Tacos de Chicharrones en Salsa Verde (Pork Rinds with Salsa Verde)

A fresh take on salsa verde + bagged pork rinds + warm corn tortillas equals a super tasty dinner in a flash!

If you’ve been a visitor to this site before, you might already be aware of my love of pork. I especially love chicharrones.

There are a couple of different kinds of chicharrones. The basic chicharrón is akin to your standard pork rind which has had most of the fat rendered out and then the pork skin is deep fried until it puffs up. At a Mexican market, you’ll find this in huge sheets, some measuring up to 4 feet in length. They’re thin and crunchy and light. If you can’t get to a Mexican market, the bagged kind that you get in the chips aisle of your supermarket are an adequate substitution.

Then there is chicharrón botanero which is more akin to pork cracking which has been butchered a little differently, leaving some fat and some meat still attached. When it’s deep fried, the final product has a richer more luxurious mouth feel and is a meatier experience. This is actually the kind that I buy most often but I have ever only found them in latin markets.

I love both versions as a snack straight up or as a garnish for a soup and even scrambled with eggs for breakfast. When it comes to putting them in sauce, though, I do have a preference for each.

For me, red sauces are a better match for the botanero version. The robust flavor of the rehydrated dried chiles cuts through that fat and balances out the dish. If I’m pairing chicharrones with a salsa verde, especially if the vegetables are going into the blender fresh with no pre-cooking or roasting, I prefer to pair that up with the lighter pork rind version. The citrusy flavor from the tomatillos and jalapeños brightens the dish. That makes this recipe even more timely considering not many of us can get our hands on the botanero version during the shelter in place orders we have going on right now. However, bagged pork rinds are readily available for delivery or curbside pick up from most major supermarkets.

As for the salsa verde, I’ve featured several versions on this site in many different forms but I think this is the first time I’ve presented it in it’s purest, raw form. Though we do fry it briefly to bloom the flavors and heat through, processing the vegetables from raw gives the finished sauce a fresh, bright note. I’m not saying that this is better than a roasted tomatillo salsa, just different, quicker and easier. In fact, this recipe comes together so fast that it's perfect for a mid-week dinner.

Tomatillo: A recap

  • Often confused for a green tomato, the tomatillo is the fruit of a completely different plant.
  • Sometimes called a Mexican husk tomato because they are covered in a thin papery husk.
  • They can also come in purple.
  • When buying tomatillos, select those that are bursting or nearly bursting from their husks as this indicates a more ripe fruit.
  • After peeling the husk off, the fruit must be rinsed to remove the sticky sap left behind.
  • The husks are often saved and used when boiling nopales (cactus paddles) as they help lessen the slime that seeps out of the cactus.
  • The flesh is very dense and the fruit itself has lots of tiny seeds.
  • Roasting intensifies the flavor.
  • If boiling, the fruit will turn from a bright green to a duller, olive green.
  • Tomatillos can be eaten raw, though they can be very tangy in this form.

How to make chicharrones in salsa verde

This dish comes together so fast. Prepping the vegetables will take longer than the actual time at the stove. But since the vegetables don’t require any real knife skills, even the prep won’t take too long. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting down to dinner.

To begin, remove and discard the husks from the tomatillos; rinse the tomatillos well.

Quarter the tomatillos; add to the blender jar. Smash and peel the garlic cloves; add to the blender jar. 

De-seed and de-vein a poblano pepper; cut in chunks and add to the blender jar. If you want more heat, de-seed and de-vein two jalapeño peppers; add them to the blender bowl.

Use two quarters of a whole onion; reserve the other half to sauté later in the recipe. Add the onion to the blender jar.

Cut the lower ⅔ of the stem portion off of one bunch of pre-rinsed cilantro. Reserve ¼ of the cilantro for garnishing the finished tacos; add the rest to the blender jar.

Also joining the party is salt, pepper, lime juice, vinegar and it all get’s whirled together until blended well.

Heat some oil in a skillet until shimmering then add the other half of the onion, sliced into half moons first. Cook until translucent and just starting to get color.

Add the salsa to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Toss in the chicharrones.

Stir well and cook for five minutes or until the chicharrones are softened to your liking. 

Stuff inside a warmed, slightly charred corn tortilla and top with radishes, cilantro and some salty grated cotija cheese.

Chicharrones en Salsa Verde

(Pork rinds in tomatillo sauce)
Serves 6


For the sauce:
1 pound tomatillos, husked, washed and quartered
1 large poblano pepper (sometimes sold as pasilla pepper), deseeded, deveined and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded, deveined and quartered
½ medium onion, peeled, rough chopped
1 bunch cilantro, tough stems removed, reserve ¼ of the bunch for garnish
3 cloves garlic, peeled
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

For the chicharrones:
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ medium onion, sliced into half moons
3.5 ounce bag of chicharrones (pork rinds)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the tacos:
12 corn tortillas, warmed
2 large radishes, sliced
¼ bunch cilantro, chopped
Cotija cheese, to taste
12 lime wedges


Add the tomatillos, chile peppers, ½ onion, ¾ bunch cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper , lime juice and apple cider vinegar into the jar of a blender. Blend on medium high until mostly smooth, adding a tablespoon or two of water if needed to keep blades moving; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a skillet until shimmering. Add the onions, sautéing the onion until they’ve softened and begin to get color. Pour in the sauce and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Toss in the chicharrones and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes until the pork rinds have softened to your liking.

To serve, add chicharrones to a warm corn tortilla, top with radish, cilantro, cheese and a squeeze of lime wedge, to taste.