14 Apr2010


First of all, let me say I was rather stunned by the number of readers (almost 200 in less than 24 hours, and 20% of whom first time commenters!) who responded to the question in this previous post, here… It was a busy day for me and I was unable to check the blog for nearly 20 hours, but was pleased to see that some 10% of you seemed to guess what the mystery item was correctly. So the photo was of some homemade pork lard, aged in the fridge for some 3-4 weeks before it was scooped up in a metal tablespoon and photographed…


Several weeks ago you may recall I was experimenting with oven baked pork cracklings or skin. The cast iron dutch oven up top was filled with the leftover fat that lay beneath all of that pork skin. The fat was rendered over a low flame for several hours, and it yielded some 10-12 cups of amazing lard. I know, I know, some of you are probably thinking that is kind of gross, but think again. Probably before butter, and certainly before vegetable shortening, there was lard — pork, duck or beef fat rendered down and when it cooled it solidified into this incredibly flavorful ingredient. It wasn’t so long ago that THIS was the primary fat in the kitchens of your grandmothers or great-grandmothers. And it is the secret to flaky and flavorful crusts, baked goods like tortas and ensaimadas, and lots of other good uses. This is the first time I have made LOTS and LOTS of lard and I managed to used several cups for a batch of Momofuku chicken wings that I made for the Teen on a special occasion, and the remaining fat was stuck into the refrigerator until such time that it would be put to good use, and that use is coming up next… Let’s just say “Footloose” seems to be reading my mind… :) Oh and her’s something to ponder, I read on other websites that this is actually monounsaturated fat, and non-transfat to boot. In other words, it’s tastes good and it isn’t as bad for you as you might think! :)



  1. sam says:

    kitams! tama ako…tulog na MANTIKA! hehehehe :D

    Apr 14, 2010 | 9:04 pm


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  3. ifoodtrip.com says:

    So evil….. cheers!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 9:15 pm

  4. izang says:

    kakakilabot isipin….hehehe….

    Apr 14, 2010 | 9:50 pm

  5. Mary Kim says:

    my dad used to call it “sebo”, but I don’t exactly remember why it was in our backyard..

    Apr 14, 2010 | 9:52 pm

  6. shane says:

    so evil….is right! I thought it was coconut sorbet. MM, this is the reason why I religiously read your posts. thanks for sharing. BTW, I am busy rereading your previous posts in Europe. I am on my way there and have picked up a thing or two from the posts as well as from other comments that I will include in my itinerary….any macaron experiments in the horizon?

    Apr 14, 2010 | 9:53 pm

  7. kim says:

    reminds of chicharon bulaklak lard my mom used to save – for rice with patis : ) wickedly yummy talaga !

    Apr 14, 2010 | 9:59 pm

  8. Rowi says:

    Hej MM,
    It’s been a while and I haven’t read your posts for sometime but today when I saw your photo of pork fat slivers, I just had to react. How timely! I just returned from an Easter visit to Sicily and bought a half kilo slab of Lardo (a marinated and herb-spiced pork fat). I haven’t tried this piece as yet so I don’t know what flavours it would reveal. A friend of mine introduced me to Lardo (wonder which came first, lard or lardo?) and gave me some very thin slices which she suggested to eat on a newly-toasted baguette or on newly-cooked pasta. It was pork-heavenly good! I hope your Lardo (the scooped up foto looks like Limone sorbet) tastes just as heavenly too!

    Apr 14, 2010 | 10:04 pm

  9. KUMAGCOW says:

    If you are using this… then it’s just sinful! XD

    Apr 14, 2010 | 10:07 pm

  10. marilen says:

    The world comes around, MM. I have read too about mono-unsaturated fat like pork lard being healthier than all those transfats. Have takento saving all the bacon drippings for the occasional fried rice or stirfried green beans. No food is really sinful if taken in moderation.

    Apr 14, 2010 | 11:03 pm

  11. millet says:

    i hope you’re using that for the empanada dough!
    “actually monounsaturated fat, and non-transfat “- if this is true, this is the best news of the century! yes, actually, i think this could be healthier than margarine and vegetable lard, no?

    Apr 14, 2010 | 11:31 pm

  12. Lee says:

    i knew it was pork related based on the volume of responses

    Apr 15, 2010 | 12:24 am

  13. Angela says:

    This was one of the secret ingredients in my Lola’s scrumptious ensaimadas.

    Apr 15, 2010 | 1:00 am

  14. acmr says:

    Hi MM, question, you said that this is monounsaturated and non-transfat. Can we say the same about the leftover oil from bacon? I have a small tub of bacon fat in my fridge. I cooked brunch for friends 2 weeks ago and decided I would keep the bacon fat for mashed potatoes. Masarap daw ito instead of butter. Is this kind of rendered fat not horrible for our health? I know, I know, I should google it, but thought you might know off hand. Same question goes for the fat that is rendered from chicken skin. Funny, I peel the skin off chickens before cooking, tapos I collect them. Then when I have enough, I make them into chicharon. then I have lots of chicken fat. I usually throw it out. Is that a waste or a healthy choice? I mostly use vegetable oil for stir frying stuff at home. Thoughts?

    Apr 15, 2010 | 1:04 am

  15. jdawgg says:

    Hello Marketman,

    Coming from a person who is a food connoisseur like you, I know my guess was right. I happen to do the same thing, I tend to used up all the pork fats dripping whenever I stick any pork products in the oven (such as lechon, bake pork ribs, especially bacon fat). I use it to flavor my garlic fried rice. As Emeril Lagasse say’s “PORK FAT RULES”.


    Apr 15, 2010 | 1:11 am

  16. Ric says:

    Very timely post MM as I have a treadmill test this afternoon. I just hope everything turns out fine so I can get back to my love affair with pork and its by-products!

    Apr 15, 2010 | 1:19 am

  17. Lynn says:

    I have not had it but some resto in LA serves popcorn popped in bacon fat and served with bacon bits and grated parmesan cheese. It’s got everything a cardiologist would not want so it must be good. =)

    Apr 15, 2010 | 2:08 am

  18. billy says:

    Why not make your empanada crust with your pork lard? Just a thought.

    Apr 15, 2010 | 2:40 am

  19. The Artist Chef says:

    So sinful! I remember my Grand Ma from Pampanga who did tons of Pork skin and have it sun dried. Then after several days she will fry it in a big “kawa” with lotsa oil. Then we will have our home made chicharon. :D Nice post :P

    Apr 15, 2010 | 4:12 am

  20. Joy says:

    That is crazy. I wouldn’t never think that is lard. It looked like ice cream

    Apr 15, 2010 | 5:24 am

  21. linda says:

    I didn’t get it right,but I had fun guessing!

    Apr 15, 2010 | 6:50 am

  22. denise says:

    hmm..now i want some pork cracklings also!

    MM…does the fat just literally melt to become lard or is there some sort of little chicharon residues after?

    Though a caimito sorbet doesn’t sound so bad right now, what with the summer heat in the Philippines (and soon here in the UAE)..though I think it would be kind of painstaking to do

    Apr 15, 2010 | 7:12 am

  23. junb says:

    Great minds think a like or should I say artisan foodie think alike :). I always have a can of goose fat in my fridge ready for use whever I feel like cooking the artisan way.

    Apr 15, 2010 | 7:14 am

  24. Luanne Shackelford says:

    I also make my own lard from empilla. It is so much healthier than vegetable lard and margarine! Sebo is usually refering to rendered beef fat (tallow), and is the best for french fries. By the way, I found a cast iron dutch oven at Gaisano for P130.00!

    Apr 15, 2010 | 7:54 am

  25. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Knowing your love affair with ensaimada and torta, can’t wait for your re-visit (post) of these two pastries, using your latest stock of pork fat!!!

    Apr 15, 2010 | 7:57 am

  26. Marketman says:

    Artisan, I thought seriously about trying a batch of ensaimadas with pork lard but chickened out, started off with an easier use, up next. Luanne, seriously, PHP130 for a cast iron dutch oven, I would have purchased a dozen! :) Junb, I LOVE goose fat, even more than pork lard… goose or duck fat and potatoes are SUPERB. denise, fat just melts, but you do have to strain away the impurities… The Artist Chef, homemade chicharon… those WERE the days. :) billy, up next. Lynn, yes, popcorn made in bacon fat would be a pretty cool combination. Ric, I hope all goes well with your tests, I once passed out on a treadmill test and nearly flattened a dopey nurse that refused to believe I was about to pass out. :) jdawgg, increasingly, our fridges are filled with these types of “ingredients”… heehee. acmr, I haven’t really explored the qualities healthwise of the fat, so I can’t give you an intelligent answer, but it certainly seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?

    Apr 15, 2010 | 8:42 am

  27. GayeN says:

    I knew it was some kind of lard hehe! My grandmother used to have a jar after making pork chicharon. Us grandkids were fed with loads of steaming rice flavored with lard and fish bagoong. If you get lucky, you also get bits of the pork chicharon. Evil but Yum!!! haha

    Apr 15, 2010 | 9:40 am

  28. apm says:

    Hi Marketman,

    Nothing like a tilapia deep fried in lard.

    There was a bit of an urban legend that Max’s fried chicken is fried in lard. I understand though that its actually fried in pork flavored vegetable oil.

    I also have heard that some chefs in the US now use a combination of lard and goose or duck fat (70 to 30 ratio) as their frying oil for certain dishes.

    Apr 15, 2010 | 10:30 am

  29. liz says:

    hehehe… mukhang natutulog na mantika eh. btw, very nice blog…i could recommend to my bf or to any other aspiring cook

    Apr 15, 2010 | 10:36 am

  30. kitchen says:

    This is also the secret ingredient that they put in Bola Bola Siopao to make it Juicy and moist and they also put it inside Hargaw or Ha-Kaw. in Chinese Restaurants they render back fat in a wok with ginger and Leeks, then they put it in a mixer to churn it with Ice bath to solidify them, by doing this you can now store it at room temp like Crisco, but keep it tightly sealed because fats easily gets rancid and absorb the odors where it is exposed.

    Apr 15, 2010 | 12:44 pm

  31. Teresa says:

    Oh boy!! how can something so good be so bad for our health. When cooking Pinakbet with Bagnet, adding a wallop of pork lard really ups the flavor. My old Aunt says that my late grandma made her pandesal with pork lard.

    Apr 15, 2010 | 1:07 pm

  32. joey says:

    Oooh…LOVE! That’s what I’m feeling right now! Isn’t lard the sweetest, most smug thing to have lolling in the fridge? :)

    Apr 15, 2010 | 6:13 pm

  33. denise says:

    MM, thanks for the info…now if only I can get my hands on fresh pork here…hehe (all are frozen from Brazil or Holland)

    on a side note..I was wandering around a supermarket earlier and found they have some Maldon smoked sea salt :D and I smelled the box and it was salty smoky smelling! (I just didn’t read up what it was smoked with)

    Apr 16, 2010 | 3:39 am

  34. Manilamomof5 says:

    I remember using mantikang baboy as a sauce for sapsap or mabansi cooked like pinangat but I was told it’s a bit different from pinangat. Whatever it was, I didn’t mind eating fish as long as there’s mantikang baboy that we douse our rice with.

    Apr 16, 2010 | 9:04 pm

  35. Kron says:

    First post ever, lurker for years now :D This reminds me of of my childhood in the province. Whenever a big pig gets butchered (for special occasions or the likes), the parts that doesn’t get used in any major putahe will end up being cooked into “parsek”, which is basically pork bits fried on its own fat, for use later on as sahog for other dishes. The lard isn’t usually separated unless there’s quite a lot of it, but a spoon or two is sufficient to add amazing flavor to simple dishes such as vegetable stir frys… Something that you just can’t achieve with any amount of MSG or flavor enhancers. I shall remind myself to make and always keep some of this stuff around in the near future. :D Thanks MM!

    Oh, I’m no fitness/nutrition expert, but it seems (I’ve read somewhere) our body actually needs regular input of fats our diet to be able to make use of (in short, lose) the fat already in our systems… The key, of course, is moderation and that there should be equal input from the 3 basic dietary fats (polyunsaturates, monounsaturates & saturates. Transfat is almost all evil, apparently). Goes to show there’s still a lot to learn about our physiology. :P

    Apr 17, 2010 | 12:55 am

  36. Isagani says:

    This is sinful. I remember my lola using pork lard for tortas. Most Boholano household has a jar or two in the kitchen. Pork lard + inununan on bahaw is heaven!

    Apr 18, 2010 | 11:24 am

  37. hungry mike says:

    pork lard for the win!!! even good in making roux thickened sauces!!! for pork recipe syempre, hehehehe :p

    Apr 26, 2010 | 10:11 pm

  38. gaye says:

    at my grandmother’s house in tagaytay, they still use pork lard for cooking. somehow, food there always tastes better! :)

    May 8, 2010 | 8:30 am


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