How to make Souse?

Souse is a light dish that is popular around the Caribbean. It is a clear broth of pickled pig trotters that is flavored with onion, garlic, lime, hot peppers and other spices.  To tenderize the fatty meat, it is first cooked and then marinated for a long time with various seasonings so it becomes pickled. As well, other parts of the pig can be added to the soup such as pig’s head or shoulders, but that’s optional.

This delicious soup is generally served cold and makes a great appetizer. It also goes well with potato salad and all types of crackers.   In addition, it is served with steamed pudding or black pudding, a favorite cuisine among locals and a must-try for visitors.

There are several types of souse. The popular dish is made with various parts of pig, chicken and cow. The most popular is pork souse which is made from the feet, ears, shoulder, tail and knuckles of the pig.

Although the ingredients are quite humble, it is a dish most often sought-after at parties and events. It is similar to ceviche, a popular seafood dish made from fresh raw fish that is cured in citrus. The pig’s feet are cooked until soft and then added to spicy vinegar based sauce with fresh onion, cucumbers and green pepper.  You can also add hot scotch bonnets or a habanero; the heat is amazingly mellowed by the soothing cucumber.

Serves 8


Preparation time: 10 min

Cook time: 1 hour 30 min

Total time: 1 hour 40 min


Ingredients of Souse

  • ½ pigs head
  • 2 trotters,  also known as pettitoes – the feet of pigs
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, sliced


  1. Wash the trotter and the pig head thoroughly with lime.
  2. Place the trotter and the pig head in a pot. Add water and salt. Cook until soft and tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Allow to cool.  Skim off any residue and discard.
  3. Slice the pig or cut into pieces.
  4. Slice the green peppers and cucumbers.
  5. Chop the onions.
  1. Mix all the ingredients with some of the pig stock.
  2. Add the pork slices or pieces. Allow to set for a while.
  3. For best results, allow the mixture to chill in the fridge for a couple hours.  This allows the flavors to meld and fuse together.


  1. Great additions to this recipe for souse include 2 tablespoon shado beni (or cilantro), 1 scotch bonnet pepper (without seeds) 1 scallion and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.
  2. For less work in the kitchen, ask your butcher to clean and trim the pig feet for you.
  3. Pressure cooker method: Cook the pig’s trotter and the pig head for 15 minutes in a pressure cooker. Slightly cool then skim off any residue and discard. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until tender.


Best Cookware to Use

Large pot for cooking

This is a great video on how to make Souse. Its not filmed in our kitchen but definitely worth watching. Please let us know how you made your own Souse variation after reading this guide :)