Pork Skin, Pork Scratchings and Chiccarones – Oh yeah!

These are my british versions. Below you can see the Mexican version being fried.

I filmed the Mexican method of deep-frying Chiccarones (pork scratchings) in Mexico City…..take a piece of pork skin and then carefully deep fry in a vat of lard!…..
However it is absolutely delicious broken into bits, served with a big bowl of Guacomole and a few Margaritas!……

or here is my recipe I made at home by roasting them in the oven…

Pork Scratchings
The Asian addition of using Sichuan peppercorns is mine. But if you like your pork scratchings plain, then leave them out.
375 g piece pork skin, scored well all over (ask your butcher to do this)
2 tablespoons Sea salt flakes
a couple black peppercorns
2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, optional


1. Cut the pork skin into  pieces about 6-7cm square,  and drop into a bowl. (Don’t cut them too small as they will shrink when cooking.)


2. Grind the salt, black peppercorns, Sichuan peppercorns, if using, together in a pestle and mortar.

3. Sprinkle this spiced salt onto the pork pieces and mix well.


4. Now you could use them straight away but they will be better and crunchier if you cover and place in the fridge for about 2-3 days, turning occasionally.


5. Preheat oven 220 C and wipe the pork rind dry with some kitchen paper and put the pieces onto a baking sheet and into the oven.


6. After 20 minutes, pour away the excess fat, (pour into a bowl and use the fat later to cook roast potatoes.) then return the scratchings to the oven. Reduce the to 150C and cook for about 30 minutes more until puffed and golden.


Drain the scratchings on kitchen paper and allow to cool, then dig in. No, not a diet food. Try not to eat too many, though this may be impossible…..

This entry was posted in Drinks & Nibbles, Meat & Poultry, Snacks, Videos. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Pork Skin, Pork Scratchings and Chiccarones – Oh yeah!

  1. Pingback: Aromatic Pot-Roast Five-Spice Pork Belly – 1 recipe, 5 dishes……. | HOT MEALS NOW

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  3. Simon says:

    Actually if you are on a low carb or ketogenic diet these could be considered healthy. Fat only gets turned into bodily fat when eaten in conjunction with carbs (i.e. sugar, flour, potatoes etc). I am eating these to loose weight, and have lost 20kg already.

    • Is that actually true Simon? How long have you been doing it? Is it Atkins? How do you feel? What do you miss the most? I’m not sure, that even though I really love pork scratchings, I would want to eat them all the time.

      Warmest wishes

  4. Simon says:

    I have been on the diet a little over a year now. Few believe it, so people on the diet have taken to posting their own blood work on the internet to show it doesn’t increase cholesterol etc. Gary Taubes the author of “Why We Get Fat” recently posted his and you should be able to find the results through Google.

    Another good source of information is Jimmy Moore’s podcast ‘Livin La Vida Low Carb’, he’s been on the diet a long time, and used it to get off statins. Obviously there are a lot of doctors who still don’t believe it, mainly because modern research is conducted under the assumption that fat is fattening, so they don’t see the need to prove it. However more doctors are learning the truth, and are using low-carb diets to treat diabetes, MS, high cholesterol, obesity, even things like ADHD can be treated through eating fat and restricting carbs.

    I put together some videos I find useful here : http://www.headlessarmy.com/low-carb-videos . I especially like the Dr. Terry Wahls video, who cured her own MS (many doctors still think its untreatable).

    Personally I have found I have more energy and the improvement in my teeth alone (no sugar) makes it worth doing. I used to be an obese baker, now I’m a slim sausage maker 🙂

  5. Simon says:

    Atkins is one of many low-carb / high fat diets. However I should mention that you should also eat plenty of salad and vegetables. Fruit should be eaten only once you have reached your target weight, and only in moderation. Fruit juice is high in sugar and should be avoided, eat fruit whole.

    Many people follow Paleo style diets where they try to simulate what people ate 2.5 million years ago. Obviously Bagels didn’t exist then, and animal fat was the primary source of energy. The point is that we evolved to cope with eating natural fat and protein (not artificial or vegetable), we did not evolve to eat large amounts of flour, potatoes, white rice or sugar. These only became easily accessible after the agricultural revolution.

    If you want to know the science behind it read ‘Good Colories Bad Calories’.

  6. I’m really interested in this. I’m really interested in why most diets and/or slimming aids really don’t work in the long run. I’m interested in the physical and also the physchologies around all this. I also need to make some art around it too.

    Have you read any of the Diet Delusion by Gary Taubes? He turns the idea of a healthy diet on it’s head and says that our modern day diet that is recommended to us, comes from ideas and research is starting from about the 1930’s and it’s out moded and outdated.

    Research was done on diet at this time, and although not fully researched, the government later pushed through guidelines (and then food bills) as they were pressed to be seen, to be doing something about health, but also allegedly for political reasons and cosying up to the food industries. We are still following that diet today, a diet that hasn’t yet worked for me.

    I also know it’s like giving up smoking. When I gave up for the last time, I was so ready to do it, that I now, never miss it at all. I’m starting to understand which foods make me feel happier, and I just need to get to the point, when I remember this most of the time.

    I’ve had the DD a few years and only managed to read a third of it! But I’m now at a stage and ready to start thinking more seriously about all the nonsense going in the food world and my own eating patterns and health.

    What sort of sausages do you make?

    • Simon says:

      Just regular british sausages just without the carbs which have appeared in supermarket versions. I tend to use make them with quite a high percentage of fat, and home grown sage, but I live in Indonesia at the moment and the meat can be a bit hit and miss, so still experimenting. The sausages are a recent hobby.

      Tried making the pork scratchings last night, but I think I added too much salt. Still I can use them after a run to counter salt loss 🙂 They didn’t look as nice as yours though 😦

      Haven’t read DD yet, just the other two. I downloaded them from Audible to listen on my ipod, although I have since bought paper versions the check the references. Personally I tend not to believe in conspiracies, I believe people just make choices based on personal beliefs which really depend upon having a good impartial education.

      There are plenty of people who think my dietary beliefs are similarly unintelligent. However I am reading up on evolution (Born in Africa by Martin Meredith) as a background to the diet, and researching the Blood type diet as well. The blood type / Genotype diet is interesting, and although its filled with scientific nonsense, it can be made to conform with reality if you disregard Peter D’Adamo’s weird beliefs. I think he is more interested in making money than sense though.

      My other passion is barefoot running, again a recently acquired hobby, and another reason for my interest in anthropology. I am coming to believe that Palaeolithic man lived better in ignorance than we do in enlightenment 😛 Less disease, better diet, no foot problems.

  7. Since writing the above, I’ve just gone and started reading your blog, so obvioulsy you know exactly who Gary Taubes is!
    ……off to

  8. Very interesting reading. I will read more and absorb…….

    I’m guessing your diet has changed since you posted up those recipes on your blog. What’s a couple of recipes that you love most, now you eat low carb?

    • Simon says:

      Yes, a year ago my life was very different. Looking back its strange because I was actually trying to loose weight so I was cutting out chips, but somehow fresh bread seemed ok, obviously I knew the doughnuts were not 🙂

      But I was looking to reduce fat and we switched from cooking with butter to olive oil and obviously I just got slowly bigger, but I wasn’t worried. I didn’t weight myself often because I thought I was doing as much as I could. The idea of starving myself to get thin has never made sense to me.

      I do things like fried rice, but I replace the rice with pulled chicken. I eat using cauliflower, broccoli and salad instead of chips and pasta. Obviously I’m making sausages without rusk, or at least I will be when Chinese New Year is over, its hard to buy pork here at the moment because its in heavy demand.

      When I get a decent sausage recipe sorted I’ll post that, but I have been thinking about recreating my site. It started as something for me to put tech bits on, but I am much more interested in health and the domain name is not really appropriate.

      FYI Gary Taubes is really nice, I have not met him, but I emailed him a few times and he has been really supportive. Mentioned I was into running and he put me in touch with a long distance swimmer using a ketogenic (high fat) diet. That guy sent me his blood work as well, and said his VO2 max had increased since going keto.

  9. Yea I’m interested in all this, I just put a post on blog about starting a conversation about diet. You sound so focussed, which is very inspiring. (and I’m sure you will say that the diet helps massively with that)

    Maybe it’s because of where I am at the moment, but I feel a need to look into my health and fitness long term. Old age looks scary from where I’m standing, watching an elderly mother cope with being bed and chair ridden. I just need to find the energy and focus to do it. (it’s like a lot of things really) If that makes sense. I did it when I gave up smoking 6 years ago, because I was ready to do it. Now I feel I need to psyche myself up, and at the same time find ways to encourage someone else to do the same.

    I’m at the gathering information stage at the mo.

    Barefoot running sounds bonkers, but brilliant at the same time……

    I wish there was a better name for diet.

    That diet post…

    • Simon Holland says:

      Its easier to remain focussed when you have confidence in what you believe. I have eaten ridiculous amounts of fat, just to prove to myself that I won’t get fat. Even for me it seemed odd that hardly anybody acknowledges that fat is not fattening on its own. Certainly its name probably doesn’t help.

      Barefoot running is bonkers, and you have to remind yourself that despite what TV might have you believe the streets are not really covered in used needles, glass and razor blades. Vibram FiveFingers help with the confidence.

      I still remember my first 10 mile run in my Vibrams, I felt like I could run forever without heavy trainers on my feet, however my calves did burn afterwards (my technique still needs improving). It feels so strange to think I couldn’t run at all 8 months ago.

      I agree about the word diet, lets face it 75% percent of the word just says ‘die’, and sometimes it feels like thats what will happen to us. However if you managed to give up smoking you already know you have the willpower. At least low carb shouldn’t leave you hungry.

  10. Pingback: Diet….dirty dirty word……dirty word…. | HOT MEALS NOW

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