Spiced pork scratchings

Craving for something to munch while watching TV. Instead of chips, chocolates or lollies, why not pork scratchings? Anyone can make crispy pork belly can also do pork scratchings. Some places called it rinds. Out there in the foodies’ blogs, and restaurants; there are many many ways of making. You can try it out.

Well, I prefer my own way of making and also from memory of watching Masterchef cooking it years ago. You can use any spices rub that you like just as in foodies’ websites, pubs or restaurants. However, I opted for spices from my pantry and it got to have chili in it; love chili can’t live without it.

My method is similar to roasting pork belly, unlike some recipes prefer to brine 24 hours or some dunk pork skins into hot boiling water. Mine is simply straight-forward easy and enjoyable to eat with each bite you can hear cracklings.

So, what I needed is a good slab of skin usually Asian meat grocer would have, and as dry as possible. This pork scratchings are flavoured with spices, have a tiny bit of chili, cracklings happy, and delicious make in oven not deep fried. Let get scratching and sit in front of TV with a beer and enjoy it.


750 g pork skin
sea salt
1 1/2 Tsp fennel powder, divided
1 1/2 Tsp coriander powder, divided
1 1/2 Tsp cumin powder, divided
1 Tsp cayenne (OPT), divided


Place pork skin on paper towel in fridge for at least 2 hours so that it is as dry as possible. Then bring out using a sharp knife, make light scores. Sprinkle and rub into the slashes with your fingers; the salt and the spices each 1 Tsp on the skin; 1/4 Tsp cayenne if you are using. The salt-spices should have a thin layer on top of it and let sit for 20 minutes. When time is up, gently pat any pebbles of water with paper towels.

Preheat oven 220 degrees C. Using scissors, cut the skin straight down and bite size about 1 cm. Rub the salt and spices each 1/2 Tsp back into the skin that has fallen off; 1/4 Tsp cayenne if you are using and then place on a rack lined with slight prick holes foil; prevent the strips from falling through the rack over a tray lined with double foil; skin side up and without touching each other. Roast for about 20-25 minutes. 

You don’t have to use a rack but using one will drain some of the fat away. Turn the tray around every 5 minutes, please making sure the skin doesn’t burn. When scratchings are bubbly and crisp, they are ready. Transfer to a serving plate and serve a beer.

Note: Oven temperature may vary you might need more time. If skins aren’t crispy; put it back in oven turn down the oven to 160 degrees C and roast for a further 10-20 minutes, or until the scratchings become hard and crispy. Not too hard till you crack your tooth. You can use any spice you like such as paprika, chili flakes or black pepper. You can serve with mayonnaise or aioli or ketchup.