How to cook: Crispy pata with no frying

casaveneracion.com How to cook: Crispy pata with no frying

*Updated on July 8, 2012. Original posts were published on October 8, 2004 and September 9, 2006.

Crispy pata is boiled pork (hock with the knuckle) and deep fried until the rind is puffed and crisp while the meat stays soft and moist. So, basically, it’s just deep-fried pork leg, how can that be so hard to cook? Nothing difficult about cooking crispy pata. But one can have good crispy pata or terrible crispy pata.

The first thing to remember is that the best pata for this dish is that of a young pig. The more mature the pig, the thicker and tougher the rind. The layer of fat will also be thicker. Second, frying is not the only step in cooking this dish — the pata has to be boiled to tenderness prior to deep-frying. Third, we have to separate the myth from the truth.

Myth number 1. 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. That’s 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.

Myth number 2. The pata has to be frozen after air-drying before it is fried so that the meat stays moist. Holy crap, frying frozen anything is the major cause of unnecessary oil spatter and kitchen accidents.

Myth number 3. Deep-frying is the only way to make the pork rind crisp and puffed. Nope. 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. See the lechon kawali post as an introduction.

Unlike pre-sliced pork belly that can go directly into the turbo broiler, a whole pata has to be completely cooked by the time it goes into the turbo broiler. And I mean completely cooked. Tender, falling off the bones cooked. The only reason it’s going into the turbo broiler is to brown the rind and make it crisp and puffed. So, if the pata is still not tender by the time it goes into the turbo broiler, it will still not be tender by the time it comes out.

casaveneracion.com Crispy pata: no frying

Start by simmering the pata in plenty of salted water with a whole garlic, onion, peppercorns and a bay leaf for flavor. Alternatively, use a pressure cooker or a slow cooker. I used a pressure cooker today. After 40 minutes, I checked the pata, it wasn’t tender enough, so I cooked it for another 30 minutes. When the pata is tender, remove it from the broth and place on a rack to drip for a while.

Preheat the turbo broiler to 475F or as high as it can go. Ovens are better because the temperature can go higher.

casaveneracion.com Crispy pata: no frying

When the desired temperature is reached, put the pata in. Roast until the rind is puffed and crispy. How long? That depends on the roasting temperature and the size of the pata. It can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 50 minutes.

casaveneracion.com Crispy pata: no frying

Should the pata be scored (slashed) before simmering or after simmering and before roasting? Heck, no. Not even if you’re deep frying. Slashing the rind and meat may make the pata cook faster but that’s also the surest way to lose moisture. You want the moisture in the meat locked in. No slashing. That’s a trick employed by lazy cooks in so-so restaurants. You’re cooking at home for yourself and your family — they, and you, deserve better.

If the skin splits during simmering (like what happened to mine), leave that be — that’s okay so long as the meat has not been cut.

Serve with soy-vinegar sauce for dipping.

Print this post (for personal use only).

Comments

  1. MarlaZZ says

    Wow Connie! I’m a terrible cook from Toronto, who loves to eat Pinoy foods. I’ve always wanted to try to make crispy pata for my family, but didn’t want to invest in a turbo broiler that would take up more space in my kitchen. Your recipe looks so easy I’m encouraged. I will try it this weekend and keep you posted on the results.

    • says

      joey, no oil spatters recipe yan. :)

      marla, hope you get encouraged to try a whole lot of dishes. :)

      dunno with the turbo broiler, rose. in a convection oven, it’s around 30 minutes at maximum setting.

      • Thess says

        Dear Connie,

        I’m hoping you can help me. I boiled the pata and oven roasted it for 350F, and around 20-30 minutes but didn’t come out as crispy as I would like to. At the end of 30 mins. the skin is not brown and puffy just like the picture above. I turned the oven to broil but it burned so fast and the skin still not crispy. I dunno what I did wrong, pls. help ’cause my family loves crispy pata. Thanks

      • megan says

        Hi!

        My mom made this recipe too several months ago. She usually prepares the family meals on weekends but this particular Sunday she and the grown-ups had to go to Batangas. So she boiled the pata on Saturday, popped it in the oven the next day. She then told us when to turn the oven off.

        Tapos yun na, sobrang sarap talaga! My 4 siblings and I finished off two kilos of pata! Lupet!

        • MarlaZZ says

          Connie: Since I discovered your blog less than 2 weeks ago, I’ve tried many of your dishes with much success — crispy pata, korean stew, vietnamese beef brisket noodle soup, chicken baked ala sinigang. As I write this, the fiery adobo cooks on the stove. In the next few days I plan to make your pasta w/ tuyo and maybe even a steamed fish dish. These recipes will be in my repertoire for years to come, and hopefully passed on to my kids. I used to think of cooking as stressful, but you make it seem so fun and easy.

          I know you are allergic to bagoong, but do you have a recipe similar to ‘binagoong-ngan” (sp)? I would so appreciate it!

          Thank you from Toronto!

          • Chat says

            Salamat sa website mo, ive tried your other resipe, BEEF EMBUTIDO, hay nagustuhan ng mag ama ko, usually kase ang hirap imatch ng panlasang Americans sa Pinoy, mapili pa naman asawa ko, yet salamat sayo hahaha, and subukan ko this week end ang CRISPY PATA mo, im sure magugustuhan nya yun, first time nya sa Pinas nag order kami nyan, he keeps asking me to cook one for him, eh ayoko namang mag experimento, salamat na lang meron ka, anyways, ok lang ba lagyan ko ng sprite?? sabi nila ok daw? yet kung ano sasabihin mo, dun ako, kumbaga proven na, salamat.

    • says

      MariaZZ, binagoongan is just adobo with a tablespoonful or so of bagoong stirred in.

      Chat, glad to know that your hubby and kid enjoyed the embutido. :)

      Re sprite. ummm… as far as I know, soda is added as a meat tenderizer. But since you’re preboiling the pata anyway, I don’t see how it can really make a difference.

      • malar says

        Love to try this! What is the highest setting of your convection oven? The highest temp I’ve ever cooked in my (reg) oven with is 500 F. My turbo goes up to 475

          • Janet says

            Hi Connie!

            I cooked this last night & it was pretty good. Although, I was not able to brown the pata evenly. I guess the problem was our broiler was on the bottom part of our oven so it was so hard to see & it was so close to the heat too. I burned parts of it. But still, it was so moist & good. Yung left over ko, ihahalo ko sa mongo bean! Keep up the good work!

  2. ansl says

    Hi Tita Connie!
    I used to cook kawali in the turbo oven before and the result was always fantastic using your recipe of course! Now that I have an electric convection oven, I got rid of my turbo and used the conv oven to cook kawali. The meat usually is overcooked but the balat is not yet puffy. I usually cook it at 350degrees C. Do you have any tip on how to have a better kawali?
    Btw, thanks for sharing your recipes. I can’t wait for your cookbook.

    • miles says

      connie,

      you are indeed a blessing to us! may our Lord God always bless you! i really love your recipes. my husband and i truly appreciate your sharing us your recipes. may we always have the time and money to cook your recipes. sarap talaga….

    • Deborah says

      I tried the lechon sa hurno recipe the other night using my turbo broiler and it was perfect. Even until the next day, the rind was still crispy. I cooked it at 482 deg F for more than an hour and the skin was puffy too.

  3. Maricor says

    Hi Connie,
    Job well done!I am thanking you for sharing your talent in cooking..it is very useful to me,many thanks and I hope you continue posting more recipe’s …godbless

  4. Rush says

    OMG this is what I want to cook for dinner! After much browsing, can’t quite make up my mind… pare-parehong masasarap tignan ang mga pagkain! hehehe

    [I remember 1 small serving of crispy pata costs $20 at Max's in Honolulu. ]

    Thank you so much for the recipe!!!

    • beth sanchez says

      alam mo,connie,i’m also fed up na with frying crsipy pata.had a terrible accident while making crispy pata.got burnt marks to prove it.it’s been a long time since i last made it.

      this is a relief for me,you know,using d oven and getting d same result for crispy pata.

      a friend of mine advised me one time to sprinkle water on top of d pata before cooking it so that d skin would pop and become crispy.what’s your take on this,connie?

      • says

        Re: “sprinkle water on top”

        Not true. The water will just cause more splatter initially (if frying). In the oven, the water will evaporate within seconds. If the skin is tender enough after boiling, it’ll puff up and turn crisp.

        The water sprinkling is a carry over of the practice of drying the boiled pork under the sun for a day prior to deep frying and the water is supposed to rehydrate the skin a little.

  5. Rush says

    Oh by the way, I couldn’t help but notice there’s some confusion about the Celsius and Fahrenheit settings…

    here’s some tidbits:
    150°C = ~300°F
    180°C = ~350°F
    205°C = ~400°F

  6. Debs says

    Hi Connie – what a great find you are. I had bought a Pork Hock from the supermarket not really knowing what I was going to do with it (it was cheap) and I came accross your site. That did it for me and I’m off to give it a go tonight! Any suggestions for an accompanyment? Keep up the good work, I shall be using your site all the time now, thanks so much

  7. beth sanchez says

    thanks,connie.will try d oven method.kaya pala para crispy n puffy yung skin,dapat longer time for boiling.boiling time for me before was just 30 minutes.okay,time to rectify all d mistakes!!!LOL

    oh.connie,last question na lang….same friend told me to put baking soda while boiling d pata.i asked her what it was for.sabi niya,to make d meat tender.do you think it will really soften up d meat?

  8. says

    I don;t know why I was led to this thread just today…can never get my belly nor my pata crispy when deep frying…and maybe the ease of the turbo had me doing this method of cooking for years now.

    You know what’s so good too??? Chicharon Bulaklak in Turbo….super!

  9. ogz says

    hi connie, i’m planning to buy a new oven that is good for baking cakes and at the same time good for this crispy pata recipe. Should i get a fan-assisted convection oven? or a gas oven? Or it doesnt matter.

  10. Kaye says

    I tried this last week and it was perfect! I rubbed salt on the skin before putting it in the oven and it was crackling even as I got it out of the oven. I set the temp to max, mine was at 200C and let it crackle until the skin was brown and done.

    Thanks Ms Connie! I’ll never go back to deep frying my pork hock ;)

  11. Leny Visser says

    hi connie – i loved lechon kawali but been cooking it in the turbo like flavorwave oven or even inside the oven. I don’t fry anymore i cook everything there. Also, to add I cook it also in pressure cooker for 30 minutes with all the ingredients just like what you put in there but I add 3/4 cup of beer. The result is just like a lechon kawali with no deep frying very crispy.

  12. says

    Hello, Connie.. May i know how long should i boil the pata before i pat it dry and turbo-broiled it?? 45mins? or dapat fork-tender siya? The last time i turbo the pata, the skin is not totally crunchy, some parts are makunat.. and i plan to bring it to potluck events some time but worried about the crunchiness. How do i maintain the crispiness? Foil? Magpapawis ata? Styro box?? or dapat di covered? Thanks! More power!

    • says

      Says right there: “When tender, drain and cool.” How long the boiling takes depends on the size of the pata.

      Re wrapping for potluck. Can’t help you there, sorry, since I always serve mine straight from the kitchen.

      • shirly says

        Hi ms connie. My pata did not turn out as crispy also. The skin was soggy.
        I used the pressure cooker for an hour. Th meat was almost falling apart. I preheated oven almost 20 mins before putting in the meat. But i placed the pata right after taking it out from the pressure cooker. I cooled it maybe less than 5 mins. I forgot that part where you said to drain and cool. Would that have significantly affect the crispiness?
        I also made a mistake of letting the butcher slash the skin when i bought the meat.
        Does how salty the water during boiling also affect crispiness? I used 2 tbsp for a 1.5kg pata
        Hope you can help. Want to try this again :)

        • says

          Nothing to do with no cooling nor the amount of salt. I’ve used this technique for lechon kawali straight from boiling to oven and it was good.

          It’s always a question of how hot the oven is. Must be very, very hot.

          Now, about the slashing. I really can’t answer that part because I never have my pata slashed. The juices just ooze out during cooking.

  13. says

    Bonjour Ms. Connie! i am always glad to visit feast asia. My first try was this yummy crispy pata ;) i cooked it following your recipe. I am happy i found yours without frying. i actually made two batches and it was really a hit. Delicious! at crispy talaga thanks for always sharing your recipe ;)

      • Tammy says

        Hi Connie,
        Tried making the crispy pata yesterday. I must admit that I was a bit sceptical. I fan-grilled it at 200 deg C, but have to lower the temperature to 175 when one part of the skin start to turn ‘black’. Half an hour later, dinner was served. I was amazed at how thin and crispy the skin became. My son said the pata taste like the suckling pig served at chinese restaurant and that he liked this better than the normal chinese roast pork belly. We (3 of us) almost finish 2 pata and yet I don’t feel guilty because I did not add any oil at all. Thanks Connie.

        • says

          Hi Tammy, about the skin turning black too fast: if you can keep the pata a little farther away from the heat source, that should solve the problem. The high temperature really does wonders; I’m glad your pata came out ok at 175C. :)

  14. Isabel says

    Hi connie when you slow cook the pork at first, at which setting do you do it? I assume at high heat if you only require 30-40 min? Thanks!

    • says

      From the post: “I used a pressure cooker today. After 40 minutes, I checked the pata, it wasn’t tender enough, so I cooked it for another 30 minutes.”

      So, the time given was in reference to the pressure cooker.

      When I use a slow cooker, it’s HIGH for 2 hours then low the rest of the way. And it takes about 8 to 10 hours.

  15. Joey says

    ey ey di ko pa nasubok mag crispy pata sa oven! ngayon siguro masusubukan ko na! hilig ko kasi cripy pata eh!
    usually, ang ginagawa lang namin yung liempo na super crispy ang balat.
    natatakam na tuloy ako!
    tenks sa pag share!

  16. says

    yummm! picture pa lang nga , ika nga ni sis iska, nakaka-taas na ng BP! lol!
    this is how MArco does it too!
    btw, i finally did your cheesy baked macaroni! i’ll try to post it soon…thanks ha…sarap e!:razz:

  17. says

    may, about 180oC. Anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the pata and how long it has been boiled. The more cooked the pata, the faster the rind browns and puffs.

  18. Rush says

    i couldnt believe this! you are superb! i havent try any of your recipe yet but im glad i found your site. it’s very interesting sa picture pa lang, encouraging na. im just looking for a pata tim recipe when i found your site. do you have any regular show on tv? i just loved cooking! i love watching cooking show like in the lifestyle network, iron chef america, 30 minute-meal, basta lahat. im just so proud to be pinoy. galing ng mga recipes mo. i will definetely try this one. my husband likes crispy pata a lot and paksiw na pata. more power to you, ms. connie!

  19. bolado says

    Hi Peeps and Connie,

    Tried this crispy pata in turbo broiler, followed your instructions, bakit kaya di nag-puff yung skin, para lang syang balat ng litson baboy pero malutong, unlike on the photos above. Hope I can make it perfect next time. Help me do it right on a turbo please.

  20. Liza says

    Hi Connie,

    If I wanted to shorten the boiling time, could I use the pressure cooker as an alternative.

    Salamat from Toronto!

  21. Cecille says

    Hi Ms. Connie!

    Do you have any tips on choosing a turbo broiler? I’m planning to buy soon and have been comparing, but I’m really clueless how one could be better than the other. Was wondering if you have a tried and tested brand (or product feature) you’d most likely recommend that others buy.

    Thanks Ms. Connie and more power to your site :)

  22. Ian says

    Hi Ms. Connie,

    We recently bought an oven and I would love to try this. It has a top and bottom heat but no fan (I believe). Should I turn both on when cooking this in the oven? And for how long?

    Btw, I love your site. Tried several of the recipes here and they’re all great. I’m encouraged to cook more because your site. Thank you again.

  23. edward says

    i tried this but failed
    wala kasing saktong paraan paano lutuin

    kaya trial and error pa din

    im using
    whirlpool
    convection oven with 475 f as the highest settings
    that means 232 C on your oven

    pinakuluan ko ng 1hr and 30mins
    pero di sya lumutong

    sana kumpleto ang instruction po para mas maganda at para kaunti nalang ang margin of error namin

    heheheheh

  24. paeng says

    what was the cooking temperature for the the pata when it was placed in the turbo broiler? 350? 400? or 450?

    thanks

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