Crispy Pata is a special dish to every Filipinos because of its crispiness and very delicious taste. But before I give you the procedure on how to make a good crispy pata, let us try to know first the meaning of the word “crispy pata” and its origin. Crispy pata means deep fried pata with a crunchy rind and soft and moist meat inside. Pata is the front or hind leg of the pig. In the Philippines, that means the leg and the trotters (knuckles).
Always remember to have a best pata, we must be very selective when buying pig’s hind leg. It is very important to choose a young pig rather than the old one because the more mature the pig, the thicker and tougher the rind. Frying alone is not the only step in cooking this dish; the pata has to be boiled to tenderness prior to deep-frying.
According to the oldies, one has to drip-dry the pata after boiling and then allow it to air-dry for a day prior to deep-frying. It is definitely not true. For as long as you drain, cool and, preferably, chill the boiled pata, there’s no reason why you can’t boil and fry it on the same day.
At first, you should boil the pork hocks or the knuckles with enough water and spiced with garlic, peppercorns, salt, bay leaf, and soy sauce.
Some recipe also indicates the inclusion of 7-up or Sprite in the boil. So it’s your preference, it really doesn’t matter at all. Boil until it become tender for not less than 2 hours. It only takes less time if you have a pressure cooker.
Once the pata is tender, you need to drain it well. Please make sure it becomes dry to obtain crispiness. Probably hang it so it can drip or at least, blot with paper towel.
You need to deep-fry the dried pata and make sure that you have enough oil to cover the pata by doing this in a large kawale (or pan). You start at high heat, then medium heat, then low heat when the skin starts to become golden brown in color. When blisters start to appear, the pata is probably cooked at crispy. Then, your pata is ready to serve for dinner.