Cueritos: Pickled Pork Skin

Cueritos are pickled pork skin that make the perfect Mexican appetizer for game days or any other gathering. The tangy and salty flavor of this delicious snack is truly addictive!

Cueritos on a jar.

What Are Cueritos?

Cueritos (or cueritos en vinagre) refers to a preparation made by cooking and preserving pork skin in a vinegar and vegetable mixture. This dish is very popular and appreciated in Mexican, Venezuelan, and Spanish cuisine.

The name is the diminutive of cueros (plural) which means “skin”. It can refer to either the uncooked pork skin or to the pickled version.

To make them, pork skin is first cleaned to get rid of most of the fat attached to it, then boiled twice or three times to finally preserve them in a vinegar mixture.

Sometimes the recipe will also include vegetables like carrots, onions, chili peppers, etc.

When it’s added to other types of pork meat and deep fried, they become a part of “carnitas”, another Mexican traditional dish.

Close-up of pickled pork skin cueritos en vinagre on a jar.

Where to buy them?

Pickled pork rinds are sold by weight in stores and supermarkets in Mexico. Outside the country, they can be found jarred at many Latin supermarkets or Amazon.

But to be honest, it is pretty simple to make them at home and the flavor and quality are far superior.

Various store-bought pickled cueritos brands.

The Ingredients

  • PORK SKIN: For this recipe, I bought the skins in the supermarket, they came already cut into strips and cleaned. However, I had to clean them further with a brush and plenty of water, then pluck some hair they had still attached.
  • VINEGAR: I used white wine vinegar, other types of vinegar, such as distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar are also good options.
  • SPICES: Garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt are used to cook and preserve cueritos.
  • VEGETABLES: I used carrots, onions, and jalapeño peppers. You can also use broccoli, potatoes (boiled), green beans, or cauliflower.
Cueritos prepared on a large glass dish.

How To Make Cueritos En Vinagre

Wash the pork skin very well under running cold water, then place it in a large pot and cover it with plenty of water.

A collage with raw pork skin washed and placed on a pot with water.

Cook the skins

Put the pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil. Allow cooking for about 30 minutes.

Cooked pork skin (cueritos) on a pot.

Discard the cooking water. Wash the skin under cold water and then cut it into small pieces.

Cooked pork skin cut into small pieces on a cutting board.

Return the pork skin pieces to the pot and cover them with plenty of water. Add 2 cups of vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 bay leaves, and 1 garlic clove.

Adding vinegar to the pot with cueritos and spices.

Place the pot over medium heat and cook until the skins are very soft. It can take from 40 to 60 minutes.

Cooked pork skin pieces.

Drain everything and discard the cooking water. Rinse the pork skins again under cold water and then place them into a glass container.

Cooked pork skins on a glass container, seen from above.

Make the garnish

Heat the olive oil on a cooking pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, chilies, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and peppercorns.

Sauté for 2 minutes or until veggies start to soften.

Sautéed vegetables and spices on a pan.

Remove the pan from the heat and add one cup of vinegar, salt, and oregano. Mix well and allow to rest until the mixture reaches room temperature.

Vegetables covered with vinegar.

Prepare the cuerito mixture

Add the vegetables to the bowl with the cooked pork skins. Pour in one part of vinegar for every 3 parts of water to cover about half an inch of the ingredients.

Add salt and mix well, then cover with cling film. Leave the cuerito mixture to rest overnight.

The cueritos covered with vinegar mixture.

Store

The next day, transfer the pork rinds mixture to clean jars or a large container. You can use sterilized jars and store them for up to 6 months.

Otherwise, store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Read more about how to sterilize jars for canning.

Recipe notes

  • Pork skins need to be very clean and with almost no fat attached to them. Ask your butcher to clean them for you or use a ver shard knife to cut the fat yourself.
  • Cook the skins very well, they have to be very soft because once they cool down and rest overnight, they will become a little hard.
  • Don’t skip cooking the pork rinds twice, the first time is just for a little bit to get rid of the smell and strong taste. There are recipes that call even to cook them 3 times, is up to you and the quality of pork skin you bought.
  • When rinsing the pork skins, make sure you’re doing it under running water, this will remove any unpleasant smell.
  • If you don’t like spicy food, skip the jalapeño pepper or cut it longwise and discard veins and seeds.
  • The vinegar mixture is 1:3, which means when you cover the ingredients with it, if you use 3 cups of water, you will need 1 cup of vinegar.
  • The ingredients need to be always covered with vinegar mixture to prevent them from going bad. Use plenty of water and vinegar mixture.

How To Serve

In Mexico, cueritos are commonly used to garnish other dishes, such as tacos dorados, tostadas, sopes, or enchiladas.

They are also often mixed with other vegetables to make tostadas de cueritos drizzled with Valentina hot salsa and served along with drinks like Micheladas.

Those pickled pork skins are also a key ingredient in the preparation of other appetizers, such as tostilocos or dorilocos, or placed over chicharrones preparados (crispy rinds of flour with various toppings).

Cueritos en vinagre tostadas with.

More Mexican Pickled Recipes

Cueritos recipe for pickled pork skin.

Cueritos (Mexican pickled pork skins)

author Maricruz
10
Cueritos are pickled pork skin that make the perfect Mexican appetizer for game days or any other gathering.
prep 30 minutes
cook 1 hour 20 minutes
total 1 hour 50 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ lb uncooked pork skin (cleaned)
  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • 2 small carrots (sliced)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (sliced)
  • white wine vinegar (as needed)
  • 4 bay leaves (divided)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt (as needed)

Instructions
 

Cook the skins

  • Wash the pork skin very well under running cold water, then place them in a large pot and cover them with plenty of water.
  • Boil over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Discard the cooking water, then wash very well the skins with cold water and cut them into small pieces.
  • Place the skins on a pot and cover them with water.
  • Add vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 bay leaves, and 1 garlic clove.
  • Cook over medium heat until pork skin pieces are very soft. From 40 to 60 minutes.
  • Discard cooking water, then rinse the skins again with running cold water and place the pieces in a large glass container.

Make the garnish

  • Heat olive oil on a cooking pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, jalapeño, skinless garlic cloves, the remaining bay leaves, and peppercorns. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add one cup of vinegar, salt, and oregano. Mix well and allow to rest until the mixture reaches room temperature.

Prepare cueritos

  • Add the vegetable mixture to the container with cooked pork skins.
  • Pour in one part of vinegar for every 3 parts of water to cover for about 1-inch all the ingredients.
  • Add salt and mix well, then cover with cling film.
  • Leave cueritos to rest overnight.

Store

  • Next day, transfer cueritos to clean jars or a large container with cover and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks (read notes).

Notes

  • Pork skins need to be very clean and with almost no fat attached to the skin. Ask your butcher to clean them for you or use a ver shard knife to cut the fat yourself.
  • Cook the skins very well, they have to be very soft because once they cool down and rest overnight, they will become a little hard.
  • Don’t skip cooking the pork cueritos twice, the first time is just for a little bit to get rid of the smell and strong taste. There are recipes that call even to cook them 3 times, is up to you and the quality of pork skin you bought.
  • If you don’t like spicy food, skip the jalapeño pepper or cut it longwise and discard veins and seeds.
  • The vinegar mixture is 1:3, which means when you cover the ingredients with it, if you use 3 cups of water, you will need 1 cup of vinegar.
  • Cueritos need to be always covered with the vinegar mixture to prevent them from going bad. Use plenty of water and vinegar mixture.
Nutrition Information
Serving: 2oz | Calories: 60kcal
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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been looking for an easy cueritos recipe in english to show it to my mother in law and you just made my dream come true.

  2. 5 stars
    I had cueritos many years ago in a trip I did to Mexico when I was younger. I refused to eat them several times and when I finally tried them oh boy… I was hooked for life!

    I’ve been buying the jars for years now, lucky me a local store sell them but I was curious about if they can be homemade, I’m so glad I found your recipe. Will give a try for sure!

    1. Hi Elvira, since the mixture has vinegar you can leave them out if the room temperature is not too hot (like above 30°C), otherwise place in the fridge.