Chicharron en salsa verde is popular Mexican dish traditionally made with pork crackling and stewed in a flavorful green chile salsa made with tomatillos. This is my vegan chicharron en salsa verde recipe, and you’re going to love it!
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What is Chicharron
Chicharrón is fried pork rinds or fried pork belly.
It is hugely popular in Mexico and some Latin American countries.
I’ll be completely honest, in all the years I ate meat, chicharron was not one of my favorite things to eat.
As I got older, both chicharron and cueritos (pickled pork skin), were foods that turned my stomach more and more. I avoided them at all cost.
How is Mexican Chicharron Cooked and Eaten
In Mexico chicharron is consumed in a variety of ways.
As an appetizer it’s commonly served with salsas and enjoy as a snack, particularly with beer.
Another very popular way of eating chicharron is as a stuffing. It can be used for tacos, quesadillas and gorditas.
Typically it’s cooked in either a red salsa or a green salsa. Sometimes potatoes can be added to the mix, as you’ll see I did here.
Chicharron en Salsa Verde Ingredients
The ingredients for this popular Mexican dish are quite common ones to Mexican cuisine.
- Chicharron: We will be using vegan chicharron.
- Salsa Verde: Made with tomatillos, white onion, garlic, serrano peppers, and epazote if desired.
- Broth: We’ll be using vegetable broth.
- Potatoes: optional but adds great flavor and texture.
- Oil: I like to use olive oil for health reasons.
Cruelty-Free Vegan Chicharron
About a year ago I was at a health food store when I spotted a long bag with sheets of long golden thing, the bag was labeled “chicharron vegetarianon” and I was blown away!
What?! How on earth does one make faux crispy pork skin?
Being the curious person I am, I picked it up and started reading the label. I was surprised that is was made with a combination of soy flour and vital wheat gluten and some seasonings.
Of course, I purchased a bag and just had to taste it. When I got home I opened the bag to take a taste.
It was crispy, crunchy and the taste was savory and I swear had hints of similarity to “regular” chicharron — of course minus the whole yucky pork smell and actual taste.
I couldn’t believe how good it tasted.
The very first time I made it just like the recipe I’m sharing with you today. In the years I’ve been eating it I’ve made chicharron en salsa verde and salsa roja too.
This dish has become a favorite of mine and when I cook it I make a large batch so that I can freeze smaller portions for future meals whenever the craving should strike. It freezes and defrosts quite well.
Where to Buy Vegan Chicharron
As some of you are aware, I live in Mexico and here it’s available in nearly all the health food stores as well as any place that sells organic and vegan & vegetarian foods.
For the rest of you, you can try Mexican supermarkets in your area as well as online stores. Be on the lookout for “vegan pork rinds”.
Alternative Tofu Chicharron
If you can’t find this type of vegan chicharron then don’t worry, you can still enjoy this dish, just with a small twits.
You can try making my tofu chicharron. It’s also incredibly easy to prepare and well you can purchase tofu just about anywhere. The texture is a bit different than the one pictured, but it’s actually also quite delicious.
You can find my vegan tofu chicharron recipe by clicking on the link here.
So delicious in fact that I use it as a filling for vegan tamales!
How to Make Chicharron in Salsa Verde
This is one of the most easiest traditional recipes to veganize with this chicharron. You simply have to try it if you can get your hands on it.
- Break up the chicharron into small pieces.
- Make the salsa verde by blending tomatillos, onion, garlic, broth, salt and epazote until smooth.
- Heat the oil then add potato if using, and saute until soft. Season with a little salt.
- Carefully pour in the blended salsa, more broth and cook for 15 minutes.
- Mix in the chicharron pieces and cook until tender.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
- Serve with Mexican arroz blanco, corn tortillas or refried beans.
What Does Vegan Chicharron in Salsa Verde Taste Like
The very first time I cooked and tasted the chicharron in the salsa verde, I was shocked at how delicious and perfect the texture was.
Amigos, it was so shockingly similar to the real deal and after a couple of bites it totally weirded me out! But it was so yummy the way the chicharron soaked up the salsa so perfectly.
So this dish you get all the great tangy, little spicy flavors of a normal salsa verde. Then there’s the crispiness of the potato bits that adds a nice flavor. The chicharron adds that umami, savory taste and altogether it’s crazy good!
How to Serve
As you can see I served my meal with a pile of corn tortillas and a generous portion of arroz blanco, the recipe is already published.
How to Store
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
You can freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight or on the countertop at room temperature.
Easy Chicharron en Salsa Verde Recipe (Vegan)
- 3.5 oz vegan chicharron
- 1 lb. tomatillos rinsed and cut in quarters
- 2 serrano or jalapenos for milder sauce
- 5 garlic cloves less if desired
- 1/4 of medium white onion
- 1 cup vegetable broth or water
- few leaves of epazote either fresh or frozen
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium potatoes cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 medium potatoes cubed
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- Break up the chicharron into small pieces and set aside.
- In a blender process the tomatillos, serrano, garlic, onion, broth, epazote, and salt until smooth. In a large pot or Dutch oven add the olive oil then once warm add the potatoes and sprinkle with salt then sauté until they’ve begun to soften.
- Pour in the blended salsa and the half cup of vegetable, cover and simmer under medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Add the broken pieces of the chicharron and stir until well incorporated. Allow to simmer until the chicharron becomes soft and has soaked up some of the sauce. Serve as desired & enjoy!
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…