This recipe for chojin in Guatemala is commonly found around the country. Although everyone has their own twist on this recipe, what makes it special is the addition of pork chicharrón.
I didn’t like radishes until I was an adult. I think it’s because I only ever saw them as garnishes on a salad.
Really what’s the point?
But during my time in Central America I ate a lot of radish because it was one of the ingredients always available.
Chojin is a very simple Guatamalan radish salad but what takes it up a notch is the addition of pork rinds – aka chicharrón.
This fried pork skin has a nice saltiness against the salad which includes mint, onion and tomato in a bitter orange juice dressing.
It’s light and healthy with a dash of pork. The perfect salad.
Chojin is a traditional dish from Guatemala City in the central region of the country.
It is usually served as an accompaniment for a meat dish, alongside beans and tostadas or warm tortillas.
And while recipes vary I do think what makes it best is the choice of fried pork skin.
You can get commercial snack bags of chicharron OR you can find someone who made it by hand.
This is more common if you’re in the country and it really makes all the difference.
Make it Vegan with Picado de Rabano
Picado de rabano or ensalada de rábano is THE most popular radish salad in Guatemala.
The literal translation is minced radish.
And while everyone has their own recipe, the difference between picado de rabano and chojin is one ingredient – chicharron.
Picado de rabano omits the crunchy pork rinds and is a vegan recipe.
In fact, sometimes you’ll hear someone call chojin picado de rábano con chicharrón.
As this is such a common Guatemalan recipe, it can vary from table to table.
Not everyone uses tomato. Some like to add a spicy pepper such as jalapeño and various onions are used.
Some people slice the radishes, others dice. I’ve also seen it as a rough chop.
If you add beef you have the Guatemalan dish salpicon.
The traditional chojin dish uses naranja agria, also known as sour orange or Seville orange. A common Guatemalan fruit.
However, it’s not always easy to get in Canada or the United States.
You can buy it on Amazon, and in a pinch you can substitute sour orange with a mixture of orange and lime juice.
I personally like to marinate all the ingredients first EXCEPT the chicharron to let the flavours meld.
I add the chicharron just before serving as I like to keep it crisp.
- I lb radishes diced
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- 1 Roma tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 1 jalapeño minced (optional)
- 1/2 cup of orange juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 cups chicharron in small pieces
Add together all ingredients except chicharron and let marinate for 30 minutes. Add chicharron before serving.
If you have naranja agria or sour orange use that. However, 1/2 cup of orange juice and 1/4 cup of lime juice also works.