin when cooking. Fried it in batches.
When you fried the mushroom chicharon, keep an eye on the heat. Make sure it is in medium-low to avoid the mushroom cracklings burning.
Did you know that there are varieties of chicharon? Yes, you read it right! There are tons of proteins to use to make homemade chicharrones.
The word chicharon in spanish means “crackling,” which is in reference to the sound created by the pig dish when it is fried.
Andalucia, Spain is where the chicharon originated from and many Spain colonies countries adopted the dish.
The chicharon capital of the Philippines is in Santa Maria, Bulacan Philippines.
In the Philippines there are many types of chicharon, those are chicharon with laman, chicharon “cocktail”, chicharon bituka, chicharon bulaklak, chicharon bits, and ground chicharon.
You may use substitute protein, herbs and spices when making the featured dish.
If you are a vegan, you can use rice paper as a protein. When you are a vegetarian, you can use mushroom as alternative for pork belly.
If you want gluten-free chicharron, you must not add flour, or wheat products to make chicharon.
And if you do not find pork belly or pork skin, you can use fatback meat, bacon, shoulder cut, goose meat, beef bacon, duck bacon, and turkey bacon as an alternative.
When you are making cuisine, it is very important that you have the correct set of equipment and utensils. In this dish, you need an instant pot, convection pot, pressure pot, large pot, skillet, measuring cups, wire racks, kitchen tongs, slotted spoon or ladle, sharp knife, chopping board, electric or gas stove, and silicone basting brush. You may also need a primary sidebar or kitchen shears to cut pork skin.
Perfect storage is a must, especially for the featured dish. You have to find an airtight container
to put the chicharon in and refrigerate it for up to two days. You may also store the pork belly chicharon at room temperature. Make sure it is sealed properly.
You don’t need to stress out about what to do with your pork belly. This chicharon snack is a to-go dish that you can serve with your loved ones. So what are you waiting for, let us start making this dish and discover how to cook the best crispy pork belly chicharon with a twist of Filipino flavor.
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Best Crispy Pork Belly Chicharon Recipe
- 1 kg Pork Belly cut into 5 pieces
- 6 cups Water
- 3 cups Oil
- 5 pcs Laurel Leaves
- 1 tablespoon Whole Peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Pour in the water in a pot and bring to boil.
- Now, add ½ teaspoon salt, laurel leaves, and whole peppercorn. Then put the pork belly into the pot. Simmer for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, transfer the pork belly onto a flat surface and use a fork to lightly stab the pork belly's skin.
- Now, halved each pc of the pork belly. Then, rub each pork belly with the remaining salt.
- Transfer all the pork bellies onto a wire rack, and let it stand in front of an electric fan to dry the remaining liquid in the meat for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, heat oil in a pan, then fry the pork bellies over medium heat for 3 minutes while covered.
- After 3 minutes, turn the meat over to cook the other side. Fry it again for 3 minutes. Do the same procedure with the remaining pork bellies.
- Serve with vinegar and enjoy!