Vigorón is a tasty, Nicaraguan fast-food dish that traditionally combines yucca root, pickled cabbage salad, and fried pork rinds. We have recreated the dish at home. To see more about vigorón and Nicaragua, check out our other post here.
Ingredients listed will make roughly 4 portions.
Curtido de Repollo (pickled cabbage salad):
1/2 small green cabbage
1 medium sized white onion
1 serrano chili (more or less to taste)
1″ cube of root ginger
1 cup of cider vinegar
1 small handful of cilantro/coriander
Pinch of salt
-In a bowl, juice limes, grate ginger, and chop cilantro (coriander); add the cider vinegar.
-Chop cabbage, onion, chili and tomatoes. Place in a second bowl.
-Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage mix and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Chicharrones el Carne (fried pork rinds with meat)
1 lb / 0.5 kg – of good quality belly pork.
Rub pork with salt and baking soda, and refrigerate overnight for best results. This process helps to dehydrate the proteins in the skin for better crisping and cooking.
There is a bit of work in making your own chicharrones, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Alternatively, if you have a Mexican market close by, you will most likely be able to buy ready-to-eat chicharrones without any of the hard work.
Place the pork into a wok or other suitably deep saute pan. Fill the pan with water until the meat is covered and cook over low heat. When the water has evaporated (it takes about an hour for 1/2 lb), all that should be left in the pan is the pork and the rendered lard. Cut the belly piece into bitesize nuggets. Turn up the heat up a notch and fry the pork pieces in the lard.
Note – too high a heat and the chicharrones may be on the tough side. You may want to consider frying at a medium heat and finishing off with a final flash to crisp up the outer layer.
2 lbs / 1 kg of any starchy root vegetable.
Peel, chop and boil in salted water until soft.
Traditionally, yucca (cassava root) is used. We also used turnip (rutabaga) and sweet potato, great options for those who cannot find yucca where they live. Both made great substitutes, as would potatoes or parsnips.