Chicharon, Chicharon, Chicharon!!!


Chicharon Heaven. I am very much on a strict diet at the moment, having fallen off the wagon for several weeks and now struggling to claw my way back if I am to have a hair of a chance of achieving my goal of 170 pounds by May 1… I went to Megamall just hours chi5ago in search of bottled batwan but was unsuccessful. However, I noticed that there was a “National Trade Fair” in the exhibition halls and smelling food from five stories below, I decided to stop in for a quick look-see. Geez, was that diet death or what? There must have been at least 8 vendors selling chicharon and under the guise of doing this in the supreme service of Marketmanila’s readers, I purchased three different types of chicharon (9 bags total, because the price is cheaper if you buy 3) which I feature here. If you have a thing for chicharon, and I know SOME of this blog’s readers do, head over to the trade fair right now and stock up. If I pass out from cholesterol shock in the next few hours this will be a fitting last post…

First up, SLER’s stunningly large piece Chicharon or Pork Cracklings from Cagayan de Oro. These massive, substantial pieces with heft, but no laman, are so large they are chi2curling back on themselves like a recently unrolled banig or mat. The bag is quaintly tied with real twine (no synthetics here) and upon opening, you can literally inhale the fat. I never realized you could taste fat from simply sniffing deeply from a bag of chicharon! The ingredients list states porkskin, salt, MSG and spices. This was very good. And the bag I had was obviously very fresh. I liked the consistency, weightiness (smack in the middle to heavier mass) and taste of this product. I am not keen on MSG but I suppose that is what makes it so attractive to one’s palate. PHP100 for a huge bag with about 250 grams. See their website at or contact them at 88-8551437 or 0917-7068911.

Next up, Chicha-rabao or CARABAO chicharon. How could I resist? The texture is the puffiest of the three purchased today, with light, tasty almost gamey flavor (or am I just imaging it?)… It kind of looks and feels like puffed cheese balls, without the cheese flavor. chi2It comes in garlic and hot & spicy versions; I tried both and prefer the spicy one. Oddly, the fat must be difficult to remove from the skin as some pieces look distinctly like they include a bit of skin and hair… But the taste is interesting, more complex and not as heavily fat laden as other chicharons. Manufactured by the Lighthouse Cooperative in Tuguegarao, Cagayan North, they can be reached as 78-8466003. If only for lively pulutan conversation, you should have some of this at your next chicharon buffet! PHP100 for 3 packages of about 70-80 grams each.

Finally, the most usual looking chicharon under the Porky Best Brand. chi4We had a free taste of this one and they were cooking up fresh batches right there in front of you so I thought this would be a good choice. It has smaller more manageable pieces with a good flavor and taste. A product of Davao, it is made up of pork skins, salt and spices (not sure if they lump MSG in with spices…). Sorry, no contact numbers on their packaging. These were PHP35 per package of about 100 grams. Oh well, this counts as protein, doesn’t it??? Trade Fair is on-going until Sunday, March 18th, I think.


44 Responses

  1. OH MY GOD! Don’t do this to me!!! I’m also on a diet you know! Dear lord…when I saw the title of this post pop up it was as if each “chicharon” was shouting larger then the last!

    “I never realized you could taste fat from simply sniffing deeply from a bag of chicharon!” – This is so true…if you sniff long enough you will see the three little pigges in Dolce & Gabbana dancing the macarena…try it.

    “If I pass out from cholesterol shock in the next few hours this will be a fitting last post…” – That’s what the vinegar is for, to counteract cholesterol shock, as well as some water and a few happy thoughts and you will be fine.

    “under the guise of doing this in the supreme service of Marketmanila’s readers” – Thank you!!! :)

    “If you have a thing for chicharon, and I know SOME of this blog’s readers do, head over to the trade fair right now and stock up.” – Ack! Will only have Sunday to do this…hope I make it!

    Some days you just feel so down, like nothing is going your way, and you have no idea how to make things better…and that’s why God invented chicharon :) Thanks Marketman for making my day!

  2. As I hail from Bulacan, I am partial to pork chicharon from Sta. Maria—either the fatless kind or the one with fat intact, though I prefer the latter. Cholesterol, schmolesterol!

  3. boy oh boy! Is this part of your planned goiter buffet?
    And poor Joey, now she’s got to hit S&R and Megamall on Sunday! Yoiks. I agree with you on the vinegars, use apple cider vinegar to flush away after eating the chicharon, at least a couple of teaspoons straight.
    The carabao chicharon sounds interesting, one could add chicken and fish chicharon for a full spectrum of flavors.

  4. Marketman, I just made a comment in your Kadyos post. There is no available bottled batuan in Megamall anymore. There are available all year round in Tiendesitas, ECJ Farms booth at the Food Village. If you can’t go there, I have quite an abundant stock of it. Will let somebody send it to you if you like.

  5. i’ve been reading the posts and i know the topic is chicharon which i’ve since shunned out of my system due to cholesterol, what am curious about is the bottled batuan? what is it???

  6. Hmmm, chicharon and Lent, now that’s sacrifice! In my side of the world, I’ve been responding to my chicharon cravings so far with an at-least-its-available(but almost tasteless) pork rind substitute by Frito Lay, and am missing Ben-Fel’s puffy strips (or the equally sinful fresh chicharon bulaklak for that matter) from Manila. I havent seen any good brands being sold in the Asian groceries here so far…

  7. aaah!!! i’m one of the 169 who voted that i cannot eat just one piece of chicharon. unfortunately, with my cholesterol level being high risk, i cannot cannot eat chicharon (well, until my next blood chem i guess). the best i have had is manuel’s chicharon. lapid’s does not even come close to manuel’s. they have a branch here in bf pque, dunno where the other branches are. and yes, i agree, chicharon may laman is much better than without. lol.

    is it really true, vinegar to block the cholesterol?

  8. what a post mm! sensing food from 5 floors below. tasting chicharon just by smelling. it’s market man, the food superhero!!! ü

    chicharon heaven it is, yes indeedy-doo! i’ve said this about pork bbq, and i’ll say it again for this food–> i’ve never met a chicharon that i didn’t like. basta chicharon, bring it on! oooh that sounds catchy. sayang, megamall is just too far north for me.

    carabao chicharon is exactly the kind of chicharon cotton candy that is sold by our pavarotti ‘baluuuuuuuuut’ vendor. the m&m’s can go run and hide because this stuff really truly melts in your mouth, not in your hand, ever. i prefer this variety sans the vinegar though.

    and if i may just add, there is no drink that goes better with chicharon than ice cold san miguel.

  9. waaaaa!!!!….this is pure torture as i gave up pork, beef and lamb this lent (only fish and chicken)…… and i LOVE chicharon :(

  10. Freshly popped Chicharon + ice cold San Miguel = Heaven. I can only dream of this, being thousands of miles away. Cracklings as they call it in Europe, just wouldnt give the same kick as Pinoy chicharons.

    Thanks for posting my favourite snack.

  11. wish i could just reach out and grab one of the packets of chicharon you have there, ala “charlie and the chocolate factory” invention. o well… titigan ko na lang…

  12. chicharon in batchoy
    chicharon in pansit
    chicharon in sisig
    chicharon in lugaw
    chicharon in my mind…..

    from my mouth


  13. You’re evil, MM. I suddenly remembered seeing a pack of Chilen’s in the pantry from the other day. Rushed in there and it was gone! Nasty, nasty you, hehe…

  14. When I was studying in Manilia, my aunt would often send a large bag (around 2-5 kilos) of chicharon from Gubat, Sorsogon, which was absolutely, fantastically great. It had plenty of laman, with a little heft in it. Each bite was mind blowingly good. I used to smuggle pieces into my room and eat them on the sly :) . I eat it with rice, like ulam. Sad to say, the maker closed shop. there are a few like it in the groceries here but it’s not the same thing.

  15. MM, no booth from a Carcar “brand” at that food fair? How I miss chicharon from Carcar!

  16. I love chicharon dipped in spicy vinegar… now I will have to rush to the nearest asian store to get some chicharon. I suddenly had craving for it after reading this post. :)

  17. Wow sarap!! My mom is coming next week to visit me in NJ – maybe I should ask her to go to the Mega Fair and bring some for me – and my hubby of course!! Thanks MM!!

  18. Sinful and delicious chicharon with spicy vinegar with lots of garlic or atchara is the way to enjoy. No double dipping please. Looking at your pictures I would pick SLER among the three with its curling and substantial look. I am a firm believer of eating everything in moderation.

  19. Do not try to bring chicharon to the US. A D.C. cousin, die hard vegetarian, got fined $300. for not declaring chicharon in her suitcase at US Customs. Her brother had stuck it into her suitcase along with some of his stuff without her knowledge.

  20. Yuummm MM. Fortunately that’s something available here in California supermarkets, although not with “laman”. If I remember correctly, wasn’t pork rinds one of the favorite snacks of the senior Bush (George HW)– current US president’s father ?

  21. hehehe. . .if the pinoy guys here see this post they will surely say . . . “Aaaaaarghhh CHICHAROOOON!!!” hehe it is illegal to bring pork or any pork products here in maldives but some pinoys bring chicharon and made it through the airport hehehe. . . well, they say they don’t know what pork looks like so it will just look like some junk food. . . hehehe

  22. Chicharon is low carb and high in protein. Sales of pork rinds in the States are UP! Recommended snacks for those who are on Atkins and South Beach diet. Flif4ever, I heard about that in UNWRAPPED. Bush Sr. introduced chicharon in the White House as one of the snacks. I wonder if Clinton administration carried this. Remember, he had a quadruple coronary artery by-pass operation 3 years ago. Hope chicharon was not one of the culprit.

  23. mmmm chicharon…must have fat. is it just me but simple vinegar will not do for me. it has to have siling labuyo. my friend drinks the vinegar after we’ve eaten the whole bag.

  24. Porky Best! I shall go to megamall again and buy some… I miss eating this. Growing up in Davao, this was the only chicharon brand I knew. MM, you can also try the other products of SLERS. They’re good! Especially their ham and longganisa.

  25. Aaaarghhhh! CHicharon heaven! Anyways, when I saw the description and pix of the carabao chicharon n read jules’ comment that that is what the balut vendors sell, I heaved a sigh of relief as my hubby used to tell us that those chicharon were made of rat skin(!!!!) that’s why they puffed up different from pig skin and were cheap. And the occasional dark patch of skin with hair seemed to confirm his statement. (eeeeuuuwwww!!!) We shunned these for years after he told us. Hah, have to confront him with this post! His game is over!!! Hehehe!

    Am also skeptical about vinegar being able to flush away cholesterol. Probably a myth to make us chicharon eaters feel less guilty.

  26. i’m not too sure about taking vinegar with chicharon to counter the cholesterol…how about xenical?

  27. I eat this as ulam…the ones with laman are the best!!!

    With rice and kamatis as sawsawan…include itlog na maalat and eaten using your hands and paired with ice cold melon!


  28. To all those who want a prescription for anticholesterol drugs….LINE UP NOW! (But not after I’ve eaten my bagnet…)

  29. Talk about serendipity. My husband was in Cagayan de Oro when this post came out and I promptly texted him to get me some chicharon at SLER’S. He got a different kind though – small, bite-sized ones with laman, in P30 packs. But he got a whole box! They’re really good, fresh and crunchy but not hard, fatty but not cloyingly so. The best thing about it was he also brought home other SLER’S specialties liek corned beef and Longganisa de Cagayan. Thanks for the tip, MM! :-D

  30. Hi, Carol! Was at Mall of Asia yesterday and saw a SLER’s stall in the area where the trams pass. They sell Cagayan de Oro ham, chicharon n other goodies.

  31. Sean Miguel Where are you?? one of my favorite snacks of all time.. its an absolute OIL bloodbath

  32. Sean Miguel Where are you?? one of my favorite snacks of all time.. its an absolute OIL bloodbath..

  33. Market man? my dream someday is to franchise also the Porky Best here in General Santos, only one store are just existing here in our place.. I was just curious if how many money invested to franchise that business? Porky Best is one of my favorite hang -up of eating because I really love chihcharon and there’s a lot of Filipino are always buying it everyday..

  34. can you give me some tips on how to get along with it? is this business are practical? or just cost very expensive?

  35. i suggest you try chicharabao for yourself. this gives a different taste and it could give you a pretty income with a very low investment. contact me. I am willing to discuss the details with you.

  36. bulacan province has chicharon na may laman. somewhere in the area of san miguel or malolos. no particular brand, it’s just everywhere. don’t forget the excellent pastillas and ensyamadas too.

  37. hey guys! Chilen Chicharon is now offering tuna skin chicharon! perfect for those peeps who are health conscious.



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