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Paprika-Infused Pork bites 

(Quick and Easy Tapas Recipe)

Written By: Byron | February 23, 2023
a small bowl of paprika-infused pork bites sits next to. alrge fry pan of cooked pork.

Paprika-infused pork bites are the ideal tapas recipe when you want something tasty and easy to make. This recipe is similar to the classic Torreznos recipe (pork belly deep fried in sunflower oil), but it is easier to make and only requires shallow pan frying. 

To make the ultimate party-pleaser pork bites, simply coat your pork pieces in your favorite spices and plenty of smoked paprika, marinate for at least 30 minutes, then shallow fry with some olive oil, garlic, and a little rosemary. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon, and serve!

Pork Recipe | Tapas Recipe | Easy to Make | 10 Mins Prep | Authentic Spanish Recipe | Mediterranean Recipe | Meat and Poultry 

Serving:

Tapas for 4

Ready in:

Under 1 hour

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Bread, fresh lemon wedges

Ingredients for making paprika infused pork bites sit on a table

Ingredients you’ll need 

(makes tapas for 4)

  • 17oz. (500g) worth of pork belly or thick cuts of pancetta
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin (optional – for some earthy flavor)

Equipment needed

  • Medium-sized frying pan or skillet (10-inch/25cm)
  • Kitchen towel 
  • Kitchen wrap
  • Bowl

 Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes, delicious main meals, and incredible Spanish dessert options too.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • 10-mins prep time
  • Easy to make
  • Delicious smoky flavors
  • Excellent tapas or party food recipe
  • Budget-friendly

Quick and easy tapas recipe

Paprika-infused pork bites are the perfect tapas recipe when you’re short on time or entertaining and cooking at the same time. Simply marinate your pork ahead of time and refrigerate, then when you’re ready, fry your pork and within 10 minutes you’ve got tasty tapas to serve! 

This quick and easy tapas recipe is a real crowd-pleaser at any dinner party. Not only does it smell incredible as soon as the marinated pork sizzles in the pan, but it also tastes delicious, especially with a good squeeze of lemon juice on top, setting the smoky flavors on fire! 

Best pork cuts to use

Use a cut of pork belly or ask your butcher to slice some pancetta into 1-inch / 2.5 cm thick slices. Then cut your pork slices into 1-inch / 2.5 cm cubes. They are perfect bite-sized pieces and the pork fat renders down quickly once cooked at high heat in oil. 

Best Spices to use

We went with a classic Spanish spice mix: smoked paprika, cumin, thyme, and garlic powder. This combination of spices adds a layer of flavor and really seasons the pork well. You have a rich smoky flavor that can be enhanced by crisping up the pork whilst cooking. The ground cumin adds a rich earthy flavor that comes alive with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 

Smoked or sweet paprika?

We go with smoked paprika in this recipe as we wanted the rich smoky layering of flavors to come through with the pork. If you use sweet paprika instead, try adding a teaspoon or two of honey to the marinade and you’ll have something similar to sticky sweet pork pieces. Also delicious! 

Salt and pepper?

Leave the seasoning of salt and pepper until you’re ready to serve the pork. There is already plenty of flavor with the spices and herb marinade and it’s easy to overseason this dish. We add just a pinch of salt right before serving, just to highlight the flavors. 

Want to learn more about Spainsh paprika? Check out our complete Spanish paprika guide

a small bowl of paprika-infused pork bites sits beside a small glass of sherry

How to make paprika-infused pork bites

Step 1 – Marinate pork with spices

  • Chop your pork into pieces roughly 1 inch / 2.5 cm in size and add to a bowl. 
  • Add around 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus all of the spices: smoked paprika, thyme, garlic powder, and cumin (optional). 
  • Mix well, cover, and put it in the fridge for 30 – 60 minutes. 

Step 2 – Fry pork pieces

  • Remove your marinated pork from the fridge.
  • Add the remaining olive oil to a pan on high heat. 
  • Once the pan is hot, add some of the marinated pork pieces (cook it in 2 batches) and fry for 5-6 minutes while stirring constantly. 
  • Around halfway through, add some sliced garlic and a sprig of rosemary and stir.
  • If you want it extra crispy, fry for an additional minute or two until you see the meat begin to char slightly. 

Step 3 – Serve 

  • Once cooked, remove your pork pieces from the pan and strain off any excess oil. 
  • Serve in a small bowl with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and season to taste with some salt and pepper. 
  • Alternatively, serve straight from the pan with lots of fresh bread to soak up the delicious paprika-infused oil.

Nutrition facts

Serving size: 100g

Servings: 4

Amount per serving

 

Calories

749

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 53.8g

69%

Saturated Fat 17g

85%

Cholesterol 139mg

46%

Sodium 1948mg

85%

Total Carbohydrate 3.2g

1%

Dietary Fiber 1.1g

4%

Total Sugars 0.6g

 

Protein 56.2g

 

Vitamin D 0mcg

0%

Calcium 20mg

2%

Iron 1mg

5%

Potassium 64mg

1%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

A small tapas serving of paprika-infused pork bites

Paprika-infused Pork bites (Quick and easy tapas recipe)

Byron
Paprika-infused pork bites are the ideal tapas recipe when you want something tasty and easy to make. This recipe is similar to the classic Torreznos recipe (pork belly deep fried in sunflower oil), but it is easier to make and only requires shallow pan frying.
To make the ultimate party-pleaser pork bites, simply coat your pork pieces in your favorite spices and plenty of smoked paprika, marinate for at least 30 minutes, then shallow fry with some olive oil, garlic, and a little rosemary. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon, and serve!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinate pork 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course appertizer, party food, Snack, tapas
Cuisine American, Authentic Spanish recipe, Spain, spanish
Servings 4 tapas
Calories 749 kcal

Equipment

  • Medium-sized frying pan or skillet (10-inch/25cm)
  • Kitchen towel
  • Kitchen wrap
  • Bowl

Ingredients

  • 17 oz. 500g worth of pork belly or thick cuts of pancetta
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary optional
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin optional - for some earthy flavor

Instructions
 

Step 1 - Marinate pork with spices

  • Chop your pork into pieces roughly 1 inch / 2.5 cm in size and add to a bowl.
    17 oz. 500g worth of pork belly or thick cuts of pancetta
    dicecd pork in a bowl
  • Add around 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus all of the spices: smoked paprika, thyme, garlic powder, and cumin (optional).
    2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, 6 tablespoons of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of cumin
    herbs and spices are added to a bowl of diced pork.
  • Mix well, cover, and put it in the fridge for 30 - 60 minutes.
    some marinated pork is covered with kitchen film

Step 2 - Fry pork pieces

  • Remove your marinated pork from the fridge. Add the remaining olive oil to a pan on high heat.
    oil in a pan next to some marinated pork pieces
  • Once the pan is hot, add some of the marinated pork pieces (cook it in 2 batches) and fry for 5-6 minutes while stirring constantly.
    cooked pork pieces in a frying pan
  • Around halfway through, add some sliced garlic and a sprig of rosemary and stir. If you want it extra crispy, fry for an additional minute or two until you see the meat begin to char slightly.
    2-3 garlic cloves, 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
    rosemary and some slicced garlic are added to a pan of fried pork

Step 3 - Serve

  • Once cooked, remove your pork pieces from the pan and strain off any excess oil.
    some pork piecces are tranferred to kitcchen towel to drain off excess oil
  • Serve in a small bowl with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and season to taste with some salt and pepper.
    1 lemon
    A small tapas serving of paprika-infused pork bites
  • Alternatively, serve straight from the pan with lots of fresh bread to soak up the delicious paprika-infused oil.
    a small bowl of paprika-infused pork bites sits next to. alrge fry pan of cooked pork.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 100gCalories: 749kcalCarbohydrates: 3.2gProtein: 56.2gFat: 53.8gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1948mgPotassium: 64mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 0.6gCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Easy tapas, paprika, party food, pork, Spanish tapas, tapas

Cooking Tips and FAQs

How long do paprika-infused pork bites take to make?

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Marinade time: 30 mins (minimum)
  • Cook time: 5-6 minutes per batch
  • Total time: Minimum 45 minutes

What is the best pork to use?

Use a fatty cut of pork such as pork belly or thick-cut slices of pancetta. The fat renders down during the cooking process and the meat absorbs plenty of marinade flavor. 

Can I use bacon bits to make this recipe?

If you plan to use bacon, ask your butcher to cut it into 1-inch/2.5cm thick slices and remove the outer rind (Skin). Cut your bacon slices into 1-inch/2.5cm cubes and adjust the cooking time to suit. It should take a little longer to cook bacon bits, say around 10-15 minutes in total.

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