Crispy pata is one of the all-time Filipino favourite dishes usually is served in special occasions; it has a similar reputation as a lamb leg roast or Thanksgiving turkey in the Western World. It’s a simple recipe of twice cooked pork leg (“pata” in Tagalog) served vinegar and soy sauce dip. Traditionally the entire rear leg of a pig is used, it is then boiled in water infused with seasonings and spices until tender, it is then cooled down by refrigerating or freezing then deep fried in hot oil until skin becomes crispy. It may look simple but this is one of the dangerous things you can do in your kitchen, just imagine what a frozen or cold water dropped in a very hot oil will do. So if you are planning to make one be careful and use proper equipment.
It’s a very unhealthy dish as the pork legs that already consist of high fat content is deep fried until skin becomes really crisp resembling pork crackling in texture, it’s a dish that the heart foundation definitely would not tick but for once in a while I guess it should be OK.
Ingredients (Crispy Pata)
2-3 pcs large pork legs, get the fatty one this is essential for the crackling
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup fish sauce
1.5 litres Sprite
2 tbsp baking soda
1 whole garlic, minced
1 whole onion, quartered
2 tbsp ground black pepper
4 tbsp rock salt
6 pcs bay leaves
Ingredients (Vinegar Dip)
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp brown sugar or sweetener of your choice
1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
2 red chillies, chopped
Method (Crispy Pata)
- Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, sprite, garlic, baking soda, salt in a deep pot.
- Now soak the pork leg into the mixture, pierce the skin multiple time with knife to let the marinade seep through.
- Marinate for at least 24 hours turning to the other side after 12 hrs.
- Now using the same pot with everything on it (marinade and pork), place in a stove top add the onions and bay leaves and bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour.
- Let the meat cool for at least an hour, then place in a fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Remove from fridge then prepare a deep fryer or deep pot with cover. Heat oil in your chosen vessel and once it’s near to its smoking point using long tongs while holding the one you will use for cover, pick the cold pork leg and drop it on the hot oil. Cover the pot immediately as it will splatter violently; cook until skin becomes really crunchy and golden brown.
- Remove from pot/deep fryer then serve.
Method (Vinegar Dip)
- Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl