How to Make the Best Colombian Chicharrón

Preparing Chicharrones Picture by Patricia McCausland

Chicharon, chicharrón, or chicharrones are some of the names I have seen and heard for these delicious pork fritters that are originally from Andalusia, Spain.

Many Hispanic countries eat pork fritters, and they are prepared and served a bit differently from country to country. In many South American countries this delicious pork fat is used to stuff arepas or pupusas, as a side dish like in bandeja paisa, a typical regional dish in Colombia or as a meat portion in soups.

Mexicans eat pork fritters in gorditas and tacos with salsa verde, in soups, or as side dishes. In Colombia, pork fritters are made of the pig skin and meat. They are one of the several fried meats we use in a picada, a big dish that also includes chorizo (sausage), beef pieces, morcilla (pig stuffed intestine), and chicken chunks.

Peruvians boil the pork skin and meat in water with salt and let it fry in its own fat to serve it with bread, salsa criolla or camotes (small batata). Bolivians mix the pork skin and meat with Chicha, an alcoholic beverage made from corn.

In chile pork fritters are a side dish, and they are fried at high temperatures. Chileans serve pork fritters inside a piece of bread to create the famous tortillas con chicharrones or use it as flavoring for some meals.

Guatemalans serve pork fritters freshly fried inside corn tortillas with drops of lemon. In the Philippines, Hispanics eat chicharon by dipping it in vinegar with a little salt, garlic, onions, and crushed chili pepper. Also many Caribbean countries love pork fritters, and eat them with tostones, which are fried green plantains.

Best Recipe for Chicharon, Chicharrón or Chicharrones

Here is a simple recipe for pork fritters that our Colombian food expert Patricia McCausland recommends.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of pork ribs with 11/2 inch of meat and fat on it (6 to 8 ribs)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Preparing Chicharrones Picture by Patricia McCausland

Preparing Chicharrones
Picture by Patricia McCausland

 

How to Prepare:
1. Lay the ribs flat, and cut the meat horizontally from the bones. (Save the ribs to prepare beans.) 
2. Cut the meat and fat lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. 
3. Next take each strip and cut it crosswise without cutting completely through, or you will end up with squares. You want to have strips with cuts that open up but are held together by the thick pork fat skin. 
4. Rub the baking soda over all the pork strips. 
5. Place in a medium, heavy pan with just enough water to cover them. Cook over medium heat until all of the water evaporates. Watch that it doesn’t burn. 
6. Remove from the pan; wash the pork well with a lot of water. 
7. Put the pork back in the pot and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fat has all rendered out and you have crispy pieces of pork.
8. Serve, or put aside to use in other recipes.

Do you have a recipe for chicharrones?  Send it to us through the contact page or simply let me know your secret to prepare them!

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