Crispy pata is boiled pork (leg or knuckle) then baked until the rind is puffed and crisp while the meat stays soft and moist. Crackling outside and juicy, tender inside are trademarks of this tasty dish!
How can one not love Crispy Pata? A succulent Leg of Pork lovingly baked to golden perfection. All that wonderful dripping fat caressing your arteries! Writing this is giving me high blood pressure already! So, usually, it’s just deep-fried pork leg, how can that be so hard to cook? Nothing difficult about cooking crispy pata. But wait! There is another way of cooking this true blue Filipino dish. Oven Baked!
How to make the skin extra crispy?
They say deep-frying is the only way to make the pork rind crisp and puffed. It doesn’t have to be this way. As much as I love eating crispy pata as any dignified Filipino should. I think there is a better way of cooking this marvelous dish. A good oven and a very high cooking temperature does the job equally well. No oil spatters. Although there is nothing like roasting pork in a full-sized fan-assisted oven to make the rind crisp and puffed, a turbo broiler will do the job too. Air drying the pork after boiling to drain any residual liquid also plays a factor for a guaranteed crackle.
Don’t forget the sauce!
Although you can have it on its own, a simple sauce of mainly vinegar, soy sauce, and onion (lots of it!) can really elevate the taste! Here is how to make it. Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt into the sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir until sugar dissolves then add 3 chopped garlic. Pour the mixture in a bowl and tip in 1 chopped medium onion. Dash with a pinch of salt and throw in 1 or two red chili. Voila! The perfect dipping sauce for a great dish.
Oven baked or deep frying?
By employing oven baking techniques to the recipe rather than frying it, we basically remove any additional fat garnered to the dish by deep frying. I know that some people will say that as long as you use fresh oil in deep frying, it won’t stick to the dish as much. But then again, how guaranteed are you that the oil you bought is fresh? And besides, it already sounds healthier by saying its baked, right?
Tips for Crispy Pata, Oven baked pork leg
Air drying – Before baking the pata in the oven, The pata needs to air-dried for at least 30 minutes to drain excess liquid from boiling.
Refrigerating overnight after boiling – You can prepare this a day ahead. Let it cool down completely and place inside the fridge in an airtight container.
The secret ingredient is always LOVE
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Oven baked Crispy Pata
- 1 1/2 kilo pork leg
- 2-3 pcs bay leaves
- 1 tsp whole pepper corn
- 4 tbsp salt
- 1 liter water add more if needed
- Thoroughly wash the pork leg to remove any blood residue. Scrape any excess hair off the skin. Rub some salt to make sure it's extra clean and wash again.
- In a large pot, cover Pork Leg with 1 liter of water (pork should be completely submerged), bay leaves, whole pepper corn and 2 tbsp salt. Bring Pork Leg to a boil. Make sure to remove the scum
- Boil for 45 minutes or until soft and tender.
- Remove from water, let pork leg cool for 30 minutes so.
- While waiting for pork leg to air-dry. Pre-heat oven at 220° Celcius
- When done air-drying the pork leg, pat dry with clean kitchen towel and rub with vegetable oil and 1 tbsp of salt.
- Oven bake pork leg for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until desired crispiness of skin is achieved.
- Serve and Enjoy with Soy-Vinegar sauce with lots of onions and garlic! Bon Appetit
- Cook time may vary depending on oven used.