One of the all-time Filipino party favorites is the Crispy Pata. It’s an entire rear leg of pork boiled in water with seasonings and spices. When the meat is tender, it is then deep-fried in hot oil until the skin becomes crispy. For a different twist, this Crispy Pata is seasoned with adobo broth making this version an ultimate Filipino dish.
Crispy Pata Adobo
Makes 6-8 servings
1 Whole pork leg or pata (front)
1 cup White vinegar
¼ cup Soy sauce
10-12 Whole garlic cloves
1 Tbsp Rock salt
½ Tbsp Cracked black peppercorns
2 Laurel leaves
4-6 cups Water
Cooking oil for deep frying
- In a large pot, put washed pork leg and pour in the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic cloves, rock salt, black peppercorns, and laurel leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Next, pour in water just until it covers the pork. Bring up to a gentle boil then cover the pot. Simmer for at least an hour then turn pork over to simmer the other side for another hour. For bigger cuts of pork, extend cooking time to a total of three hours.
- When pork skin is fork tender, carefully transfer the boiled pork leg to a plate and let cool to room temperature. When cool, wrap in plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for a few hours, or preferably overnight. Reserve adobo broth and strain out solids.
- When ready to fry, heat a big pot of cooking oil over medium heat. Remove pork leg from the refrigerator and pat skin dry with paper towels.
- When the oil is hot, slowly submerge the pork leg in the oil and deep fry for about 20-25 minutes until golden. Turn pork over and fry for another 15 minutes. You may cover the pot to prevent oil from splattering.
- When pork is almost done, transfer fried pork leg to a colander lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- In another pot, pour strained adobo broth and simmer for a few minutes. Taste and correct seasoning. Thicken with cornstarch slurry (mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 teaspoon water) until slightly thick. Serve as a sauce for the Crispy Pata Adobo.
Recipe by Nina Daza-Puyat
Photographed by Zac Moran