Christmas is the season when most of us tend to lower our guard to sample some of the good food that we have been trying to avoid for the entire year, mainly due to health reasons. Crispy Pata is one of these dishes that I make at least once or twice a year. I make sure that I have it in the table during Noche Buena.
Since this dish goes on my table only a few times a year, I always make sure to prepare the best crispy pata that I can. It should be tender in the inside, and the skin should be very crispy. It is Christmas, so I am going to share to you my secret on how to make your crispy pata that way.
A tender crispy pata (in the inside) can be achieved by boiling the pig leg for at least 1 hour. You can also extend it longer just to be sure that the meat really gets soft. Make sure to apply seasonings to your pata after boiling. I use Shaoxing cooking wine and Knorr Liquid Seasoning to make my dish tasty and yummy.
When it comes to making the skin crispy, there are many ways. You can either refrigerate or freeze the leg after boiling and then deep fry immediately. While this technique works, it is somewhat dangerous because oil can splatter everywhere. I went to the safer yet effective route for this recipe. It involved air drying. I simply arranged the pata on a plate in a way that both sides are exposed and got a small electric fan. I had the fan face the pork and turned it on for 3 hours. This made the skin dry and it reduced the moisture from the pata.
Splattering happens when hot oil is combined with other liquid. This is not likely to happen when you air dry the pata because the liquid (including the seasoning) evaporates during the air drying process. However, the flavor of the seasoning and pork is left behind. This makes this dish tasty, crispy, and delicious.
Try this Crispy Pata Recipe. Let me know what you think.
- 1 (4lb.) Pig leg
- 4 tablespoons Knorr Liquid Seasoning
- ½ cup Shaoxing cooking wine (optional)
- 8 pieces dried bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorn
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 quarts water
- 1 quart cooking oil
- Boil water in a wide cooking pot.
- Add bay leaves, garlic, and whole peppercorn
- Put the pig leg into the pot. Cover and continue to boil in low to medium heat for 1 hour. Note: you may turn the leg over after 30 minutes in order to equally tenderize the other side.
- Remove the pig leg from the cooking pot and then put in a clean plate. Let it cool down until you can easily grab it with your hands. Pour cooking wine all over the leg. Rub and make sure that the entire leg is covered. Pour Knorr liquid seasoning all over the pata. Rub again to ensure that the entire leg gets coated.
- Put the leg on a cooling rack or arrange it in a way that both sides are exposed. Let it air dry for at least 3 hours. Note: you may place a small electric fan in front of the leg to let it dry quickly.
- Heat oil in a deep cooking pot. When the temperature reaches 320F, slowly put the air-dried pork into the pot. Cover the pot while leaving a portion open for the steam to escape. Deep fry one side for 12 minutes or until crispy. Turn the leg over and deep fry the opposite side using the amount of time. Note: you can remove the cover of the pot and replace it with a splatter screen once the sound of the oil starts to mellow down, but be on guard all the time.
- Remove the Crispy Pata from the cooking pot. Place it in a plate with a cooling rack or paper towel to let the oil drip.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Serve with papaya atchara and bowl of spicy vinegar dip.
- Serve. Share and enjoy!