Filipino Chicharron: The Ultimate Guide to Ingredients, History, and Pairings
What is Filipino chicharron?
Filipino chicharron is a delicious snack made from deep-fried pork skin. It’s a popular street food in the Philippines and is often served with vinegar and chopped onion as a dipping sauce.
Let’s look at the history, ingredients, and cooking methods of this unique dish.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Chicharrones: A Culinary Delight Made of Pork Rind
- 2 The Fascinating History of Filipino Chicharron
- 3 Pairing Your Filipino Chicharron with Delicious Condiments
- 4 Conclusion
Chicharrones: A Culinary Delight Made of Pork Rind
Chicharrones (full Filipino recipe here for the bulaklak version) are a popular snack in Philippine cuisine, often eaten with longganisa, tapa, torta, adobo, stewed liver, pochero, bananas, afritada, and even chicken intestines and tuna. The term “chicharrones” is derived from the Spanish word “chicharrón,” which refers to fried pork rinds. However, the Filipino version of chicharrones has its own unique differences and detail.
Chicharrones are made by taking the skin and belly of a pig and smoking it until it is dried. The drying process imparts a rich, dreamy smell that is sure to make your mouth water. The dried skin is then cut into small pieces or pellets and fried until it expands like popcorn. The finished product is crunchy, delicious, and often seasoned with soy sauce, tomato, roasted garlic, and other produce.
Ingredients and Cooking Methods
Chicharrones can be made from scratch using pork rind, but they are also available in many brands and varieties. Some modern versions of chicharrones are made with beef or chicken skin instead of pork. The excess fat is rendered and taken out during the frying process, making it a healthier snack option.
To cook chicharrones, the pork rind is cut into squares or strips and fried in hot oil until it turns golden brown. The frying process causes the skin to puff up and become crispy. Some people prefer to bake their chicharrones instead of frying them, which makes for a healthier snack option. Sunflower oil is often used for baking chicharrones.
Chicharrones vs. Cracklings vs. Scratchings
Chicharrones are often confused with cracklings and scratchings, but there are some differences between the three:
- Chicharrones are made from pork rind (read about chicharon vs pork rinds here), while cracklings are made from the skin and fat of a pig.
- Scratchings are made from the skin and fat of a pig that has been roasted or stewed.
- Chicharrones are often seasoned with soy sauce, tomato, and other produce, while cracklings and scratchings are usually just salted.
How to Eat Chicharrones
Chicharrones can be eaten as a snack or added to dishes for an extra crunch. They are often served with vinegar or a spicy dipping sauce. Some adventurous eaters even use chicharrones as a topping for their popcorn, adding a voluptuous crunch to their favorite snack.
In the southern United States, chicharrones are called pork rinds and are a popular snack. They are often sold in gas stations and convenience stores.
The Fascinating History of Filipino Chicharron
Filipino chicharron is a pork dish that has been a staple in Filipino cuisine for centuries. The dish is a version of the Spanish dish chicharrón, which is made from fried pork rinds. However, the Filipino version of the dish includes other ingredients and is prepared in a different style.
Traditional Preparation and Varieties
Filipino chicharron is typically prepared by marinating pork pieces in a sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, onion, and garlic. The meat is then boiled until it is tender and then fried until it achieves a solid, crispy texture. The dish is usually served with a dipping sauce made from vinegar and chopped onion.
There are many different versions of Filipino chicharron, each with its own unique name and preparation method. Some of the most popular varieties include:
- Chicharon bulaklak: made from pork intestines
- Chicharon bituka: made from pork intestines and fat
- Chicharon manok: made from chicken skin
- Chicharon bituka ng baboy: made from pork intestines
Changes and Adaptations
Over time, the preparation and ingredients used in Filipino chicharron have changed to match the available ingredients and cooking techniques. For example, some versions of the dish include beef or red meat, while others are prepared using a different method, such as baking or air frying.
In some cases, companies have even named their own versions of the dish, such as “Chippy” or “Chiz Curls.” These versions may include additional ingredients or be prepared using a different cooking method.
Popularity and Connection to Filipino Culture
Filipino chicharron is a beloved dish in the Philippines and is often served as a main dish or as a snack. It is also commonly included in traditional Filipino dishes, such as pancit and adobo.
The dish has also gained popularity in other countries around the world, including Japan and the United States. In fact, Filipino chicharron is often referred to as “pork cracklings” or “pork rinds” in the United States.
Filipino chicharron is a heart- and stomach-filling dish that is loved by many. It contains an abundance of fat, which is considered good for preventing heart disease. It is typically eaten as a snack or as part of a dinner, and is a great thing to have on hand when looking for a quick and satisfying meal.
Preparation and Serving Suggestions
To prepare Filipino chicharron, follow these steps:
- Cut pork into small pieces and marinate in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, onion, and garlic.
- Boil the pork until it is tender, then drain and let it dry.
- Fry the pork in hot oil until it achieves a solid, crispy texture.
- Serve with a dipping sauce made from vinegar and chopped onion.
Filipino chicharron can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. It is typically served as a snack or as part of a larger meal, and is often accompanied by rice or other Filipino dishes.
Pairing Your Filipino Chicharron with Delicious Condiments
Filipino chicharron is a popular snack that can be eaten on its own, but it tastes even better when paired with some delicious condiments. Here are some of the best condiments to eat with chicharron:
- Vinegar: A little bit of vinegar can add a tangy flavor to your chicharron. You can dip your chicharron in vinegar or add a few drops on top of the chicharron.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce is another popular condiment to eat with chicharron. You can mix soy sauce with vinegar to create a dipping sauce for your chicharron.
- Spiced vinegar: If you want to add some heat to your chicharron, try spiced vinegar. This condiment is made by adding chopped garlic and labuyo chili to vinegar.
- Bagoong: Bagoong is a condiment made from fermented fish or shrimp. It has a salty and savory flavor that pairs well with chicharron.
- Atchara: Atchara is a pickled papaya dish that adds a sweet and tangy flavor to your chicharron.
- Gravy: If you want to turn your chicharron into a main dish, you can add gravy. This is a popular way to serve chicharron in the Philippines.
How to Make Ginisang Monggo to Pair with Chicharron
Ginisang monggo is a popular Filipino dish that tastes great with chicharron. Here’s how to make it:
- 1 cup of monggo (mung beans)
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups of spinach leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse the monggo and let it soak in water for at least an hour.
2. In a pot, boil the monggo in 4 cups of water until it’s soft (this can take a few hours).
3. In a separate pan, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until they’re fragrant.
4. Add the cooked monggo to the pan and continue cooking for a few minutes.
5. Add the spinach leaves and cook until they’re wilted.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve with chicharron for a delicious and nutritious meal.
Filipino chicharron is a delicious fried pork rind dish popular in the Philippines. It’s a great snack to eat with friends and family and can be served with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce.
It’s a fascinating dish with a fascinating history, and I hope I’ve answered your questions about it.
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.