Popped Pork and Nori Salt

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Appears in

Sepia: The Cuisine of Martin Benn


By Martin Benn

Published 2014

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  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 50 g ( oz) ginger, sliced
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 500 g (1 lb2 oz) pork loin skin
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable oil
  • 20 g (¾ oz) nori salt


Put 4 litres (140 fl oz/16 cups) of water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the salt, ginger, rosemary and pork skin, reduce to a simmer and poach for 1–1½ hours until the skin is soft enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Remove the skin from the water and leave to rest for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

Using a sharp knife, start to remove the fat from the loin. Then, using a spoon, scrape the remaining fat away to leave a clean skin. Rinse the skin under cold running water, pat dry with paper towel, then cut into 3 pieces. Lay the pork skin on a dehydrator tray in a food dehydrator and dehydrate at 55°C (130°F) for 36–48 hours, until completely dry.

Break the pork skin into small pieces. Pulse a little of the dried pork skin in a blender to make roughly even-sized pieces, then transfer into a container. Repeat with the remaining skin.

Line a sieve with filter paper and place another sieve on top. Place the sieves over a saucepan large enough to hold the oil.

Pour the vegetable oil into a deep heavy-based saucepan, no more than one-third full, then heat to 170°C (325°F). Carefully add about 20 g (¾ oz) of the pork skin and fry until the skin puffs up. Pour the oil through the sieves to strain out the puffs and then tip the puffs onto a tray lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Season well with the nori salt. Repeat with the remaining pork. Keep warm until required.

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