Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pork Skin Puffs


Less than successful in my last attempt at a puffed snack, I was determined to get the next attempt right, I had a plan, well a couple, chicken puffs and prawn puffs, but then I saw a big packet of pork skin sitting in the butchery shelf, and I knew the next puff goodness would be, Chicharrón. Puffed pork skin, made by first boiling the ever loving crap out of the skin in salty water, chill it, scrape off all the fat, the better job of scraping the better the puff, then dehydrating the skin, and finally deep frying.


Boiling the skin is the easier step in the process, just bring a pot of heavily salted water to the boil, add the skin and boil for about an hour. The boiling process gelatinises the collagen in the skin.


Allow the pot to cool down before attempting to handle the skin, when it’s finally at a temperature that’s not going to give you 3rd degree burns, careful lay the skin on a sheet pan, and place in the fridge overnight.


Slice, and scrape off all of the fat from the skin, it’s a bit of a messy process, but the better job you do of removing all the fat the better puff you’ll get.

Slice the the skin into bite size pieces, remember that they shrink a little when dehydrating and will triple in size when puffed. Place a rack on an oven tray and line with some baking paper, and then lay the pork skin on it, leaving room for air to circulate.

Preheat the oven to 50ºC, place the tray in the oven and leave for a couple of hours, then turn off the oven, keep the door shut and leave it alone for another 10 hours. This will need adjusting depending on ambient temperature and humidity, in the end it should almost resemble plastic. You may have to deep fry a couple of test pieces to check if they are dehydrated enough.


Finally, deep frying, heat up oil to about 190ºC, and carefully place the skin in the hot oil and cook until puffed and golden. If they don’t puff too much and have a chewy center, you will need to dehydrate for longer, if they drop to the bottom, don’t puff and burn, I’m sorry but you’re screwed, they’re over dehydrated.

12 comments:

  1. In the UK, we have pork scratchings as a snack. Originally a Black Country http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Country "delicacy", they now seem to be nationwide. Good :). Unlike your puffs, they have a layer of fat, such as you'd get with pork crackling on a roast, though, typically, the skin is much harder than that of crackling. They're great with beer :).

    Enthusiast site:
    http://www.porkscratchingworld.com/

    Radio programme:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00tcz94

    Me? I'm going to be trying your puffs.They look like they'd go with beer :).

    [Edit: your Recaptcha challenges are exceptionally difficult.]

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    1. Thanks for the links, that enthusiast site takes their pork skin pretty seriously, not that is a bad thing.

      I didn't even realise I had a Recaptcha, may of popped up cause of the web links.

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  2. "if they drop to the bottom, don’t puff and burn, I’m sorry but you’re screwed, they’re over dehydrated."

    rofl, we need more honesty like this in the food blogosphere :P

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  3. Thanks for sharing your recipe for these. I had this style of pork scratchings in a restaurant in London last year and was blown away, so I'm glad to find out how they did it!

    Just made a batch and they worked very well. They're excellent sprinkled with something spicy like cayenne, and then server with a cooling dip. It's important not to let the oil get too hot though, as they can burn quite quickly after puffing up.

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    1. Glad they worked out for you, and yeah the frying of them can be tricky to begin with, there's a fine line between fully puffed up/crispy and burning.

      Spicy pork rinds sound pretty good, might have to try it next time I whip up a batch.

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  4. Ahhhh, thanks dude I've been after this recipe for a few weeks now.. My mom owns a cafe and im determined to get the perfect pork puffs for her pork and stuffing baps....

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  5. Quote:
    " If they don’t puff too much and have a chewy center, you will need to dehydrate for longer, if they drop to the bottom, don’t puff and burn, I’m sorry but you’re screwed, they’re over dehydrated."

    In this case, would it be possible to hydrate skins by just leaving them for a day or three to "breathe" in bowl and collect back in some air humidity?

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    1. I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think it would work. As you're dehydrating the skin you're drawing moisture from the outside working more and more inwards. I imagine that rehydrating would work much the same way, so you'd still end up with an over dehydrated core and over hydrated outer layer.

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  6. I boiled skins in heavily salted water- cooled down , removed excess fat - dehydrated skins (Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator) about an 15hr total ( 55-60 C ) - chopped into small pieces with big kitchen scissors and cooked in microwave (100g per time ) about 3 minutes. I made perfect "low fat" puffed pork skins.No chewy bits,no burns.Pork puffs taste absolutely delicious!

    Thank you ever so much for this recipe!

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    1. the microwave is a great tool for puffing. I used to dehydrate cheese rind and microwave to puff them

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  7. I have been searching for the hows of a favourite dish of mine "schaufele" or pork shoulder is cooked. ONE brewery I used to eat it at made it so that the meat literally melted off the bone, but the skin part was incredibly thick and puffed up with the most incredible perfect crunch EVER. Ever, and ever. Getting close here to figuring it out, there must be some magic to it because although I've done it where the skin is wonderful crunchy and delicious, it does not have the puffedness that this restaurant had.

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