Delicious pork leg meat that is tender and juicy in the inside with a crispy crackle in its skin with a matching spicy dipping sauce consisting of vinegar, soy sauce, calamansi juice and slices of red onions – this crispy pata recipe is a popular favorite indulgence of the meat-loving Filipinos.
Whenever our family and friends eat out in Filipino restaurants locally, this is always one of our choices. You can often find crispy pata on their menu as Filipinos love it. They come in different sizes from small, medium, to large. Prices usually commensurate sizes.
What is Crispy Pata
Crispy pata is a popular Filipino delicacy made of pork leg that is boiled to make it tender then deep fried to make it crispy.
It can also be cooked in the oven, turbo broiler or even air fryer after boiling. The goal is to make the skin crispy to remain true to its name.
Background and History
Crispy Pata was invented by Rodolfo Ongpauco in 1958 when he was only 14 years old.
From School, he would pass along La Loma, Quezon City, a popular place where lechon was being sold and noticed that pork legs where often left because lechon buyers do not like it.
He bought those pork legs, boiled it with spices, then fried it. It was a click with his friends and since then, it has become a part of the menu of Barrio Fiesta Restaurant which his mother owned. From then on, it has become very popular and became a staple in Filipino celebrations and occasions.
Frying pork was influenced by the Spanish colonizers to the Philippines. The Philippines was ruled by Spain for 333 years.
Crispy Pata Ingredients List
Pata or Pork leg – I always choose front pork leg meat cut when cooking crispy pata as it is more tender.
Bay leaves – for distinctive flavor and aroma
Peppercorn – adds flavor and fragrance
Garlic – for that pungent spicy flavor
Onion– adds pleasant aroma when boiling the pork
Salt – to season the pork
Cooking Oil – We will use this for deep frying
For the Dipping Sauce
Soy sauce – the base of this sauce
Vinegar- adds sourness to this dip
Sugar – to balance the savory and sour taste.
Calamansi juice or lemon juice – makes the sauce more appetizing and its pleasant aroma is really good.
Red Onions – perfect for this sauce
Siling Labuyo (Spicy Chili Peppers) – optional, add it if you like your sauce spicy.
Cooking Instructions for Crispy Pata
Cooking crispy pata is a bit time consuming because you have to boil it first until it becomes tender. Frying can be tricky as well because if you are not careful, hot cooking oil can splash in your skin. So cooking it is usually done and reserve only on special occasions and celebrations.
However, the yummy result of your cooking is well worth it and cooking it in the comfort of your home makes you feel fulfilled that you cook your own food.
So here are the steps to make crispy pata.
Clean and wash your pork legs at the outset when cooking.
The next step is to tenderize the pork by boiling it. Pour water in a big cooking pot that can accommodate the size of your pork leg. Add in the aromatics like bay leaves, peppercorn, crushed garlic, onion and salt. Make sure that the pork is submerged into the water.
This will take about 2 hours or more depending on the size of your pork. Alternatively, you may use pressure cooker to hasten the cooking. However, nothing beats slow cooking the traditional way when it comes to its taste.
This is the final step and kind of challenging one.
So, once you are done boiling the pork, remove it from the pot and let it cool and dry for about 20 minutes. Others refrigerate it at this point but that can be problematic when you don’t have enough time for it.
So just make sure it is properly dry then rub salt all over the pork.
You are now ready to fry. Heat a generous amount of oil in a pan then fry the pork legs until golden brown and crispy. You may use a pan with cover so that you will be safe from the splash of hot oil. Flip the pork as needed using a big enough tong with the help of the ladle.
Once done, put it in a rack to drain the excess oil. Transfer it to a serving plate and serve with the soy and vinegar sauce.
- Add aromatics while you are still boiling the pork leg to remove some unpleasant smell.
- Be careful when deep frying the pork leg as you can get burned from splashing hot oil. Put a cover on your frying pan.
Other pork recipes you May Try
- Cooking Pot
- Frying Pan
- Pressure cooker optional
- 1 pc Pork Leg front leg preferred
- 5 leaves Laurel or Bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Peppercorns
- 5 cloves Crushed garlic
- 1 medium Onion sliced
- 2 tablespoon Salt divided
- 3 cups cooking Oil
For the Crispy Pata Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon White Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Sugar Brown or White will do
- 1 tablespoon Calamansi juice
- 1 big Red onion chopped in small pieces
- 3 pcs Hot Chilli Pepper (Siling Labuyo) optional
- Clean the pork pata by washing it and removing any remaining hairs if any.
- Put water in a cooking pot and add bay leaves, peppercorn, crushed garlic, onion and 1 tablespoon salt. Add in the pork leg making sure it is submerged in the water. Boil it for 2 hours or until pork leg is tender.
- Remove pork from the pot. Let it cool and dry for 20 minutes. Then rub the salt all over the pork.
- Heat oil in the pan and fry the pork leg until golden brown and crispy, flipping the other side as needed.
- Transfer to a wire rack to drain excess oil.
- Place it to a serving plate and serve with the crispy pata dipping sauce.
For the sauce
- Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, calamansi juice, onions, the chilli pepper and mix them all together.
- Be careful when deep frying the pork to avoid getting burned from splashing hot oil.
- Put aromatics and salt when boiling the pork so that the pork can absorb their flavors and pleasant aroma.