Crispy Pata is definitely one to be included in the talks of the town when it comes to modern Filipino cuisine.
It is one dish that’s very popular and you can find commonly all around the country, especially in restaurants serving Filipino food. Whether it is just a local restaurant or a high end restaurant, or a restobar, there’s a high chance that they serve this addictive crispy dish.
In this article, we will help you learn some next level cooking. And you know you’re going to be proud once you’ve made such a feat! If you’re one who’s aspiring to become good at cooking, this is a perfect one to make.
Impress your family and friends on a special occasion, a night bonding coupled with wine or beer, or even just a happy weekend, with your own crispy pata. Continue to read below to learn more tips and tricks, and some trivia about this savory dish.
What is Crispy Pata?
Crispy pata, from the word itself, is basically a pork leg which is made to be extra crispy, partnered with a sauce based on soy sauce and vinegar. This is achieved by deep-frying the pork leg so that the skin would be crispy.
This dish was said to have been invented just quite recently (70s) by a certain restaurant in Manila called Barrio Fiesta. No disputes were made so this might be true.
How to cook Crispy Pata?
Cooking Crispy Pata might not be as easy as other popular dishes, but this one definitely gives you a rewarding feeling when you do it successfully.
So to make things a little less confusing, we are going to break down the process in three main parts. One is boiling the pork leg, second is freezing, and then last is deep-frying the pork leg. Once that’s done, you have a super crispy pork leg.
First step, we are going to boil the pork leg. Just make sure that the pork leg is fully submerged in water and add the necessary ingredients to bring out the flavor of the pork. The goal of this process is to make the pork tender but not to the point where it easily breaks down. So keep an eye on it from time to time while boiling.
The next step is to freeze the pork leg. After drying the pork leg from the boiling session that we did, place the pork leg in the refrigerator uncovered. It is recommended to keep it chill as long as possible so the best choice to leave it overnight. But if time is of the essence, at least a couple of hours would do. The goal of freezing the pork leg is to make it extra crispy once we fry it.
The last process is to deep fry the pork. Remember that once the pork is submerged in the hot oil, it will start to splatter, so be sure to cover it, or if you have a splatter guard available with you, it’s best to use it. A deep casserole is also recommended to lessen the chance of splattering outside the pot.
Oven-baked Crispy Pata
Yes, you saw it right, cooking crispy pata can be done using the oven. It is a safer choice especially at home when cooking since you won’t worry about splatters when deep-frying, at the expense of a longer period of cooking. The procedure is still the same, only instead of deep-frying, we are going to bake it at roughly the same temperature.
Notes on Ingredients
Pork Leg (Pork Hock)
In choosing a pork leg, you have two options: one is the front leg, the other is the hind leg. The hind leg is the more preferable choice since–well–it is the literal pata and it is larger and thus, has more meat. The front leg is a much smaller choice and has more fat also.
For a quick reference about this recipe, see the recipe table below:
Crispy Pata Recipe
- Deep Frying Pan
- 1 whole pork leg, cleaned
- 1 pc onion, chopped
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 4 pcs bay leaves (laurel leaves)
- 2 tbsp peppercorn
- 3 tbsp salt
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 1 bottle (250 ml) clear soda
- 6 cups water
- salt, to taste
- 5 cups cooking oil, for deep frying
Dipping sauce ingredients:
- ¾ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 pcs shallot or red onion, chopped
- 2 pcs siling labuyo, minced
- ground pepper, to taste
- In a large cooking pot, pour-in water and apply low to medium heat. Bring to a boil.
- Add-in the cleaned pork leg, chopped onion, minced garlic, bay leaves, 3 tablespoons of salt, peppercorn, and pour-in the clear soda. Let it simmer for 50 to 80 minutes or until tender but still intact.
- Drain the liquid from the pot, leaving the pork leg. Then transfer to a rack and allow to dry. You can use paper towels to dry the pork leg faster.
- Store the pork leg in a refrigerator. Let it freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight.
- Rub the vinegar all over the skin of the pork leg and season with salt. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
- In a large cooking pot, pour-in and heat the oil in medium to high heat.
- Add-in the pork leg. Cover the pot until the splatter subsides a little. Deep-fry while turning the pork leg every now and then(if not completely submerged in oil) for 15 - 30 minutes or until the pork leg is crispy and a golden color is achieved.
- Drain the excess oil and transfer the pork leg onto a rack. Dry with paper towels.
- Transfer to a serving plate or a serving tray. Serve with the dipping sauce and enjoy!
Dipping sauce procedure:
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well-incorporated. Adjust the amount of ingredients as needed.
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