The Colombian comedian is sharing this delicious plant-based recipe from his restaurant The VSPOT in New York.

Craving chicharron but want to cut down on the calories or try a vegetarian version?

Comedian and restauranteur Alex Carabaño has shared his exquisite plant-based chicharron recipe from the menu of his vegetarian restaurants Vspot and Vspot Express in New York City. Carabaño, who follows the diet himself, has come up with plant-based alternatives to home cooked Colombian food so that people everywhere can enjoy healthy and delicious recipes despite their dietary preferences.

"I prepare a crunchy vegetarian 'pork rind' that is [made] with a type of white meat [seitan] that you can find in most supermarkets," Carabaño told People en Español. "It's made strictly with vegetarian ingredients. It's a healthier, yet delicious, cholesterol-free option for that Hispanic craving we all love."

Try it at home and enjoy!

Chicharrón vegetariano "Chef" Alex Carabaño The VSPOT & VSPOT Express
Credit: Cortesía: The VSPOT & VSPOT Express


For chicharron:

2 cups chopped seitan (preferably use Blackbird seitan, available at Publix or Whole Foods)

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 green lemon, cut into slices

For marinade:

1 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder or pressed

1 teaspoon cumin powder

For seasoning mix:

1 packet seasoning powder of your choice

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or pressed

1 pinch paprika


STEP 1: In a bowl mix the marinade of soy sauce, garlic, cumin and vinegar. Set aside.

STEP 2: In another large bowl mix the seasoning with the cumin, garlic and paprika. Reserve.

STEP 3: Dice the seitan into about 2-inch cubes and press down lightly to create little cracks and holes for the marinade to penetrate and help the pork rind crisp up as you fry.

STEP 4: Soak the seitan in the marinade making sure that it is well covered by the juices (leave approximately 15-30 minutes for best results).

STEP 5: In a large pot or fryer, heat enough oil—preferably olive oil— so that the seitan pieces float and are well fried.

STEP 6: Deep fry the seitan until crispy and golden, or caramel colored.

STEP 7: Transfer to an absorbent paper plate.

STEP 8: Place the fried seitan in a bowl with the chopped onion and seasoning.

STEP 9: Serve on another plate (removing excess seasoning) accompanied by fresh limes and sweet or spicy sauce as an accompaniment (optional).

You can find the original recipe in Spanish here.