14 Aug2006


We have a gardener who has been with us for many years. He comes in a couple of times a week and he is responsible for the terrific state of our yard and garden plants (since I pata2seem to kill any plants that I come in contact with). Over the years, we have helped him construct or upgrade his house, get him connected to running water, got him a new racing bike to make the 15 kilometer commute each way a little easier, found him new part-time jobs so that his week is fully booked and generally tried to be good employers. I’m sure he thinks I am just slightly off-kilter since I seem to have this strange habit of photographing food outdoors in the yard… At his home, he maintains a small piggery to augment his income. Yesterday, Sunday, he rang the doorbell and dropped off the entire “pata” or hind thigh of a pig that he had slaughtered earlier in the day. It turns out that it was his daughter’s birthday (must have been a critical age below ten, is there a special number like 7 I don’t know about?) and he had killed a pig and was generously sharing the bounty. What really made this incredibly wonderful gesture so amazing is that he biked all the way from Marikina on his day off just to bring us the pata!

Straight out of the plastic bag, it looked like the thigh of the hind leg of a pig…let’s just say it was a bit “raw” looking. If I knew how to cure a ham properly, the entire thigh would have made a terrific ham, I am sure. But once it was carved up and a ready for cooking, you could pata3see a terrific crispy pata in the making… We placed the pata in a pot with water to cover, added a roughly chopped onion, some bay leaves, peppercorns, a little vinegar and some salt and gently simmered this for about 60-80 minutes. The liquid was drained off and the pata cooled and then refrigerated for several hours. At dinnertime, a large kawali or pan with lots of vegetable oil was heated up and the cold pata was deep fried until the skin got incredibly crisp and had the characteristically blistered look. We sliced it up and served it on a small platter… it looked and tasted terrific…incredibly lean, yet tasty yet a limited amount of fat! We served it with a sawsawan or sauce of chopped tomatoes, onions, chillis and soy sauce and a second sauce option was some bottled lechon sauce we keep in stock… It easily served 6 hungry adults. Yum, definitely one of the best crispy patas we have had in a while! Thank you, Gardenman!

P.S. I just spoke to Gardenman who has arrived for work today and he explained that the pata came from a young pig, a favorite of his, slaughtered for his favorite daughter… it was (the pig) just four months old hence the flavorful lean meat and absence of huge fat deposits…superb!



  1. bernie says:

    hmmmm… we just had *two* crispy patas yesterday for the Sunday lunch with the family. It didn’t look as good as the a-la Gardenman variety because our maid didn’t have time to refrigerate the pata. Good thing it tasted good despite the lack of crispiness.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 7:18 am


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  3. Apicio says:

    If anyone can gain access to the October 1997 issue of Gourmet magazine, on page 250 under Forbidden Pleasures, you will find a wonderful recipe for “Crackling Pork Shank.” The author of the article claimed that he was lured by a New York Times restaurant review of Maloney & Porcelli, in midtown Manhattan, wherein the critic praised a hunk of sweinehaxe, “an enormous mound of tender pork wrapped in its own crisp skin and served on an aromatic bed of poppyseed-sprinkled sauerkraut.” This actually is our very own crispy pata stylized a few notches up. I cook this to reward myself each time I get a clean bill of health from my cardiologist.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 8:04 am

  4. Gigi says:

    Here’s my secret crispy pata place tucked away in some little barrio in Quezon (I think)…. It’s a little resto called Crispy Pata sa Candelaria. IBANG KLASE. Great looking stuff, MM! Max’s has great Crispy Pata too. Panalo their “Crispy Pata Bites”. Gosh. I’m on my first day of diet and the post had to be Crispy Pata…

    MM- Super dami naman your posts! You’re a masterblogger! Hahaha. I like it that you post frequently but it doesn’t give me enough time to comment and read the threads … Your blog feels like a buffet — you want to try out all the posts but feel so overwhelmed …. Burp….

    Aug 14, 2006 | 8:47 am

  5. Marketman says:

    Gigi, part of the problem is an incredible backlog of stuff as a result of the trips. But just when I think subject matter is waning, a whole slew of things comes up!!! And then I realize when I bake now, I can easily do 3-4 items or variations at a time! I really need to go back to just one post a day but it’s probably going to be two posts a day for another month…then I have to gear up for the holidays when visitors from around the globe really picks up and the homesickness really kicks in! Apicio, my Gourmet archives are at the beach so I will have to look for the October 97 issue the next time I am out there… thanks for the suggestion!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 8:57 am

  6. connie says:

    Apicio, thank you. Now I won’t feel weird when I serve sauerkraut on the side whenever I’m out of atchara when I make pork cracklings or my version of bagnet. I knew if they were good for hotdogs and sausages, they should be good for fried pork too! *laughs*
    MM, that is one good-looking pata!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 9:14 am

  7. Danney League says:

    I love crispy pata with soy sauce, vinegar chopped shallots and garlic as sawsawan. I’m not a big fan of lechon because of the sweating fat deposit but crispy pata a big yes. I’ve never tried pritchon yet but I’m sure it is tasty too. Is there any place near Sta. Rosa, Laguna where I can order pritchon? I am going home soon from LA to Manila and I can’t wait to eat Filipino food.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 9:20 am

  8. Jean says:

    MM, nice to know that you can get down to basics. With all these fusion cuisines we tend to lose sight of how our true culture exists. Please keep posting.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 10:06 am

  9. Gigi says:

    Forgot to comment that you have a nice way of carving crispy pata too, MM! Mas efficient because more people will get to eat.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 11:37 am

  10. millet says:

    MM, my mom (a Tagalog) always said the “special” milestones are 1, 7, 12 and 18 years old. Which means that these are the birthdays that need to ber celebrated with at least one party, and not just dinner in a fancy restaurant. No rhyme, no reason…just that my lola did the same thing with her kids. Is there somebody out there who knows what’s special about these ages?

    the crispy pata looks fantastic..much as I love my “turbo-broiler”, I think nothing beats crispy pata fried in a pacific ocean of oil, no?

    Aug 14, 2006 | 12:05 pm

  11. tara says:

    hi, mr mm…just wondering if u need to poke the skin with a fork before frying? i thnk this procedure will result to a nice bubble effect in the skin. i do this in lechon kawali. but im not sure if this is applicable in pata. thnx very much.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 12:07 pm

  12. trishlovesbread says:

    That looks great!!! Can anyone tell me what the difference is between crispy pata and the Ilocanos’ “bagnet”? Is it just a matter of nomenclature or is there a different cooking technique involved?

    Aug 14, 2006 | 12:43 pm

  13. connie says:

    trishlovesbread, good question. If I remember correctly, well this is just according to my mom, she cooks good but she could also be wrong about it.
    When she makes bagnet, she boils the pork with the bay leaves, garlic and salt, dry it in an oven instead of drying it under the sun and then deep fried twice for extra crispiness.
    When she makes crispy pat, she boils the pata with seven-up or sprite, onions, garlic and bay leaves, hang-dry the pata for a day, then deep fried the next day.
    Lechon kawali, she boils the pork with whole peppercorn, salt and cloves of garlic, just air-dry and cooled-down and it could also go straight into the frying pan.
    Cracklings, just boil small bite site pieces of pork with fat with whatever spices and then fried.
    So I think, it’s about the same, but each one is slightly different.

    Aug 14, 2006 | 1:24 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    Oil is good, Millet. Pacific Ocean quantity even better. I have a deep fryer I got as a present one Christmas…I wonder if this would fit in it… tara, no need to prick the skin, it came out fine… trish, I haven’t had much bagnet so I can’t comment but connie seems to have a handle on it!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 2:08 pm

  15. Bubut says:

    Crispy pata uses pork hind while bagnet uses porkloin.

    For the bithdays, 1st -before a baby celebrates it, mostly parent had a hardtime as the baby could be sickly. 7th – start of reasoning age, 12 – going to teen years, 18 – entrance to adulthood.

    MM- how did you do the ‘carving’ for the crispy pata ?

    Aug 14, 2006 | 3:00 pm

  16. millet says:

    i think it’s the parents who should throw themselves a party (or better yet, go on holiday), when a baby turns one year old..that’s to reward them for 365 sleepless nights, 2,500 spit-ups, 5 types of and a million other delights that are the exclusive domain of infants…

    back to crispy pata: obviously, it is made with pork leg, while lechon kawali is made from pork belly. bubut is right, most bagnet i’ve seen look like they came from pork loin, although there are some with the fat-meat-fat layering that is characteristic of pork belly. i think the pata is more flavorful, and the skin, litid (tendons),meat and fat provide lots of different textures. there used to be a sign near white plains boasting of “healthy” crispy pata just because it was supposed to have been cooked in canola oil. go figure!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 4:34 pm

  17. virgilio says:

    Connie, thanks for sharing your mom’s secret at preparing bagnet & co. The Austrians have their version of crispy pata which is called Stelze. The Germans call it Schweinehaxe. We eat them here with finely shredded horse radish, pomme frittes, and lotsa beer!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 4:48 pm

  18. Katrina says:

    For my family and most people I know, we celebrate ages 1, 7, 13 & 18. I didn’t know others celebrated the 12th. 7 years old is supposedly the age of wisdom. They do it at a much older age now, but when I was a kid, Catholic confirmation was at 7 years old for this reason.

    Has anyone here tried the Crispy Pata of Luce (Jupiter St.)? It’s the same one that Insomnia (a now-defunct bar in Malate) was famous for. I was never a fan of Crispy Pata until I tried theirs. Unlike others I’ve tried, this one’s not dry at all, and it’s tasty all the way inside. Plus, the sauce they serve it with is yummy — and again, this is one of the few times I enjoy a soy sauce-based dipping sauce. Luce is actually a bar, not a restaurant, but they serve meals on Friday & Saturday nights. If you do go, their pica-picas are very good too! (No, I am not related in any way to the owners. ;-))

    Aug 14, 2006 | 5:31 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    Bubut, no special trick to the carving. I think the meat of this pata was so nice and lean and not overboiled that it stayed together instead of shredding in large clumps. Just use a nice sharp carving or chef’s knife and cut smaller serving pieces… Geez, I had no idea there was so much significance attached to particular birthdays! Katrina, I haven’t had the chance to try the Luce Crispy Pata but it sounds wickedly good! Virgilio, I will remember that name if I am ever back in Austria and looking for crispy pata!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 9:44 pm

  20. mayumi says:

    yeah luce crispy pata is really good…

    posts like this make me wonder why i’ve gone vegetarian…


    Aug 14, 2006 | 10:02 pm

  21. negrosdude says:

    hi katrina, is luce still open? i think ive tried the famed insomnia CP once and ive likewise been told luce’s is just as good – well same owners, i guess they’ve retained the same cook. marketman, gads, whatta CP! scrumptious! ive just tried the bagnet at the polo club’s sports lounge and it IS super delicious (super deadly too, but heck, we only live once, don’t we!) and cheap too – P143 for a very good sized order!

    Aug 14, 2006 | 10:40 pm

  22. Rampau says:

    Have you cooked your crispy pata by boiling it in not so hot oil for about an hour then frying in HOT oil? This double frying makes the skin incredibly crispy. I have done this at home a couple of times. Even though it takes a long time, the result is yummy. I havent eaten CP in a long time! There’s a restaurant in LA Chinatown which makes a decent CP, Asian Noodles (owned by the Ma Mon Luk family). Nice. All the rest are just not up to par.

    Aug 15, 2006 | 12:18 am

  23. Marketman says:

    rampau, I have not tried the slow cook version but it does sound good…I actually don’t like frying or oil splattering so the faster that step the better for me! Actually, after hours in the fridge, the skin in a quickish fry was incredibly crisp and delicious. negrosdude, I have to try the bagnet at Manila Polo Club, sounds like a great deal!

    Aug 15, 2006 | 5:36 am

  24. Bubut says:

    I’ve tried cooking crisy pata in turbo broiler and it was a success. After getting the cooked pata from the freezer, just put some butter at the skin to make it crunchy. No need to fry it in oil and all its oil will be collected at the bottom of the turbo broiler !

    Aug 15, 2006 | 12:50 pm

  25. Katrina says:

    negrosdude, yup as far as I know Luce’s still open. And, yes, one of the owners of Luce was one of the owners of Insomnia, and he was the one in charge of the food. They’ve also brought back Insomnia’s Garlic Cheese Sticks in Luce, with new versions as well. If you’re looking for healthy yet good food, the same guy owns Piquant in RCBC Tower. Try their Blackened Fish and the Pork Chop with Sweet Potato Mash. Oh, and for those who were looking before for that dulong by Joyce Aragon, that is also served in Luce. Hope you don’t mind the resto plugs, MM, I don’t stand to profit, anyway. :-)

    Aug 15, 2006 | 2:19 pm

  26. corrrine_p says:

    Like Gigi, my hubby and I go to a restaurant in Quezon province that serves absolutely delicious crispy pata…skin tastes like filo pastry. They sell at least 50 patas a day. If you arrive in their small restaurant ( only 4 tables), at 2pm, time is up! no more CP. The owner said they choose good quality pata (young so there’s very little fat ) and they change the oil every after X use (I forgot how many).There’s hope indeed for hypertensives!

    Aug 15, 2006 | 5:18 pm

  27. lee says:

    look what happens when marketman blogs about pork…

    Aug 16, 2006 | 8:23 am

  28. Gigi says:

    Wow, Corrrine_p! Are we talking about the same resto?

    Aug 17, 2006 | 4:42 pm

  29. Gigi says:

    MM! Check this out — Came across this supposed “secret” recipe from one of the foodie message boards. (Hahaha. Obvious bang hindi busy? I tried to Google the crispy pata resto I go to in Candelaria and stumbled upon the recipe below….).


    1 pc Pork pata
    6 cups chicken stock
    3 tbsps patis
    6 cups cooking oil


    Boil the pata and the chicken stock in a pressure cooker until tender (about 45 minutes). Remove the pata from the broth. Air dry and rub with patis. (In an ordinary pot, boil for 3 hours covered or until tender). Deep fry in hot oil until crispy.

    To make the sauce, mix 1 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup regular or sweet soy sauce. Add minced garlic, 2 pieces red pepper sliced, about an inch in length, green pepper and chopped red onions. Season with freshly ground pepper and sugar to taste. Mix well.

    Aug 17, 2006 | 4:53 pm

  30. Marketman says:

    Gigi, I have to keep that recipe in mind… gosh, if I eat another pata within the next a month I will surely expire of cholesterol overdose…

    Aug 17, 2006 | 5:02 pm

  31. Girlita says:

    Hello Marketman

    ,Ok your recipes are great, and easy, but who are you, and I do come from Cebu, and I know almost everyone here, sooooooo you will be in for a surprise, I will find out everything about you, and I think I may have an inkling already. On the other hand, nice of you to share the recipes and keep them coming, till then——

    Aug 20, 2006 | 11:01 pm

  32. Girlita says:



    Aug 20, 2006 | 11:13 pm

  33. corrine says:

    I don’t think so Gigi because the resto I am referring to is in Tiaong and the name is something like Lutong Bahay… which it truly is. They have great sinigang na hipon and the shrimps are big…not puny like they serve in Manila! Wow, that’s a mean recipe. Will try it one of these days.

    Aug 21, 2006 | 12:10 am

  34. Marketman says:

    Girlita, I have never tried cornstarch cookies to my knowledge unless they are those really dry and chalky ones they sell in cebu nor tocinillo…if you are relatively new to the site, go into the archives as there are 650 entries already. As for figuring out who I am, I suppose its possible, particularly since I have given so many clues throughout the site, but irrelevant to the enjoyment of the site… :)

    Aug 21, 2006 | 6:06 am

  35. tercer says:

    Two of my favorite pork dishes!!! Crispy Pata and Der Schweinshaxe!!! Although very similar in appearance, I understand they are actually cooked differently. Crispy pata is deep fried, but Schweinshaxe is grilled. The best I had was at the Haxenbauer Restaurant in Munich, near Marienplatz, but I was wishing I had spiced toyo w/ calamansi … :)
    As good as those are though, I think the spanferkel beats all. “Spanferkel” is grilled crispy suckling pig.

    Aug 22, 2007 | 4:03 am

  36. Napadaan_Lang says:

    If only all employers were like you, I guess this country would be a better place. God bless you.

    Dec 2, 2008 | 9:13 am

  37. Hunter says:

    the quality of the crispy pata or bagnet also depends on the kind of pig. the best bagnets are made from the belly of the native pigs, those small black pigs that are sometimes free to roam around (i saw some of these pigs in the ilocos and cagayan areas). there is a distinctive flavor that no amount of seasonings can beat.

    Sep 9, 2009 | 6:30 pm

  38. thea says:

    hi marketman! is there a difference between the front or the hind leg of the pig? my dad prefers the hind when we go to the market because he said it’s more value for your money, you get more laman than the front. have you noticed the difference?

    Sep 20, 2009 | 8:25 am

  39. Marketman says:

    thea, I think the hind leg is traditionally used for the larger hams, so yes I would have to agree that it makes sense that the hind leg is meatier.

    Sep 20, 2009 | 8:31 am


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