Crispy Pata is a famous Filipino pork dish that uses a whole pig’s leg. The leg (or pata) is made tender by simmering in water along with other spices. It is then rubbed with seasonings and deep-fried until the texture becomes very crunchy.This dish can be eaten as a main dish along with pickled green papaya (atchara) and a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and chopped onions. It can also be served as beer food or “pulutan” – which is what Crispy Pata is popularly known for.
By looking at the procedure, you might be thinking that it is easy to cook Crispy Pata. The procedure seems simple, yet the process involves dangerous steps that need extra caution.
Deep frying a whole leg can cause the hot oil to be uncontrollable. It is a must to slightly (not fully, as the cover can pop-up due to pressure) cover the cooking pot while frying. There are also other recipes that require the leg to be frozen then deep-fried immediately. I do not recommend that, at all. The technique can be effective, but it is very risky. It is better to fry the leg in medium heat until it becomes crispy.
Crispy Pata is best eaten with a good dipping sauce. I make my sauce by combing 1 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, one small chopped onion, and some bird’s eye chili. I microwave it for 30 seconds to let the flavor of the onions out.
Try this Crispy Pata Recipe and let me know your thoughts.
- 1 whole pig’s leg (pata; about 3 to 4 lbs), cleaned
- 6 pieces dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons whole peppercorn
- 4 to 6 pieces star anise (optional)
- 6 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 12 to 15 cups water
- 8 to 12 cups cooking oil
- Pour water in a cooking pot then let boil.
- Put-in dried bay leaves, whole peppercorn, star anise, and 4 teaspoons of salt.
- Add the whole pig’s legs in the cooking pot then simmer until the leg becomes tender (about 45 to 60 minutes).
- Remove the tender leg from the cooking pot and set aside until the temperature goes down.
- Rub the leg with garlic powder, ground black pepper, and remaining salt. Let stand for 15 minutes to absorb the rub.
- Heat a clean large cooking pot (preferably with cover) and pour-in cooking oil.
- When the oil becomes hot, deep fry the rubbed pork leg. Continue cooking in medium heat until one side becomes crispy, and then cautiously flip the leg to crisp the other side. Note: Be extra careful in doing this procedure.
- Turn-off the heat; remove the crispy pork leg; and transfer it to a wide serving plate.
- Serve with atcharang papaya and soy sauce – vinegar dipping sauce.
- Share and enjoy!