My Crispy Pata Recipe (Filipino Deep-fried Pork Leg)

crispy pata recipe

Crispy Pata

Crispy and juicy deep fried pig trotters served with a soy-vinegar dip.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting Time 6 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Servings 4 servings


Ingredients for the Pork

  • 1 whole pork leg approximately 1.7 to 2 kgs with the nails trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorn
  • cup rock salt
  • 1 head garlic cut across into half
  • 1 medium onion cut into quarters
  • 3 pieces bay leaves
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lye water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Salt
  • 4 cups oil

Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce

  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorn crushed
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 piece chili labuyo chopped or use chili flakes


  • Place the pork leg in a pot, ensuring a snug fit.
  • Add salt, peppercorn, garlic, onions, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour or until the meat and skin are tender. Add water if needed to prevent drying.
  • Remove the pork leg, draining excess liquids. Place it on a rack over a pan to let liquids drip. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Brush the skin with lye water and refrigerate uncovered for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • Brush the skin with vinegar, rub salt, and rest for an additional 30 minutes. Use a kitchen or paper towel to remove excess salt.
  • Heat oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. Gently add the pork leg, cover the pot, and wait until splattering sounds subside. Use a splatter screen if available.
  • Fry the pork leg until the skin is crispy, turning as needed. This takes about 30 minutes.
  • While waiting, combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a bowl and adjust it to your preferences.
  • Transfer to a plate with paper towels to drain excess oil. Serve warm with vinegar-soy sauce dip.

Details Behind My Crispy Pata Recipe

Crispy Pata Recipe – Pork dishes come in many forms in Filipino cuisine. One classic pork dish is crispy pata. Crispy pata is a pork dish featuring deep-fried pig trotters or knuckles with a tasty soy-vinegar dip. Traditionally, it undergoes deep-frying to achieve a crispy skin, living up to its name, but oven cooking is also an option. Due to its time-intensive preparation, it is commonly reserved for special occasions or holidays. Some establishments even offer boneless variations for added convenience.

Like many pork dishes, there are different ways to make and enjoy crispy pata.

Additional Notes on my Crispy Pata Recipe

When making the pork dish, there are ways to make it even better. For the preparation process, you need to ensure the pork is free from any remaining hair by either plucking it with tweezers or scorching it with a kitchen torch. If you are unsure of which leg to use, you can use either the hind or front leg to make Crispy Pata. The main difference is that the hind leg is usually bigger than the front leg. The front leg that comes from the shoulder normally also has more fat.

Next is the cooking process. Aim for tenderness without overcooking when boiling the pork, as prolonged boiling may lead to the meat separating from the bones.’Aim for tenderness without overcooking when boiling the pork, as prolonged boiling may lead to the meat separating from the bones.

When deep-frying, use a deep pot to minimize oil splatters, and cover the pot immediately after adding the pork. This initial cover helps protect against splatters, but be mindful that it may build moisture, leading to additional splattering when uncovered. If available, use a splatter screen for added protection. Avoid over-frying to prevent the meat from drying out, ensuring a perfect balance of crispiness and succulence.

Overall, there are plenty of tips to make the results of the pork dish even better.

Similar Dishes to Crispy Pata

There are plenty of crispy dishes to try in Filipino cuisine. If pig trotters are not for you, you should go for lechon kawali. Lechon Kawali, also called lechon de carajay, is a classic pork belly dish known for its crispy skin and tender meat. To make it, pork belly is cut into cubes, seasoned, and deep-fried in a pan or wok. When eating Lechon Kawali, it’s important to pair it with a dipping sauce. Popular choices include lechon sauce, made with vinegar and pork liver, or a mixture of soy sauce with calamansi for a tangy flavor.

If you want to explore other unorthodox pork dishes, there is crispy bagbagis. Simply put, crispy bagbagis is deep-fried pork intestines. The dish is commonly eaten with drinks and is best paired with a spicy vinegar sauce. While it is not one of the most well-known pork dishes, it is a great option for exploring ways to enjoy different pig parts.

Other Trotter Dishes

If you want to explore other dishes featuring pig trotters, one option is pata tim. Pata Tim is a Filipino pork dish with a slow-cooked whole pork leg in a tasty sweet and savory sauce. The sauce has soy sauce, black peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and star anise, sweetened with muscovado sugar. The pork leg is simmered with péchay (Chinese cabbage) and mushrooms for added flavor and texture. Remember, the dish is called “Pata Tim” when it includes pork hock.

Another option is balbacua. Balbacua is a traditional Filipino beef stew from the Visayan region, particularly Cebu. It includes tenderized ox feet, pineapple chunks, pork and beans, and bell peppers, all cooked in a tasty stew with annatto, star anise, and peanut butter. The name “Balbacua” is believed to come from the Spanish word “barbacoa,” referring to slow-cooking meat over an open flame for a long time.

Other Pork Dishes

For anyone unsure about eating trotters, there are plenty of other pork dishes for you to try. If you like something simple but flavorful, there is pork bistek. “Bistek” in Filipino is like the Spanish “bistec,” which means beefsteak. Initially, it was thin beef slices cooked with onions and spices. Now, the term includes any meat or fish stewed in soy sauce, calamansi juice, and onions, known as “bistek.” So, Pork Bistek is simply pork chops cooked in the same style, with the distinctive flavors of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and onions.

You can also try humba. In Filipino cuisine, humba usually means braised pork, commonly using pork belly. Its tenderness comes from slow cooking with soy sauce, vinegar, black peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and fermented black beans (tausi). Muscovado sugar is added for a balanced flavor. Unlike adobo, humba has a mild sweetness from brown or muscovado sugar and/or pineapple, and it doesn’t need marination.

Generally, there are a variety of pork dishes to enjoy in Filipino cuisine and many are cooked in different ways. If you want to try a different type of fried dish, there is Kwek Kwek.

crispy pata recipe

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