Crispy Pata is a famous Filipino pork dish that uses a whole pig’s leg. The leg (or pata) is made tender by simmering in water along with other spices. It is then rubbed with seasonings and deep-fried until the texture becomes very crunchy. This dish can be eaten as a main dish along with pickled green papaya (atchara) and a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and chopped onions. It can also be served as beer food or “pulutan”, which is what "Crispy Pata" is popularly known for.
- 1 whole pig’s leg, about 3 to 4 pounds, cleaned
- 6 pieces dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons whole peppercorn
- 4 to 6 pieces star anise, optional
- 6 teaspoons salt, iodized or rock only
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 12 to 15 cups water, lukewarm or plain
- 8 to 12 cups cooking oil
- Pour water in a cooking pot, then let boil.
- Put in dried bay leaves, whole peppercorn, star anise, and 4 teaspoons of salt.
- Add the whole pig’s legs in the cooking pot, then simmer until the leg becomes tender, about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Remove the tender leg from the cooking pot and set aside until the temperature goes down.
- Rub the leg with garlic powder, ground black pepper, and the remaining salt. Let stand for 15 minutes to absorb the rub.
- Heat a clean large cooking pot, preferably with a cover, and pour with cooking oil.
- When the oil becomes hot, deep-fry the rubbed pork leg. Continue cooking in medium heat until one side becomes crispy, and then cautiously flip the leg to crisp the other side. Note: Be extra careful in doing this procedure.
- Turn off the heat, remove the crispy pork leg, and transfer it to a wide serving plate.
- Serve with atcharang papaya and soy sauce-vinegar dipping sauce, as well as over rice.
To use a conventional method of cooking the whole pig's leg before frying, add 3 cups of water and salt.