pork skin

Best Snack – Ever !?

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Pork Rinds, Pork Skins, Pork Scratchings, Pork Crackling, Chicharrones, Scrunchions, Oreilles de Christ, Chicharrón, chicharrón con Gordo, Gratons, Khaep Mu,  Tóp Mỡ, škvarky,  Grieben, Griaba, Torresmos,  Couratos,  Knabbelspek, Flæskesvæ, etc, etc, etc.
Fried pork skin is eaten in most if not all areas around the world where pork is consumed. (Many other animal skins, ears and intestines are also used to make cracklings, but today I just want to talk about pork skins, most widely known as Chicharrones, but also by the many other names listed at the beginning of this post.
I sometimes buy them ready-made in bags and have found a few very good brands in the supermarkets around here, especially in the Latin-Markets. But nothing comes close to the freshly made homemade stuff, still warm and with a texture, flavor and aroma which you just don’t get from a bag. I happened to have some pork skin in the fridge which I removed from a pork butt I cooked yesterday, anticipating the chicharrones I wanted to prepare today. (I usually cook the butt skin-on).
However, pork skin is widely available from butchers and markets so you should have no problem sourcing it.
The process is very simple :
To fry the skins, use duck fat, pork fat or peanut oil. Simmer the skin in salted water until very tender, drain, let dry for a couple of hours. Cut into strips or cubes and fry at low temperature until very crisp. Remove to absorbent paper and season to your liking. Just plain kosher salt will do, but you can experiment with additional seasoning, such as cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, curry powder, za-atar, old bay seasoning, or my favorite,  five spice powder, which I have used in today’s dish. I also like to sprinkle finely sliced scallions and chili flakes over the cracklings and use a dipping sauce of chili oil and hoi sin sauce.
WARNING !!!!
I recommend to cook the chicharrones outside in the open air; splattering of fat WILL occur !
In any case, no matter if you cook the chicharrones inside or outside, cover the fryer 3/4 with a lid while frying to minimize the fat going all over the place and possibly ignite on the hot stove.

To sum it up – making chicharrones at home is like making love :
– if you know what you are doing, the rewards can be wonderful 🙂
– if you don’t know what you’re doing, you might get burned 😦
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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Chicharrones

Chicharrones

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Chicharrones

Chicharrones

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Japanese Pork, Korean Rice Cakes And French Beans (Teriyaki Feast)

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While  the ingredients for this dish (and the cooking methods) are not exactly a traditional combination, for my personal palette they compliment each other perfectly. They are typical for the dishes I prepare for myself at home. On the other hand, would I still cater to guests at a restaurant or at home, I would not hesitate to serve this kind of food as a course in a multi-course menu. (As I have done many times).
Having been trained in and practiced for most of my career classic French cuisine, as well as garnering experience in local cuisines around the globe, this type of “fusion cuisine” has become  my personal cooking style. Nowadays, cooking mostly for myself, a few close friends and the occasional high-end private gig, I don’t have to confirm to traditional cuisines anymore; – my food has become truly a fusion of dishes, methods and ingredients from around the world. Mind you, I don’t try to make my food appear haphazardly strange or exotic on purpose, but sometimes that’s the result when mixing without restraint 🙂
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Bon Appetit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
“Teriyaki” in this dish refers to the teriyaki sauce as part of the dish, not the traditional cooking method.     Click for  Teriyaki
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Japanese Pork, Korean Rice Cakes And French Beans

Japanese Pork, Korean Rice Cakes And French Beans

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Japanese Pork, Korean Rice Cakes And French Beans

Japanese Pork, Korean Rice Cakes And French Beans

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Standard cup board items in my kitchen:
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