Colombian-Style Fried Pork Belly (Chicharrón Colombiano)

by Erica Dinho on August 2, 2009

This post is also available in Spanish

Chicharron013

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.

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Ingredients

(4 Servings)

  • 1 ½ pounds pork belly with meat, washed and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water

chicharron colombiano

Directions

  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.
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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Empar August 2, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Hola Erica!. Quiero agradecerte el que te hayas pasado por mi blog y me dejaras tu tarjeta de visita, ya que gracias a eso puedo conocer tu blog. Ya te he dejado un mensaje en La cazuela de marisco, me parece original y buena.
Nosotros le llamamos Panceta de cerdo o tocino. Y está realmente bueno, me encanta a la barbacoa, pero así y con el bicarbonato no lo he comido nunca. No descarto hacerlo.
Un beso.

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2 Danielle August 2, 2009 at 11:42 AM

I’ve never had pork belly but it looks really good. what does the baking soda do?

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3 Erica August 2, 2009 at 12:08 PM

This will make it crispier.

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4 Oysterculture August 2, 2009 at 1:49 PM

This sounds so interesting, I’ve never heard of baking soda used this way can you tell me more?

Thanks

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5 rebecca subbiah August 2, 2009 at 10:47 PM

does it taste like bacon?

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6 John August 3, 2009 at 2:22 AM

Wow, that looks so healthy ;-) Gimme some.

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7 Sylvia August 3, 2009 at 5:37 AM

My mom , loves chicharones’s bread. I am not a big fan , but your photo looks so tempting

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8 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie August 3, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Yum! I love pork belly whenever I can order it dining out. I’ve never made it at home.

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9 Janice August 3, 2009 at 11:35 PM

I’ve only made chicharrón a few times in my life and have never used baking soda, I can’t wait to try the recipe out.

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10 KennyT August 4, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Hey Erica, this is something I’d die for, looks so yummy!! Thanks for sharing.

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11 Erica August 4, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Thnk you all for visiting my blog!

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12 BAKING is my ZeN August 26, 2009 at 10:53 PM

I LOVE pork rinds. I don’t eat them often. In my culture (Puerto Rico), we always have pork at Christmas. And that is when I eat a piece and enjoy it thoroughly.
Carmen

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13 Roberto Compres August 30, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Esta muy interesante esta receta, debido a que comprendo que es muy de la región del caribe (Antillas menores, mayores, Venezuela, Colombia, etc.) y es tan similar, por no decir igual, la manera de elaborarlo. Eso si, lo que varia es el sabor de la carne, ya que de un país al otro no es la misma alimentación por lo que el sabor cambia un poco.
La verdad es que estas cosas son las que me hacen negarme a ser vegetariano.

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14 Jasmin October 26, 2009 at 12:30 AM

How much oil do you need for the chicharrones?

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15 Erica October 26, 2009 at 8:04 AM

Hi Jasmin,
We don’t use oil for the chicharrones.They are cooked in water and after the water evaporates, they finish the cooking process in their own fat.

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16 christ November 15, 2009 at 6:35 PM

bravo vivo en miami, y simpre veo estos chicahrones, no tienes receta de chorizo colombiano para BBQ

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17 Erica November 15, 2009 at 7:40 PM

Christ- No tengo la receta para chorizos, pero los puedes conseguir en supermercados latinos.

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18 Jorge May 17, 2010 at 7:20 PM

Erica, una comida Colombiana en Alaska en un dia frio en imvierno en mi casa es chicharrones, patacones e yuca frita con frijoles negros, nunca lo e echo con
baking soda pero lo voy a tratar este fin de semana.
Gracias por todas tus recetas, son del corazon de Colombia

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19 Beverly September 28, 2010 at 9:51 AM

I tried this recipe and it was awesome! I used to go to Risaralda(?) Colombian bakery in Houston every Sunday with my friend from Bogota, Omayra. We would get chicharrones, bunuelos, and empanadas with aji. I have to go back there soon because I miss the food soooooo much!

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20 Chris October 11, 2010 at 12:43 AM

If you’ve never tried Chicharrones before, then you NEED to cook these tonight!!! No you will not get a good figure eating these, but then sometimes you have to indulge, the baking soda gives it that crispy cruchiness.

If you’ve never heard of this or never tried it, get some pork bellies and start frying, once you see what real chicharrones taste like you’ll look at “pork rinds” in a WHOLE NEW light. I’m drooling here now at my work desk thinking of these……..

Yes they are that good, if you’re on atkins this is perfect, all fat and meat no carbs!

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21 DowntownFoodie April 3, 2011 at 1:03 AM

Ay, Erica, mil gracias por compartir el truquito con el baking soda! Lo voy a probar manana. A ver como me queda :).

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22 Chris May 21, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Thanks for the recipe,

I have been eating this in colombian restaurants since i was introduced to it by a friend, but never attempted to make it.

The recipe was perfect, and I accompanied it with your Aji, FANTASTIC!

Chris

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23 Richports July 29, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Why do you want to eat fried fat? No protein, just fat.

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24 Onions August 17, 2011 at 2:35 PM

I don’t know… for energy? fat soluble vitamins? Don’t let this person fool you, there is plenty of protein in chicharron – and plenty of delicious fat. It can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. If you want to cut calories, reducing sugar (carbohydrate) intake especially in large quantity will reduce body fat the fastest. Switch your coca-cola for a nice slab of chicharron!

Thanks for the recipe help!

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25 Michelle November 3, 2011 at 8:05 PM

OH! I am in heaven! My husband will LOVE this!

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26 Diana Lopez November 10, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Richports, it’s not just fried fat, a good pork belly has to have meat in it, it’s a combination of yes, fat, meat, and skin. It’s absolutely delicious.

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27 carolina May 3, 2012 at 7:46 PM

this is a new recipe for me we always fry our chicharon…

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28 Jack July 20, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Thanks for the recipe, I never heard of using baking soda!!! Must try this weekend for sure. We usually just ad salt they boil until it turns into a fry. For those of u that havent tried chicharones….look for a Good Colombian or Cuban restaurant or cafeteria and Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s like bacon on 3D but with a different flavor.

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29 James November 25, 2012 at 10:06 PM

I tried this tonight when they started to fry they fell apart.

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30 Alexandria May 15, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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31 Erica Dinho May 16, 2013 at 12:51 AM

Hello,

What sort of problems are you having specifically, & for how long have you been experiencing them? I’ve been working on the site for a while tonight & haven’t noticed any issues…

If anyone is experiencing the same, please let me know. Thanks Alexandria.

Alan

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