Filipino Crispy Pata (Deep-Fried Pig's Feet)

Updated on June 23, 2020
Edwin Alcantara profile image

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Deep-Fried Pig's Feet
Deep-Fried Pig's Feet
5 stars from 2 ratings of Filipino Crispy Pata (Deep-Fried Pig's Feet)

Crispy Pata From the Philippines

When I was a child, one of my favorite dishes was crispy pata. I loved pork and I loved fried foods, and crispy pata combined both delights into a single dish.

Crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, this dish can be enjoyed either as a main dish or as a "pulutan," or snack food served with alcoholic beverages. Either way, it's traditionally served with a dipping sauce made of vinegar and soy sauce.

To make this dish, you can use either the front or hind legs. The hind legs are bigger.

Cook Time

Prep time: 12 min
Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 57 min
Yields: Serves up to 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 pork leg, available at Asian stores
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 9 cups water
  • 5 cups oil, for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
This is what the pig's feet look like.
This is what the pig's feet look like.

Instructions

  1. Boil the water in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the pig's feet, salt, peppercorns, garlic powder, and bay leaves. Simmer for about 1 hour or until the pork is tender.
  3. Drain the pork and allow to it dry over a rack for about 1 hour.
  4. Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper on all sides, and then refrigerate overnight.
  5. In a large, deep fryer or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Wearing oven mitts and a face shield for protection, gently lower the pork leg into the oil until fully submerged. Be careful because the oil will splatter. Cover the pot with a splatter screen instead of a lid to prevent the water from condensing on the lid and causing more splatter.
  7. Deep-fry the pork for about 30 minutes until crispy and brown.
  8. Drain the pork over a rack, or on a plate lined with paper towels, to remove the excess oil.
  9. Serve with a dipping sauce of 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1/4 cup vinegar.

Variations

  • You can add vinegar to the water in step 2 if you like a slightly more sour flavor to the pork.
  • You can use other seasonings if desired in step 2, such as onion powder, fish sauce, star anise, etc.
  • You can use real garlic and onions instead of garlic and onion powder.
  • For a spicier dipping sauce, add chili peppers.
  • For a slightly crispier skin, you can dust the pig's feet with a little cornstarch just before frying.

Splatter Screen

Splatter Screen for Frying Pan - Stops Almost 100% of Hot Oil Splash - Large 13" Stainless Steel Grease Guard Shield and Catcher- Keeps Stove and Pans Clean & Prevents Burns When Cooking by Zulay
Splatter Screen for Frying Pan - Stops Almost 100% of Hot Oil Splash - Large 13" Stainless Steel Grease Guard Shield and Catcher- Keeps Stove and Pans Clean & Prevents Burns When Cooking by Zulay
Because the pork is boiled first, it will contain a lot of moisture. This means that when you fry the pork leg, it will cause a lot of splatter. I learned the hard way when I got slightly burned by the oil when I deep-fried the pork without using a splatter screen. I tried using a lid but noticed that the water condenses at the bottom of the lid, causing the water to fall back into the oil, causing even more splatter. My solution has been to use a splatter screen, in addition to hand and face protection, in order to avoid these problems.
 

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