Pork skin noodles – making noodles out of pig skin

uncooked pig noodles

This is not your usual noodle dish. The noodles are made of pig skin. It’s not pork noodles – it’s pig skin noodles! The noodle is not the carbohydrate in this dish – it’s the protein! I first came across this in an episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America. I did a quick search for the restaurant that serves this and came across a blog post that describes exactly how to make pig noodles out of pig skin.

making pig noodles

I had to source for the pig skin – most butchers don’t sell pig skin. It’s either discarded or meant to be sold with the cut of meat. However, I went to Sanbanto – an organic farm-to-table butcher cum restaurant and made my unusual request.

pig skin softening

The clerk was puzzled for a second while processing what I really wanted and took a bag from under the counter. She gave it to me free of charge. I wonder why it was bagged like that in the first place but it didn’t register right then coz I got into a conversation of what I wanted to do with the pig skin – to make noodles!

pork belly skin

The pig skin I got is from the belly (as can be seen from the teats) and I tried slicing it but the skin proved to be way too tough for any of my knives so I decided to wait until I’ve finished it. I wanted to make pig skin noodle ramen like the post I read in From Belly to Bacon – but with a different twist. I’ll do a two animal broth!

chicken carcass pork bone

You will need:

  • Pig skin (find sheets so it’s easier to cut strips of noodles)
  • Pork bone for soup
  • Chicken carcass
  • Edible flowers

chicken pork stock

I used a chicken carcass and a large pig bone for soups in my cooker. There are ramen places like Santouka Ramen that’s famous for their chicken broth and other Japanese ones who use the traditional pork broth. I wanted a combination of both.

pig skin sheets

The rice cooker was filled up to 1.8 litres of water, after the displacement made by the chicken carcass and pig bone. I also threw in the pig skin so it’ll be easier to cut once it’s tender and cooked.

making pig skin noodles

I took:

  • 14 hours
  • 4 litres of water
  • 4 refills

stirring stock

to boil the ramen stock. It was an overnight event with alarms set to refill the cooker.

boiling stock

However, I made a *very big mistake* – I left the pig skin in too long. I should have taken it out at the 2 hour point and cut strips out of it. I left it in for the entire 14 hour duration and it was a soggy mess when I attempted to slice it into strips of noodles.

pig-skin

It was quite a feat since everything in the cooker was pulverized and reduced into a very yummy and gelatinous goo. I did manage to slice it and poured the broth (it’s way thicker than what you’ll associate with this word) over it for a bowl of ramen.

refill broth

This is my first attempt. I would like to do two things differently next time:

  1. Take the pig skin out after 3 minutes of boiling to cut into strips of pig noodles
  2. Freeze and strain the gelatinous broth through muslin cloth to create consomme – a very clear broth – to highlight the pig noodles better

reduced broth

The end result after 14 hours of boiling – very hearty and thick semi-liquid with a consistency more like lard than water. We both liked a small bowl but eating more than that would be quite a challenge due to the heavy stock.

slicing pig skin

This is quite soggy but ideally the pig skin should just be soft enough to slice though…

sliced pig noodles

…and retain a very al dente texture!

pig noodles carb

My better half managed to eat her bowl though. I did hers with some rice vermicelli to provide some carbohydrates – the pig skin noodle is the protein in this dish!

pig skin noodle ramen

The stock is simply poured out after layering the pig skin noodles in a bowl. I also did some decorating with edible flowers – not just for aesthetics but to provide a refreshing crunch and a (semi) balanced meal. smirk

pig skin noodles

Mine was a pure pork skin noodle made out of pig skin ramen with broth from the chicken and swine stock. It was a fun and interesting cooking experiment that I’ll like to try again with consomme and a quail egg! :)

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40 thoughts on “Pork skin noodles – making noodles out of pig skin

    • Haha! It’s a very interesting experiment though! :)

      I was thinking about how to get the pig skin – thought I had to get a whole slice of pork belly and cut it off myself but the butcher has leftover pig skin from the belly that I got for free!

      We couldn’t eat much of this too though – the stock is too rich, should have made a consomme.

    • Yeah, especially interesting stuff that I haven’t tried before! :)

      It’s more like an experiment – a first try so I’ll know what to do better next time (consomme, not boiling the pig skin too much).

  1. I can’t help but think that it’s quite an oily dish…. but well, like what the Chinese belief says, pig’s skin and chicken feet have collagen. =)

    I still love the idea of the chewy skin, though. Would steal a chance whenever possible to satisfy the craving. ^_^

    True, you should freeze/strain the gelatinous broth as it’ll be easier to remove the excess oil.

    • I skimmed out the oil with a bowl during my 3rd refill! :)

      There’s still *A LOT* of fat inside though – it’s more like liquefied lard than broth!

      Yeah, I learned that technique from MasterClass Australia. I thought it was an awesome and simple way to make consomme!

      I would also restrict the boiling of the pig skin to 3 minutes so it’ll have a chewy texture like al dente pasta to it – next time! :D

  2. Dear, I still can remember the aroma filling your studio…so tempting. I think this is one of your best dishes considering the amount of time you spend cooking it. **hugs**

    • Yeah, the entire studio smelled wonderfully of hearty pork soup! :)

      Too bad I reduced it so much, but it was so satisfying when we woke up and was hungry and took the first sip! Can’t eat too much or drink too much of the soup though.

      Thanks dear! I thought it’ll be an interesting dish to make and it’s nice that the Sanbanto people just gave us the pig skin for free. Organic pig skin to boot! <3

    • It’s a cooking experiment! :)

      I have to say it turned out better than I expected! I would only change two things – make a consomme instead of the gooey broth and just boil the pig skin for a few minutes before slicing it so it’ll still be firm!

  3. Wow! You just raised my eye brows again and I would give you a GOLD MEDAL for cooking anything under the sun. After water buffaloes and pig skin, you might be cooking a donkey next. Muahahahaha…

    The whole cooking process is so time consuming like cooking up an Emperor’s exotic dish! Honestly, I believe it is tasty as I love babi. I saw the Village grocery selling those edible flowers which reminded me of the Thais eating many local flowers from the trees and shrubs. They actually taste good and contain nutrition.

    • Haha! I found something quite interesting over the weekend too – horse milk! :)

      I’ll love to do stuff with that but need a 7 month wait for the raw horse milk. No sign of any donkey but close enough. I’ve actually eaten horse meat before in Guilin, China – they’re famous for their horse meat bihun.

      Oh yeah, I forgot about Village Grocer, that’s one we go to also – can get interesting stuff there too.

      Yup, it took a long time but the edible flowers is not just for decoration, it provides a crisp texture and washes your mouth of the gooey gunk so it balances the dish well.

    • Yeah, it was soooo hard to cut the pig skin into noodle strips when it’s raw! :)

      It’s pretty good, the pork noodles, but you can’t eat very much of it, coz it’s essentially pig skin. Very jelak after a while. Haha!

      The edible flowers provides a good balance to the dish though – instead of vegetables, I chose raw flowers instead which has different textures and a crisp taste and texture. :D

  4. I like pig skin too… especially on my chee cheong fun or curry mee… but haven’t eaten like this before.. so so “wobbly”.. when you have cut it to strips, they look like chu toe …

    • Yeah, that was the mistake that I made! :)

      I should have just let the pig skin boil for 3 minutes or so – just enough so it can be sliced into noodles. The pig skin is too tough to be sliced with any knife I have when I got it raw coz it’s more like the pig’s hide and the skin together. Haha!

      I first saw this in TV show so I decided to make it!

    • Yeah, it intrigued me when I first saw it too! :)

      It’s served somewhere in the US – first saw it in Bizarre Food America. I thought the chef was really creative too so I decided to make my own version.

      Thanks Hazel! Lots of room for improvement, but a good first attempt nonetheless! :D

    • It’s indeed a very hearty dish! :)

      You’ll get “jelak” (sick) of eating it after a while – so a small bowl like this is just perfect.

      I wish I had made consomme out of the soup though, that would make it much lighter and easier to eat.

  5. I just realized its been exactly 3 years since I first came to ur site withdrawling and trying to quit heroin and being inspired by ur story and life now. Close to 3 years clean now and I still come back every now and then to check out what is goin on over there cuz ur pages are interesting. I hope to visit southeast asia someday and I’ll hit you up.

    • That’s great news! I’m glad that you’ve been clean for 3 years! :)

      That’s a really long time, you should be really proud of yourself. I am proud of you, I know I hard it is to quite opiates.

      I personally thought quitting opiates was much harder than quitting methamphetamine but life is so much better when you’re clean.

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment – buzz me if you’re ever in Malaysia, it’ll be an honor to meet you.

      Keep on fighting the good fight Ryan!

    • Haha! It’s a very fun food experiment though! :)

      I loved doing it, despite the long time and I now know how to make pig noodles out of pig skin better!

      This is fun with food – the noodle is the protein in this case.

    • Haha! That thick soup was really delicious when we first had it when we woke up in the morning. :)

      It’s just wayyyyy to hearty to drink just like that due to the lard content.

      I think it would go very well with ramen noodles too – that’s how I did it (kinda) with my better half’s dish – it had rice vermicelli on top of the pig skin noodles (and a raw egg for me).

      It was a lot of fun doing all this though – making pig skin out of pig noodles is one of the most technical cooking things I’ve done from scratch to date. :D

    • Thanks Mel! :)

      It was a lot of fun to do! I like experimenting with new things and techniques…in cooking this time. Haha!

      I’ve always loved cooking (started as a kid), will be able to do more stuff once I move!

    • Haha! Sure, it’s a lot of protein and fat and no carbs though! :)

      Very fun to do, I was quite pleased with my first effort coz I learned a lot about how to properly make pig noodles out of pig skin!

  6. Hahahah what a completely crazy dish! It’s actually rather close to ramen as you also need extra pork fat to make the broth super rich. Just add some ramen and marinated egg. Yum!

    • Haha! I thought it was wonderfully crazy too, which was why I wanted to try making it! :)

      It turned out not too bad actually (at least for the first try – now I know what to do better). Yeah, it’ll be awesome to add some ramen inside for carbs too but I thought the initial dish was so intriguing that I followed it.

      Just pig noodles made out of pig skin! :D

  7. Whoah! This is some fear factor challenge for me. You are really good. Look at how you handle those meats and raw poultry….I am impressed. Is there anyway to get rid of those oil?

    • Thanks for the kind comments! :)

      Hmm…I just used a bowl to get rid of the oil slick on top of the cooking broth. It rises to the top so that’s easy to do.

      The fat however is part of the goodness! I guess you can get rid of some by freezing and strain the gelatinous broth through muslin cloth to create consomme.

      It’s a lot of fun to do interesting cooking experiments like this! :D

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