Crispy Pig Ears




About: Loving mom of two beautiful boys, obsessive compulsive confetti user & passionate foodie!

I know what some of you are thinking! Ewww! That's what I thought the first time I realized pig ears were even edible. My husband and I were dining at one of our favorite restaurants in Oakland. We always go for the chefs tasting menu and sure enough, third course in we were presented with a pig ear salad. It was one of the best things we had ever tasted! No, seriously! 

If you like churros, you are going to love these! They taste like pork stuffed churros. Crispy on the outside, slightly chwey on the inside with a rich pork flavor and a spice blend of cinnamon, sugar, chinese five spice & fennel. 

With full respect for the Nose to Tail Movement, (utlilizing every part of an animal in cooking instead of discarding the parts people aren't used to eating ) these Crispy Pig Ears make the perfect fried food!

preparation adapted from


3 Pig Ears: available at asian markets, butcher shops or your local farmer

Cinnamon- 8tbsp

Cinnamon Sticks- 3 or 4

Sugar- 2-3 cups

Chinese Five Spice- 3-5 tbsp

Fennel - 1/2 tsbp- some chinese five spice blends already have fennel in them. Mine didn't so I added some

Flour- 2 cups

Milk- 2 cups

4 gallons of water

Vegetable Oil- enough to cover the pot until it comes up the sides by 3''


Make sure your pig ears don't have any hair on them. Mine were really clean. If you see some stragglers, just use a razor to trim them off. Place your pig ears in a stock pot and add two gallons of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Strain the ears and return to the pot with 2 more gallons of water. Add the cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 3 hours. 

After three hours, strain the ears. Place them on a dish or baking sheet and put them in the refrigerator overnight so they can dry out. 

The next day, remove the ears from the fridge. Pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any moisture. Heat up the oil. Place the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or wok. I used a wok. Bring the oil to 350 degrees before frying. Set up a work station with the flour, milk and 1/2 cup of the spice mixture. Add 1/2 cup of the cinnamon spice mixture to the flour and stir to combine. Dredge each ear in milk and then in flour. Place on a plate until the oil is heated. 

Have a splatter guard ready and a baking sheet lined with paper towels to remove leftover grease .Once the oil is heated, use a pair of tongs and gently place the ear into the wok. Let it fry for for 4-6 minutes or until it is lightly golden brown. Use a pair of tongs and pick the ear up and gently shake off any excess oil back into the wok. Place the ear on a paper towel. Sprinkle the ear generously with the cinnamon sugar spice blend. Turn it over and repeat. I recommend frying one ear at a time. Use a sharp knife to cut the ears into thin bite size strips. 

Serve immediately while warm. These can be reheated for 30-60 sec in the microwave or in the oven, but best served right away. 


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    17 Discussions


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction


    The restaurant is Haven in Jack London Square. They are not a set menu item, but you might get lucky if you order the tasting menu.
    I've heard pig tails are pretty popular too now, but I haven't come across any yet.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I have used pig tails to make soup for many years. Not much meat but bags of flavour and you get a small nibble of meat as well. The secret, as with the ears, is several hours cooking before adding any veg. Tasty


    6 years ago on Introduction

    yucky that looks really icky and disgusting in my opinion


    6 years ago on Introduction

    A very interesting recipe. Although, I have to say, I think there has been a "Nose to tail" movement for a long time, and very popular too; it's called "Bologna" :-)

    This reminds me: I need to defrost that tongue that's in my freezer!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    You're supposed to cook them until soft and NOT chewy, then you fry them until crispy. No flour, eggs or bread crumbs.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your suggestion. I'm sure there are many ways to prepare these.
    These were cooked for 3 1/2 hours and were really soft. They are very crispy, but still have a mild chewy texture. No eggs or bread crumbs were used.


    6 years ago

    Who the hell eats pig ears?!?!

    Hello Imnopeas!!!
    These sound delicious and I'll have to make these one day!
    One question though:
    When I walk into my local pet supply store I see pigs ears on sale as a treat for dogs. Would this recipe also be suitable for dogs?

    1 reply

    Thanks! They are really yummy! While they are suitable for dogs, I think a healthier version would be to bake them. Another user has posted an 'ible on how to make pig ear dog treats. You can check it out here.