Chicharron: What is it? Where to find it in Punta Cana? How to make it? Side Dishes

what is chicharron

Exploring Chicharron: A Delectable Delicacy

Chicharron, a tantalizing treat that hails from the rich culinary culture of the Dominican Republic, has gained immense popularity far beyond its origins. This savory delight has captivated the taste buds of countless food enthusiasts. The crispy exterior combined with succulent, tender pork, make chicharron an irresistible dish. This article will elucidate the enigmatic chicharron, guide gastronomes to Punta Cana‘s top eateries offering this delicacy, and present a simple recipe for preparing it at home. Lastly, suggestions for scrumptious side dishes will also be provided to create the perfect chicharron meal.

The Art of Chicharron: An In-Depth Exploration

  1. The Essence of Chicharron

Chicharron is a deep-fried pork dish made from either pork rinds or pork belly. The traditional Dominican chicharron is typically seasoned with a blend of spices such as garlic, oregano, and lime, rendering an enticing combination of flavors. The dish is highly revered for its contrasting textures – crispy, crunchy skin and tender, flavorful meat.

  1. The Chicharron-Making Process

The preparation of chicharron is a labor of love, requiring patience and attention to detail. The pork rinds or pork belly are first marinated for several hours in a concoction of spices, vinegar, and lime juice, allowing the flavors to permeate the meat. The marinated pork is then boiled in water, which helps to tenderize it, followed by deep-frying in hot oil until golden and crispy. The result is a mouthwatering, scrumptious dish that is both satisfying and indulgent.

Punta Cana’s Chicharron Scene: Where to Savor this Dominican Delight

  1. La Parada del Chicharron

Situated in the heart of Punta Cana, La Parada del Chicharron is a haven for chicharron enthusiasts. This unpretentious eatery is renowned for serving some of the most succulent chicharron in the region. The establishment’s secret recipe, handed down through generations, has earned it a loyal following of local patrons and tourists alike.

  1. Porkytos Chicharrón y más

Nestled in the bustling streets of Punta Cana, Chicharron House is a must-visit for chicharron aficionados. This humble eatery specializes in the dish, serving generous portions of perfectly seasoned and crispy chicharron. Be sure to arrive early, as the restaurant’s popularity often leads to queues of eager diners.

  1. Sabores Dominicanos

Sabores Dominicanos, a quintessential Dominican restaurant, offers visitors an authentic taste of the country’s culinary heritage. Alongside an extensive menu of traditional dishes, the eatery serves mouthwatering chicharron, renowned for its distinctive, tantalizing flavors. The friendly staff and cozy ambiance make it an ideal spot to savor chicharron in Punta Cana.

Crafting Chicharron at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide

where to find chicharron
  1. Ingredients for Homemade Chicharron

To prepare chicharron in the comfort of your own kitchen, gather the following ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of pork belly or pork rinds, cut into 2-inch squares
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Marinating the Pork

In a large bowl, combine the garlic, oregano, lime juice, and vinegar. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Add the pork pieces to the bowl, ensuring they are well-coated in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, for optimal flavor infusion.

  1. Boiling the Pork

Place the marinated pork in a large pot and cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for approximately 1 hour, or until the pork is tender. Once tender, remove the pork from the pot and let it cool to room temperature. Pat the pork dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

  1. Frying the Chicharron

In a deep frying pan or pot, heat the vegetable oil to 350°F (180°C). Carefully add the pork pieces to the hot oil, being cautious of oil splatters. Fry the chicharron until it turns a golden brown color and develops a crispy texture. Remove the cooked chicharron from the oil and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.

Complementary Side Dishes for Chicharron

  1. Tostones (Fried Plantains)

Tostones, or twice-fried plantains, are a quintessential Dominican side dish that pairs exquisitely with chicharron. To make tostones, peel and slice green plantains, fry them in hot oil, smash them into flat discs, and fry them again until crispy. Sprinkle with salt and serve alongside your chicharron for a delightful contrast in textures and flavors.

  1. Moros de Guandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Moros de guandules is a popular Dominican rice dish made with pigeon peas, rice, and a medley of vegetables and spices. It provides a delicious, hearty accompaniment to chicharron, complementing the dish’s rich flavors with its subtle, earthy undertones.

  1. Ensalada de Coditos (Macaroni Salad)

Ensalada de coditos, a Dominican-style macaroni salad, is a refreshing and satisfying side dish to serve with chicharron. Prepared with elbow macaroni, mixed vegetables, mayonnaise, and a touch of mustard, this cold salad offers a pleasant contrast to the warm, crispy chicharron.


1. What is Chicharron made of?

  • Chicharron is primarily made of fried pork belly or pork rinds.

2. Is Chicharron specific to Punta Cana?

  • While popular in Punta Cana, Chicharron is a staple across the Dominican Republic.

3. How is Dominican Chicharron different from other types?

  • Dominican Chicharron often features unique spices and a specific preparation method that imbue it with distinct flavors.

4. Can I make Chicharron at home?

  • Absolutely, with the right ingredients and instructions, you can craft your own Chicharron.

5. What are the best side dishes for Chicharron?

  • Tostones, Moro de Guandules, and Ensalada de Coditos are highly recommended side dishes.

In conclusion, chicharron is a delectable Dominican delicacy that has enamored food lovers around the globe. Punta Cana boasts several eateries where you can savor this scrumptious dish, or you can try your hand at making chicharron at home with the provided recipe. Accompany your chicharron with the suggested side dishes for a truly unforgettable dining experience.