Bao Con Chicharron, Sweet Potato and Minto Criolla


  • 3 lbs. to 1⁄2 side Pork Belly
  • 1⁄2 c Salt
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs. Pork Lard
  • 1 oz. Whole Garlic, peeled
  • 2 ea. Bay Leaves
  • 1⁄2 oz. Whole Black Pepper
  • 1 ea. Red Onion, julienned
  • 1 ea. Habanero, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 ea. Lime, to taste
  • 1 c Mayo
  • 1 ea. Sweet Potato, baked, peeled and sliced
  • Black Steamed Bao, see recipe
  • White Bao Buns, your choice, store-bought
  • Sea Salt, as needed
  • Mint Leaves, as needed, chopped
  • Rocoto paste, your choice, as needed


Cover pork belly with water, add salt, and brine for 12 hours. Drain, rinse and slice pork into 2 1⁄2 in. squares; set aside.

Melt fat in a Dutch oven and add garlic, bay leaves, whole black pepper and pork. Lower heat and cook for about 1 hour at 240°F. Stir occasionally. Turn the heat up to 350°F and cook for 25 minutes, or until the fat is crispy and golden brown; set aside.

Combine onion, habanero and mint; season with lime and a sprinkle of salt to make criolla salad; set aside. Mix mayo with desired amount of rocoto.

To assemble, layer 1 slice of pork belly, sweet potato, a spoonful of rocoto mayo and criolla salad in a bao. Serve two or more per order of black and white steamed baos.

Executive Chef Jesus Delgado, Tanta, Chicago, from Food Fanatics® Magazine.