14 Feb2009

chicharon1

Some things are too good to believe. Or else, they get shoved to the back of the pantry shelves when they arrived as presents last Christmas and we didn’t re-discover them until a few days ago. Yes, it is microwavable chicharon! Just pop the pack in the microwave and turn it on and a minute or so later you have hot thin, crisp chicharon. It is AMAZING, don’t you think? Manufactured under the label “Jennie’s Chicharon” in Bulacan somewhere, I have never seen this before. It looks downright homemade with horrific packaging, and I want to get in a car, drive out to Bulacan and take them under my wing and turn this into the next Jack & Jill junkfood empire. Lee, Joey, and all chicharon lovers out there, take note of this breakthrough in chicharon availability potentially anywhere on the planet…

chicharon2

And while I thought it was really light and pretty darned good for something microwaved, I am amazed that it hasn’t taken pinoy communities across North America by storm! With a little vinegar and salt, eyes closed, this is really not bad at all. Some googling suggests it is for sale at stalls in Tiendesitas. I am pretty sure our benefactor must have obtained this from the source… and now I am wondering if I just somehow missed the boat on this. Has everyone been microwaving their chicharon and I just didn’t know about it?

 

COMMENTS:

  1. jade186 says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard of such a thing. I wonder how the chicharon gets crunchy and crispy, and how much does it cost? But it certainly sounds more hygienic than the ones bought from street vendors.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 11:11 am

     
  2. Maria Clara says:

    A real innovative approach and good practice in our food industry It is a significant progress in our food development and presentation! Now you can enjoy fresh chicharon at a turn of a knob. Bye bye popcorn here comes crispy porkulus chicharon! I imagine it would take few more years before it will hit the export market as they have to comply with governmental bureaucratic requirements before they can have the green light to enter the North American ports and lots of paper trails involved including vaccination and genetic history of the swines and whole a lot of mumbo jumbo! Enjoy them for me!

    Feb 14, 2009 | 11:29 am

     
  3. shella says:

    there’s one in Davao called Porky Best wherein you cook it like “kropek”–its really really good!

    Feb 14, 2009 | 11:32 am

     
  4. Ubs says:

    That is effin sweet!!!!!!! They have got to get that stuff out here to us in Canada!!!

    Feb 14, 2009 | 11:42 am

     
  5. betty q. says:

    I will definitely try this as I am BANNED from making chicharon and frying them at home even with all the windows opened! I thought I can get away with it when hubby went on a business trip!

    Feb 14, 2009 | 11:45 am

     
  6. Jaja says:

    I agree with shella. The Porky Best chicharon is really good! A visit to SM is not complete without us buying a big bag of freshly cooked chicharon =)

    Feb 14, 2009 | 11:48 am

     
  7. marissewalangkaparis says:

    First time I heard they are microwaveable..Great!! Want to try that but really avoid chicharon…when I start I can’t stop.It’s so bad for me…Cholesterol!!

    Feb 14, 2009 | 11:52 am

     
  8. rachel says:

    they do sell that here in the us already.not mainstream but i found it at a couple of convenient stores. it was from the south i think. i haven’t gone to those stores in a while.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 12:14 pm

     
  9. rachel says:

    i actually have tried making my own. put a handful of boiled then dried pork skins,like the one you would fry, in a brown lunch bag and zap it for about 4 min. depending on how much you’re trying to make.it works with popcorn too, just add a little butter on the popcorn and zap it until it stops popping.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 12:18 pm

     
  10. Rona Y says:

    Way back in 2001, I bought some microwaved pork rinds at a Walmart in, of all places, New Hampshire. They were actually pretty good, but not as good as the Vietnamese style that still had lots of fat and meat attached to the skin.

    Any advice for places to get good chicharon in Manila? Will be there next month, and I’m planning my eating now!

    Feb 14, 2009 | 12:21 pm

     
  11. ariel says:

    I have not seen that product here in California but thats a good idea. Is it a lot better than cold chicharon?

    Feb 14, 2009 | 2:26 pm

     
  12. iya says:

    Have not tried “Jenny’s Chicharon” but have tried Porky Best and it is good. We make our own chicken skin chicharon at home, and I eat it with rice, instead of as an appetizer. As to Manila chicharons,the Lapid chicharon is popular but I used to order pork chicharon from a small carinderia-eatery in QC but it had to be pre-ordered,was very good, specially the ones with meat,expensive at Pesos 1200 a kilo, around 3 years ago.Will try to remember the name lang, senior moments sometimes.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 3:14 pm

     
  13. zena says:

    Wow, never heard of microwaveable chicharon. I’ve tried Porky Best and I thought it was ok but since there is a nearby Lapid’s, I just buy some freshly popped from them.

    Rona Y, Lapid’s is a good commercial brand with consistent quality. I have to admit though that half the reason why I patronize them is for their super yummy vinegar. Kulang nalang inumin ko pagkagat ng chicharon! And i like their all skin (no meat) version best. For the one with more meat and fat, if you have ANY way of sourcing from Carcar in Cebu, it’s worth the cholesterol budget. I always get the smallest pack when I’m there. Maybe SM has them in their native delicacies section but of course it won’t be fresh.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 3:56 pm

     
  14. Marketman says:

    Rona Y, I did a post which included Carcar chicharon, here, and Lapid’s chicharon, here.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 4:36 pm

     
  15. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    MM….other than the usual ingredients in making chicharon, what chemicals and preservatives are added?

    Feb 14, 2009 | 5:39 pm

     
  16. Marketman says:

    Artisan, according to the ingredients list, it’s pork skin, palm oil and iodized salt, no listed preservatives of any sort.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 5:48 pm

     
  17. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    OK MM, I have to try them out then. Will check the supermarkets tomorrow. Also have to try the suggestion of Rachel.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 7:23 pm

     
  18. Mina says:

    great idea. just like microwavable popcorn. i am pretty sure this will be a hit among filipinos abroad.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 8:31 pm

     
  19. Joey Pacheco says:

    Heeeeey- this looks yummy! Porkylicious. Sawsaw sa suka, bawang at sili. This Pinoy dipping sauce somehow makes me feel less guilty of ingesting too much fat- parang natutunaw yung oil sa suka/sili/bawang combo… or so I think- Pinoy Orlistat baga :-) Nothing beats freshly-cooked chicharon :-) Wala nga lang laman (i.e. ‘taba’). I remember the Carcar kind your waiters offered while we were waiting for lunch during the Lechon EB :-)

    Feb 14, 2009 | 10:47 pm

     
  20. betty q. says:

    Artisan Chocolatier: if you want to try another chicharon experiment…try this one I USED TO make! I am not fortunate enough to try Carcar chicharon! Antway, cut the pork skin to uniform pieces. I cu tmine into strips about 1. 5 inches wide and about 3 to 4 inches long. Then season with salt . Lay them on cookie sheets. Since the sun here is not as hot as maybe there, I dried them in the oven on low heat. When they are dried, pu them in a big pot or caldero and render the fat on medium low heat. The skin will change color from tan to almost dark mocha. and the fat underneath almost translucent (if you started with skin that has some fat underneath). Then it is ready for frying. The whole process from cutting to sun or oven drying to rendering the fat here takes me about 3 days. It will cut your time in half if you sun dry it I think knowing how hot it can be there.

    If I want to keep it for future chicharon, once I have the fat renderd and turn to dark mocha, remove with a slotted spoon, drain and let it cool and pack them in plastic bags and freeze. But here at home, I fry them in hot oil soon after it has turned to dark mocha.

    …went to the archives to see what Carcar chicharon looks like or MM’s post on chicharon. …my B.C. chicharon can compare to the ones on the picture…now, I have to make it one of these days, BAN or NO BAN and see if I can microwave it with the same results!

    Do you have a pizza oven…gas fired with pilot light on, …in the winter or when the weather starts getting cold, this is where my mom would dry the chicharon when we still had the pizza oven.

    Feb 14, 2009 | 11:52 pm

     
  21. F1foodie says:

    Here in the US, Lowrey’s makes a product called Bacon Curls that is chicharon poofed in a microwave! They’re available in small portions (Original flavor or Hot & Spicy), more fitting as a snack to have with beer and peanuts.

    I actually keep it in the pantry for crumbling over leftover Pancit Palabok or Feijoada. Perfect for when all you want is a little bit of chicharon.

    Feb 15, 2009 | 1:38 am

     
  22. alilay says:

    love the chicharon, love the bowl too much better than popcorn

    Feb 15, 2009 | 2:42 am

     
  23. betty q. says:

    Hey Joey P.: if you have the time and the “tiaga” make the chicaron ‘how to” up above comment. It can really compare to what you had at the eyeball…the Carcar kind!

    Feb 15, 2009 | 4:23 am

     
  24. paris4444 says:

    Have not seen it here in northern CA. I would love to try it.

    Feb 15, 2009 | 4:32 am

     
  25. Maria Clara says:

    BettyQ: thanks again for sharing your chicharon process making. I always believe nothing beats homemade goods aside you know what went in and also the love and passion not to mention the sweating eyebrows and the big rewards and aha factors. Happy Valentines day to you and your hubby and to each and everyone of my peers, MM and Mrs. MM, Sister and her significant other, and MM crews.

    Feb 15, 2009 | 5:31 am

     
  26. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    Thanks for the tip betty q.

    Feb 15, 2009 | 6:54 am

     
  27. Dew says:

    MM,

    Like many have already indicated, this product is marketed in the US under various names. I’m in Hawaii and tried this product a number of years ago. It was ok but not a winner in my book.

    There is a product, non-microwave, made in Hamden Connecticut and it’s called “Howard’s Fried Pork Skins.” They are my favorite chicharon. They come in Original, Spicy and BBQ flavors. I stick with the Original flavor. They are hard much like the freshly cooked crunchy skin on a lechon.

    Google “Horwards’s Fried Pork Skins”

    Dew

    Feb 15, 2009 | 7:16 am

     
  28. kulasa says:

    I have got to try this MM. Porky Best is what I’ve always used. Thanks for the tip betty q. I’ve tried drying them in the oven (kasi yung pusa ng kapitbahay namin lagi akong nasasalisihan) but I didn’t know that you need to render the fat first – kaya pala anorexic yung chicharon ko.

    Feb 15, 2009 | 10:33 am

     
  29. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Hahaha kulasa…I had the same problem eons ago(that you have to render fat first) but no one to ask so I stopped making them. Now I know. One of these days,I will try this betyyq. I always have all the skin left behind at the market (with the first layer of fat) as am so afraid of cholesterol.Now I will bring them home . Hmmm am thinking this may be a good “try”. But bad bad bad for us at this age…hahaha.

    Feb 15, 2009 | 12:04 pm

     
  30. Frau says:

    Oh my gosh!! These are great.
    just like Rona Y, Walmart is where I found them.
    I picked some up at a Walmart one day. I was surprised to see them. I went back to get more – and they were gone, they have never returned. They were located next to the slim Jims and beef jerky. I only remember the brand packaging was red and black.

    There is a bingo hall that makes the best fresh chicharon. It is a 15 mile drive if I want to get them though. :(

    Feb 15, 2009 | 1:35 pm

     
  31. betty q. says:

    Hay, naku Kulasa and Marisse: If you render the fat after drying them, it really puffs just like the Carcar chicharon. Now, I don’t know how the Carcar chicharon propietors do theirs, but judging from the picture on MM/s post on Carcar chicharon, the finished product (my chicharon) really looks like theirs. The little fat left attached to the skin after endering most of it is sooooo crispy! My mom used to do this and then freezes them after the rendering stage. But i find that it puffs better right after rendering stage and then frying them agad in hot oil. Now, the only thing is when your neighbours smell the chicharon, baka kulangin pa ang kakainin ni Kulas ….pati na ng iyong minamahal, Marisse!!!!

    Feb 15, 2009 | 3:01 pm

     
  32. nina says:

    Wow, first time I heard about this microwavable chicharon. Very innovative indeed and definitely, I will smuggle this forbidden food here when I go home for my annual vacation. It’s a lot better than bringing the bulky already popped chicharon!

    Feb 15, 2009 | 7:30 pm

     
  33. mudra says:

    Ms. betty q, pardon my ignorance…but what do you mean by rendering the fat? Sorry, am really a lost one in the kitchen… =(

    Feb 16, 2009 | 9:21 am

     
  34. betty q. says:

    Ms. Mudra: The pork skin that I use to make chicharon is the pork chop side. When the butcher trims that whole side of porkchop, there is about 1 inch of fat with the skin. Now, that ffat when you oven dry or sun dry will not be “luto” so if I fry the skin at that stage, that fat will not be crispy. So , I put the dried skin with fat on a caldero and let the fat sort of like melt? (wrong choice of word maybe)…or maybe lalabas ang mantika…thus rendering the fat. You know the chicharon that has a bit of laman with it…the crispy fat? …that will be the end product after you have gone through this process. I much prefer to fry the chicharon right after it turns to dark mocha in color and the sides are starting to get blisters. You can also freeze them at that stage and you’re left with the deep=frying stage. I will try this with no fat and see if microwaving it that stage will work!

    Feb 16, 2009 | 10:00 am

     
  35. smiles4angels says:

    wow! first time i’ve heard of this. my lola used to refrigerate the skin and fat when we eat porkchop and after a few days we’d have chicharon for merienda. of course kaunti lang, pero those were the first chicharon i’ve tasted before discovering the marketed ones.

    Feb 16, 2009 | 10:58 am

     
  36. Jen Tan says:

    porky’s best has this =) I just found a box at home last week…inside the box there are foil packed pieces of the chicharon…that you transfer in paper bags also included in the box …then pop in the microwave for fresh hot chicharon =)

    Feb 16, 2009 | 11:26 am

     
  37. mudra says:

    Thanks, ms betty q! You are such an angel! Pasensiya na sa kulit ko =)

    Feb 16, 2009 | 4:55 pm

     
  38. kulasa says:

    Ay naku betty q. I went to the market yesteday at bumili ako ng balat. But it’s still in the freezer – Need to go to work kasi. I’ll do this next weekend. I don’t care what my neighbors will think (pusa naman nila yung nauna). Dapat lang nga pigilan ko si Kulas, kasi 2 kilo ang binili kong balat, eh 2 lang kaming kakain.

    Feb 16, 2009 | 5:15 pm

     
  39. joey says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of this! Oh my…I hope this Jennie and her posse get rich on this, truly :) I am all for people who are spreading chicharon, heehee! I don’t know how much I’d enjoy it though because it does look to have much fat…not that I need it!

    I have to try Rachel’s suggestion one of these days!

    Feb 16, 2009 | 5:27 pm

     
  40. marissewalangkaparis says:

    I found a box of the Porky Best microwaveable chicharon at Metro Supermarket. They come in a big box (like microwaveable popcorn) and you will find 4 packets inside and you microwave each.Just follow instructions. But I want to try bettyq’s way. Envy you kulasa…you got the pork skin right away…but hey,watch kulas…..hahaha..he might eat all of them. Danger! Danger for the cholesterol!!!

    Feb 16, 2009 | 6:35 pm

     
  41. betty q. says:

    Hi Kulasa! On second thought maybe it is a good idea to share your chicharon with your neighbour para iyong cholesterol ninyong dalawa ni Kulas will be shared by the neighbours as well. Besides, who knows, it might end up as a business venture for you as well. …like if my kapitbahay was selling chicharon, I will just buy it from her rather than having to drive for 1 bag of chicharon….yours will be more accessible!

    Feb 17, 2009 | 7:25 am

     
  42. patricia v. says:

    Hi MM! I’m an avid reader of ur blog. This Microwavable Chicharon can be found here in our town, Sta. Maria, Bulacan. Jennie’s is the best chicharon brand here, accdg to me and the rest of my family:) They have also been consistent winners in the Chicharon Festival that’s held here every year. I’ve been thinking of meeting up with the owner to expand this brand coz their chicharon is really really good, even the non-microwavable ones.

    Feb 17, 2009 | 11:45 am

     
  43. Toni says:

    I’ve stumbled upon this product but was wary to try it. I’m encouraged to have a taste of it now that I’ve read it in your blog. :)

    Feb 18, 2009 | 4:46 pm

     
  44. crystal says:

    hi i’ve read about this microwavable chicharon in your site.when i went home to the philippines hinanap ko yun jennie’s pero di ko nahanapan the first time.pero nung bumalik kami sa sta maria coz that’s where we stayed i accidentally saw jennie’s store.so binalikan namin.hindi mo talaga mapapansin kasi maliit lang yun store katabi pa eh eatery i think.so i bought some to bring back here pero unfortunately nakuha kasi mahigpit yun biosecurity dito.hindi naman yun chicharon ang problema but the packaging.i wasn’t able to try it,so i don’t know what it tastes like.but it costs 35pesos per piece.thank you and god bless!

    Apr 15, 2009 | 6:52 am

     
  45. Jessie says:

    Have seen it on GMA’s PINOY RECORDS program. M really proud of Filipino’s ingenuity. I wonder if they have website & so we could order online? ;)

    Jul 11, 2009 | 6:47 pm

     
  46. jenny says:

    a dream come true !!! so yummy !!! available na ba sa mga groceries ito like SM Supermarket? pupunuin ko maleta ko…

    Jul 17, 2009 | 6:31 am

     
  47. orlando lopez says:

    can you please tell me where to buy this microwavable chicharon. please email me at ohlopez2003@yahoo.com. plssssss. tnx

    Jul 20, 2009 | 5:11 pm

     
  48. Marketman says:

    orlando, sorry, this was a gift, I didn’t purchase it. So I am not able to help with a source to buy it from…

    Jul 20, 2009 | 5:27 pm

     
  49. ARIEL A. says:

    the first time my friend vince gave me and my fiancee vilma a bag of this product to try,we were amazed.not only is the chicharon light and fluffy,it maintained its crunchy
    texture after being in the microwave for awhile.congrats to whoever invented this product,it’ll do well in the market.

    Nov 19, 2009 | 2:03 pm

     
  50. swedish says:

    where we can buy the said chicharon? is this out in the market? where?

    Jan 30, 2010 | 2:12 am

     
  51. james says:

    anyone knows how to franchise porky best? may o know their contact number?

    Mar 3, 2010 | 8:33 pm

     
  52. Gazerbeam says:

    Found an online store selling Porky Best Microveable Chicharon. Ships internationally too. So all you OFWs out there longing for a taste of Pinoy chicharon, visit PlanetPinsa.com at http://www.planetpinas.com/x41/product.php?productid=16257

    Jun 28, 2010 | 3:34 pm

     
  53. donna says:

    hi..just like to ask where can we buy and how much is it..thanks

    Jul 4, 2010 | 2:30 pm

     
 

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