Food represents heritage and tradition for Colombians. I was lucky to grow up in a family who loves to cook and memories of cooking and eating together are in my mind and my heart. Every time I cook, eat or smell traditional Colombian food, I am reminded of my country and my family.
Chicharrón or fried pork belly is a typical Colombian dish from the Andean region of Colombia and is one of the main components of the famous “Bandeja Paisa”. If you are counting calories, I wouldn’t eat chicharrón every day, but if you make a bandeja paisa you have to include it. You can find pork bellies in the United States in Latin or Asian supermarkets.
1 ½ pounds pork belly with meat, washed and cut into 4 pieces
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1. Place the pork belly pieces, skin side down on a work surface and then make 1 ½ inch crosswise cuts on each piece, being careful not to cut through the skin.
2. Rub the pork belly strips with baking soda and place in a medium saucepan. Add the water and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until the water evaporates.
3. When all the water is evaporated increase the heat to medium and cook the chicharrones for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden and crispy.