10 Jan2011


Rendering fat takes on new meaning when you do it roughly 15 kilos at a time! OMG in the “fattest” sense… If you read Part I of The Chicharon Chronicles, we left off after the fat had been simmered in hot salted water. The skin/fat was then sliced into small “bite-sized” pieces and allowed to cool. The kawa or pan was emptied of the salted water and allowed to dry over low heat. Nearly a gallon of pork fat was added to the pan, and when it had reached a higher temperature, the sliced pork was added all together back into the pan.


After 15-20 minutes, the pork pieces were SWIMMING in hot lard. It was an absolutely amazing sight! A bit overwhelming, actually. I can tell you know that its REALLY MESSY business making chicharon, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone in a home setting unless you have facilities outdoors… As mesmerizing as the frying fat was to behold, I was seriously worried about it clogging one’s arteries…


The kin/fat was stirred gently to cook the whole batch evenly…


…and you have to watch that it doesn’t get overly brown. Ultimately, some 1/3 or 1/2 of the fat in the original pieces of skin probably renders out. And you can readily sell the freshly made pork lard, we were told…


The fried pieces are then cooled on a table and readied for the last two cooking steps before turning into the chicharon most of us just buy in a plastic bag and enjoy blissfully ignorant of how it was made to begin with… :)




  1. chloe says:

    When do they curl, MM? The finished product in Part I was curled while this ones are not. Do they still curl after the first frying?

    Jan 10, 2011 | 9:32 pm


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  3. rex says:

    Since a third to half of the fat from the skin has been rendered, wouldn’t it be more “healthier” to eat than the same portion of pork sinigang or lechon kawali? I think pork skin kilawin is more “healthier” because most of the fat has been scraped from the skin already. Fat or no fat all of them are equally delicious nonetheless :)

    Jan 10, 2011 | 9:37 pm

  4. Tricia says:

    In Nueva Ecija, we call this “inantala”

    Jan 10, 2011 | 11:16 pm

  5. Bijin says:

    I’d buy the fresh pork lard if I can. It’s so much more healthier than the oil made in big factories with all the bleach and chemicals to make it tasteless and shelf stable. Any fat that can be made at home like butter, lard, coconut oil is better contrary to commonly held belief. It’s the processed food and everything hydrogenated that’s making everyone sick.
    I would like some lard, please!

    Jan 10, 2011 | 11:18 pm

  6. tonceq says:

    it’s still amazes me when i see the leftover oil from rendering fat from your usual grocery bought bacon… it scares me sometimes but… I just bite into a bacon piece and immediately forget about it! :)

    Jan 11, 2011 | 12:48 am

  7. thelma says:

    chicharon dipped in vinegar with lots of garlic, black pepper and cushed siling labuyo ….yummy!

    Jan 11, 2011 | 1:19 am

  8. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Whoa, I just realized…twice fried in lard?

    Jan 11, 2011 | 2:17 am

  9. quiapo says:

    Great photos !

    Jan 11, 2011 | 3:00 am

  10. Mari says:

    Miss those days when my mom used to do this with the fat we buy from the pork or the chicken skin that she removes… Darn it, chicharon is really a staple for Filipinos. It’s a great snack and pulutan!!! Keep those pics coming MM!

    Jan 11, 2011 | 3:24 am

  11. natie says:

    i remember, when I was growing up, they were calling this “tulap-ho’ “..not quite chicharon yet, but fat rendered out…

    Jan 11, 2011 | 4:08 am

  12. HD says:

    Di ako pwede mag business ng ganyan. Wala matitira sa kaka tikim ko hehe.

    Jan 11, 2011 | 10:21 am

  13. Blaise says:

    Marty’s Vegetarian Chicharon na lang ako :)

    Jan 11, 2011 | 11:00 am

  14. becky says:

    my grandmother also used to ‘antala’ chicharon bulaklak.
    ‘antala’ is when the chicharon bulaklak has been cooked
    and is now doing a freestyle in a pool of it’s own fat.
    first boil then render the fat then it’s gona sit in it’s own
    fat until we want to eat some. then she’s gona cook the chicharon
    bulaklak in the lard till crispy on the edges.

    Jan 11, 2011 | 11:38 am

  15. Anne :-) says:

    I can’t wait for the next saga….. :-)

    Jan 11, 2011 | 12:03 pm

  16. teth says:

    yeah, cannot wait for the next two steps!

    Jan 11, 2011 | 2:08 pm

  17. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Went to 99 ranch today, an asian grocery store ,got 6 lbs of pork skin. Part 1 and 2of the chicharon chronicles done! Kept the browned and rendered skin in the fridge,waiting for the next two steps .The lard is awaiting for the part 3..(^-^)Seafood city,a California base Filipino grocery ,fish &fruits store ,recently open here,gosh they have crispy pata and all artery clogging freshly cook food ready to go,any given day this place is packed,but i am still making homemade chicharon,made a little mess tonight ,but its all worth it!!

    Jan 11, 2011 | 3:24 pm

  18. melvin says:

    Any info where we can buy pork skin here in Manila?

    Jan 11, 2011 | 4:46 pm

  19. Mac says:

    Cardiac delight…

    Jan 12, 2011 | 12:06 am

  20. Joe Bariring says:

    I have been experimenting on this for quite sometimes now and have also tried the process you have posted so far. I found that, 1) if the skin is just cooled after the boil and has been cut into pieces and then added to hot oil it will splatter like crazy and make a lot of mess. So, 2) I try rendering the fat into a pre-heated wok coated with oil then the heat is reduced to between medium and low immediately after adding the skin (pre-boiled and cut into pieces) and keep turning it continuously until it turns brown as in your last photo above. It’s a very long and tedious process although the splattering is reduced to almost none but one or two splatters is enough to swear not to do it again. 3) In summer, I dry the pre-boiled-cut-into-pieces skin in the sun for at least four days (in high 80-90 weather) then I continue the rendering either on the stove or in the oven in low heat. For the finished product I deep fry it in very hot oil and this works better than #2, no mess (I pre-boil [20-30 min] to help ease the cutting and rendering faster). 4) In winter, I use the oven in place of the sun, first at 200F for about 3 hours (or longer) then I increase the heat to 250 for at least 1.5 hours, then finally, the heat is turned up to 300 for 1 hour ( between 250F to 300 I watch out for the skin clumping together, then seperate them with slotted spoon) at which point the skin will have turned brown and the water in it has completely evaporated. I then transfer the rendered skin into a suitable container with the fat and it can keep covered at room temperature (I let it cool to room temperature before I can fry). I deep fry in its own hot fat whenever I have cravings for some chicharon. The skin only will balloon to several times its original size, the skin with fat will not, may be slightly (I like this best). I just reduce the heat to between medium and low after the skin has bubbled up to crisp it but not burned, then sprinkle salt after taking it from hot oil. NO MESS at all! That includes the oven.The only problem is the smell of burnt pork fat lingers in the house almost forever. Wife hates it!
    I think the bottom line in the rendering step is the use of low heat or drying in the sun to avoid the unforgiving MESS. The issue with the sun dried is the need for other frying oil for the finished product. It should also be kept refrigerated in a sealed container. If previously rendered fat is available it can be stored in it, as long as it is completely covered with fat, at room temperature.

    Buen Provecho!

    Jan 12, 2011 | 12:11 am

  21. junb says:

    I need lipitor while reading this post :)

    Jan 12, 2011 | 12:16 am

  22. jack says:

    every installment post of the chicharon chronicles makes us all excited for the next :)

    Jan 12, 2011 | 12:45 am

  23. EbbBlue says:

    There are alot of Hispanic Meat Mercado/Taqueria here that sells rendered pork fat (out of the chicharon that they sell. I first ask the seller when they did it and I purchase 1 container when its 1-day old. MM, I thought the usual process is to air/sun dry the boiled meat.. and then fat is rendered? I have a good backyard with with no trees nearby that I can do the entire process of this chicharon, and with good supply of skin/meat from Vietnamese stores.. (and with a huge wok), I believe I can “swing” this chicharon cooking soon.

    Jan 12, 2011 | 1:55 am

  24. betty q. says:

    Hay, naku, Ebba… I am already doing a second batch….dried it inthe oven after cutting them to size. I will render the fat in a little while and fry them today. I prefer to fry them right after I rendered the fat and the skin is still quite soft and pliable. I have given the ones I have fried already to a friend. If I know how to take a picture, I will send them to you. The finished product looks loke the curled up chicharon up chicharon in the previous post Mm took a picture of. I have also found that if the fat attached to the skin is about 1 inch or so after drying in the oven, I scrape some of it leaving about 1 cm. while rendering the fat only. It really puffs up and still has quite a bit of laman to it after frying.

    Mr. Bariring….our house wreaks of fried chicharon smell for days as well. My hubby bought a gadget that when I turn it on, it gets rid of the smell. After 1 hour, the house smells squeaky clean like clorox!

    Jan 12, 2011 | 4:50 am

  25. betty q. says:

    MM…if you have any fat bits that separate from the skin while rendering the fat, and they are fried to a crisp, those crispy fat bits (better with a bit of laman to it) goes very well when added to thick shanghai noodles and pan fried with fish balls with dark soy like lomi. Ask JunB…he should know …he is in Malaysia or Singapore? Heu, Jun…isn’t it a dish like something mee?

    Jan 12, 2011 | 5:23 am

  26. junb says:

    Hi BettyQ, Yes they drizzle the crispy bits on wanton mee, bak chor mee (It’s like a dried batchoy), hokkien mee, char kway teow and even on top of kailan. They also use the rendered oil/fat on the above mee to cook/stir fry. It really taste different !!!! Try it on your Bihon, palabok, Batchoy and you’ll know why :)

    Jan 12, 2011 | 8:30 am

  27. EbbaBlue says:

    Ms. BettyQ, spoke with Elizabeth and told her I am planning to buy some pork meat this weekend; probably the liempo part, and just 3 lbs. to start with. I might meet with her and give her some kung successful ang end product ko. I will follow to the core your instructions. With regards to the black birds, I think I have a thing to cover it… a bamboo slats tray which turned upside down, I can cover with nylon netting. Thanks to you and MM.

    Jan 12, 2011 | 10:33 am

  28. thelma says:

    last summer, i went to visit a friend in washington and watched her
    cooking chop suey. she first cooked some pork fat with a little
    meat . she said that she prefers using the oil from pork fat
    intead of using the cooking oil bought in the supermarket.
    the chop suey came out really good.

    Jan 12, 2011 | 10:43 am

  29. Peach says:

    Those crispy fat bits (yum!) which bettyq described are being sold at Bob’s in Bacolod. Wonder if they have it at their Magallanes branch.

    Jan 12, 2011 | 1:03 pm

  30. kayenne says:

    Thelma… i think that was how my late maternal grandmother used to start of cooking pancit or bihon guisado… soooo good!

    MM…deep-fry some chicken already!!! very crispy, crunchy, very yummy!!! i wouldn’t say no if you are giving away those marvelous rendered lard! i can just taste the very flaky, slightly salty pie crust that crumbles just so.

    Jan 12, 2011 | 11:31 pm

  31. Melissa says:

    Hi MM I hope you have Norvasc on hand. Hehehe!

    Jan 12, 2011 | 11:38 pm

  32. thelma says:

    kayenne, you’re right. the food turns out good when using the
    pork fat. i now sometimes do that, too, occasionally when i am
    cooking chop suey. pork fat is readily available in supermarkets
    here, especially in mexican supermarkets.

    Jan 13, 2011 | 4:59 am

  33. eden claire says:

    what a lovely way to never grow old! this keeps us forever young :) chicharon

    Jan 13, 2011 | 2:08 pm

  34. esis says:

    namimis ko tuloy akong mga iyaan,, lami pod sila luto chicharon,,, tawag namo ana sa mindanao adobo,,, hehehe masarap….huhuhu mis ko na sila…

    Jan 16, 2011 | 7:33 am

  35. aldrin says:

    first time to see this blog. nice photography. i wish you could feature some easy recipe for a quick meal.

    Jan 16, 2011 | 9:20 am

  36. NICA says:

    ang sarap nmn yan sana makatikim aq ng masasarap na pagkain

    Jan 16, 2011 | 9:25 pm

  37. edwinbrangel says:

    my moms version was after your stage one, we normaly dry this under the sun for one day or two before proceeding to the stage two, the skin comes out more puffier and crisp…just sharing an old tradition or secret for us to enjoy..worth trying it …

    Jan 17, 2011 | 10:36 am


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