Chicharon (Pork Crackling)

One of our go-to snack when we feel hungry in between meals is chicharon or pork crackling. Its crunchy, fatty, salty, filling, and low carb.

Chicharon brings me back to my childhood years when we holiday in our province. During the annual town fiesta, they make chicharon from the surplus pork skins. I would watch my Tata (my great grandpa) continuously stir pork skins in a giant kawa (cauldron). He would store it in bottles soaked in its own fat/lard. For breakfast, he would scoop out enough chicharon and fry them. And we would dip it vinegar and garlic and eat it with rice. Yum!

Now, when we crave pork cracklings, we buy pork skin in asian stores priced around $3.00 per kilo. With that, we can make a batch that can last for a week. Cheaper than chips!

Chicharon just needs 2 ingredients – pork skin and salt. The process I follow takes 2 days because drying/resting it overnight makes it extra crispy. I promise it’s worth the wait.

I hope you try this. If you have any queries feel free to ask. I would love to receive suggestions on what I can cook next time.

Ingredients:

Pork Skin

Salt

Procedure:

Preheat oven 150C.

Depending on the size, rub salt all over the pork skin (at least 2 teaspoons). Lay flat on a roasting dish.

Bake pork skin for 20 minutes or just until the skin is soft enough to be sliced easily.

Cool the baked skin until warm enough to handle. Place on a chopping board with the skin side down. Trim off excess fat and try to make it even as possible. It would help with the cooking later on. (The fat trimmings will also be cooked so no waste.)

Slice skin into 3cm squares. Return in roasting dish and bake for another 30 minutes (Alternatively, you can fry it in a pan) until skin is bubbly. It will produce lots and lots of fat/oil.

Transfer cooked pork skin into baking sheet lined with paper towel. Allow to dry overnight. Keep the fat/lard. We will use it to fry the pork skin once dry.

Heat up pork lard in a small saucepan. Fry pork skin in small batches. You may need to fry it twice for a bubblier, crispier, crunchier chicharon.

Once cooled, store leftover chicharon in an airtight container (preferably glass containers). It lasts up to 5 days. In case it becomes chewy, just refry it.

Low Carb Carrot Bread

When you’re having lunch or snack and you’re surrounded with bread-chomping-people! 🙄 Life is tough! But never fear, this carrot bread is a lifesaver!

It has a mildly sweet and nutty flavor from the carrots & seeds. We like having a slice or two with cream cheese or butter and a cup of coffee for afternoon tea. On weekends, it’s an addition to our usual bacon & eggs. The texture of the bread may be denser than the normal bread but hey I’m not complaining!

I mostly use coconut flour in my bread recipes as it not only costs less but you also need smaller amount of coconut flour per recipe compared to almond flour. Again texture-wise, it’s more compact and dense but heating it in the toaster will soften it up.

We like our bread on the sweet side hence the addition of sweetener. You can always choose not to add sweetener, instead add extra salt (1/4 teaspoon more salt to be exact).

Ideally, the bread is stored uncut in a sealed container and sliced as you consume so it won’t dry up. But for us, we store the bread in the fridge already sliced and packed in snack bags. This is just for a quick packing of our lunch box in the morning. The bread is good up to 5 days in the fridge.

Enjoy!

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Note: This carrot bread was inspired by the Banana Bread recipe by Craig Rodger of What the Fat? You can check it out, too.

Ingredients:

120 grams carrots, grated
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup psyllium husk powder
2 tablespoons sweetener, optional
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
6 large eggs
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Procedure:

Preheat the oven 180C.

In a big bowl, combine grated carrots, coconut flour, psyllium husk powder, sweetener, baking powder, cinnamon powder, pumpkin seeds and salt. Stir well. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add in cream and vanilla. Continue beating until smooth.

Slowly pour the egg-cream mixture into the dry mixture. Beat until combined well. The batter will be thick.

Line loaf pan with baking paper and transfer the batter into the loaf pan by the spoonful. Smoothen the top before putting inside the oven.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean.

Cool & cut into 12 slices.

Serve with butter or cream cheese.

Serving size: 2 slices (but I’m alright with just 1 slice)