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The Ilocos region is absolutely brimming with rich history at every corner. From sunny, bright beaches to historical landmarks that will send you back in time, anywhere in this region will breathe life and color into your travels. But the beautiful scenery isn’t the only thing that makes this gorgeous part of the country tourist-worthy. One fact which remains simply undeniable is that the Ilocos Region has one of the best cuisines in our country! With an assortment of dishes as diverse as and alive as the region it comes from, Ilocano food is always deep in both flavor and comfort. Meat-heavy but never lacking in vegetables, too, there’s something for everyone in Ilocano cuisine. Take, for example, this absolutely mouthwatering crispy pata dinakdakan!
Say goodbye to your diet for now, or at least call a cheat day; with Ilocano cuisine, you can’t help but indulge! And this crispy pata dinakdakan is no exception. No set of Ilocano food would be complete without this spicy, hearty, and altogether delicious starter. Dinakdakan in its original form consists of different pig parts, like liver, ears, and face, mixed together with chili peppers and onions for a wonderful and biting meal. If you’re familiar with Kapampangan sisig, dinakdakan is almost exactly like that! One of the main differences, however, is that the latter’s meat is not finely chopped as it is in sisig. Rather, your dinakdakan meat is a little larger and chunkier. This gives you more to enjoy with every bite!
Another thing that makes dinakdakan irresistible is the tasty dressing that coats and covers it. If you’re a fan of creamy and tangy, then this dressing will be the perfect partner for your hearty meal. This mix of mayonnaise, Knorr liquid seasoning, and vinegar is a sure winner, regardless of who you’re serving this dinakdakan to!
Crispy Pata Dinakdakan
But even compared to other dinakdakan renditions, this recipe in particular will rise up above the rest! Why, you may ask? This is because of the presence of the ever mouthwatering and indulgent crispy pata! The sound of that crunch when you bite into this recipe is truly undeniable. Like dinakdakan, Ilocanos enjoy crispy pata; actually, almost every Filipino does! There are many ways to cook crispy pata, but essentially it boils down to both boiling and deep frying. The former is important in making your meat as tender as possible, while the latter makes the skin, in contrast, achieve that crispy texture we all love. Indeed, crispy pata is truly the best of both worlds. All the more reason to add it to the beloved dinakdakan!
The addition of crispy pata will make this dinakdakan heartier and more filling. Beyond just being an appetizer, this heavy pork can transform your starter into a main all on its own! Whether you’re having it with heaping cups of rice or enjoying a cold one with friends, there’s no doubt that this crispy pata dinakdakan will leave your stomach hearty and happy.
What to serve with Crispy Pata Dinakdakan
Complete your Ilocano spread and don’t limit yourself to just serving this crispy pata dinakdakan! These dishes together make for the perfect feast you and your family can dig into. What’s better than having crispy pata dinakdakan as the star of the show, if not having multiple tasty Ilocano food share the limelight?
Since you might be looking for some vegetables to pair with your rich and filling meats, why not have pakbet Ilocano? Made of vegetables you can find in the backyard of almost every villager, this dish is a refreshing contrast to your sinful crispy pata. But it isn’t all healthy, though; not when there’s a pound of bagnet involved! The perfect combination of crispy and nutritious, pakbet Ilocano is a great dish to have alongside your crispy pata dinakdakan.
Are you on the more adventurous side? If you’ve never had chicken liver before, now’s your chance! The ever flavorful Chicken Igado is one of the ways Ilocanos have utilized liver and made it absolutely delicious. The savory notes of the seasonings make your meal part sweet, part salty, part savory, and all tasty!
How to Make Crispy Pata Dinakdakan
The most important aspect of crispy pata is ensuring that your pata is as tender as can be. To do this, you have to tenderize your pork hock by combining it, peppercorn, bay leaves, and water in a cooking pot. On a low to medium heat, let this combination boil for about 80 minutes, or until it’s as tender as desired. When you’re happy with the result, you can drain the liquid and let the pork cool down. At room temperature, you can debone your pata using a sharp knife, then discard the bones and set it aside. Then, rub 2 teaspoons of salt all over your pork’s skin.
Next on the agenda is to make your dinakdakan proper! Start with your crispy pata dinakdakan’s dressing. Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise, Knorr Liquid Seasoning, white vinegar and black pepper all go together in a bowl. Stir until you get a nice, smooth consistency, then keep that aside in the meantime. Take your pork liver and rub a teaspoon of salt over the same, then heat cooking oil in a pan. Fry both sides of the liver until it browns, then remove it from the pan and slice again into serving pieces. These pieces aren’t as fine or small as sisig, but are still bite-sized nonetheless.
In a deep cooking pot, heat more oil and fry your pata until a gorgeous, crispy golden brown. Take it from the pot and let it cool, then chop it into the same bite sized pieces.
Now is the time to put your crispy pata dinakdakan all together! In a large mixing bowl, add your crispy pata, fried liver, and dressing! Toss in onions, green onions, and chili peppers for that extra kick, and mix them all together until well blended. When you’re done, that means your crispy pata dinakdakan is done, too!
Transfer your dish to a serving plate and watch mouths water and hear stomachs growl at the sight of this marvelous meal. Let us know what you and your loved ones think of this Ilocano food legend!
- 3 ounces pork liver
- 2 onions sliced
- ½ cup green onions chopped
- 3 Thai chili pepper chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
Pork hock boiling ingredients:
- 4 lbs. pork hock pata
- 2 teaspoons whole peppercorn
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 cups water
- ¾ cup Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Knorr Liquid Seasoning
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Tenderize the pork hock by combining all the pork hock boiling ingredients in a cooking pot. Cover and boil between low to medium heat setting for 80 minutes. Drain the liquid and let the pork cool down to room temperature. Debone the pork hock using a sharp knife. Set aside (note: You may discard the bones.).
- Rub 2 teaspoons of salt all over the skin of the pork.
- Prepare the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Stir until smooth.
- Rub 1 teaspoon salt all over the liver. Heat the cooking oil in a pan. Fry both sides of the liver until it browns. Remove from the pan and slice into serving pieces. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a deep cooking pot. Fry the pata until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pot and let it cool down.
- Chop the crispy pata into bite-size pieces. Put it in a large mixing bowl, add the fried liver, and add the dressing, onion, green onion, and chili peppers. Toss until well blended.
- Transfer to a serving plate. Serve. Share and enjoy!