Cracklings with Smoked Paprika

Adding jalapeño and coriander seeds to the pork skin braising liquid adds extra flavor to the crispy fried cracklings. Slideshow:  More Pork Recipes 

Cracklings with Smoked Paprika
Photo: © John Kernick
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs


  • 1 pound pork skin, cut into 4 equal pieces

  • 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise

  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved

  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the pork skin, jalapeño, onion, black peppercorns, coriander seeds and garlic. Add 4 quarts of water and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat until the skin is tender and pliable, about 1 hour. Transfer the pork skin to a baking sheet and let cool slightly; discard the cooking liquid. Using a sharp knife, cut off any meat and as much fat as possible from the underside of the skin.

  2. Preheat the oven to 300°. Arrange the pork skin on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and bake for about 2 1/2 hours, turning halfway through, until deep golden and dry. Transfer the pork skin to a wire rack to cool, then break into 1-inch pieces.

  3. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 3 inches of canola oil to 400°. In a small bowl, mix the smoked paprika with the salt. Working in batches, fry the cracklings, stirring, until puffed and crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer the cracklings to paper towels and season with the paprika salt. Let cool, then serve with any remaining paprika salt

Make Ahead

The fried cracklings can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

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