The love for pork is universal. How many countries revel on pork and munch on crispy pork skin like popcorn?
Pork is the most preferred meat of the Filipinos. The number one pork dish is the whole roast pig called Lechon. Yes, speared in a bamboo stick, spit-roasted whole from the snout to the tail. Fantastic! Next favorite is roasted or fried pig parts.
Crispy Pata is a firm favorite in restaurants and beer gardens (Filipino equivalent of pubs). If pork rind is the favorite munchies in pubs and bars, Crispy Pata is the equivalent in beer gardens. Similar but more: crispy pork skin from the pork shank with the pork shank still attached to it. You’ve got the scratchings plus the fried meat plus the gelatinous sinew and tendons. Doesn’t that sound so much better?
This is one of the best things Andrew Zimmerman has ever eaten. As told by the man himself, it is the best messy food he’s ever eaten. Actually, it is not supposed to be eaten in a messy way. Andrew, perhaps overcome by excitement, picked up the whole shank and munched on it like a turkey drumstick. It is actually meant to be chopped before serving.
The pork shank is simmered with seasonings until transformed to a wobbly gelatinous mass, then deep fried. It is actually a very simple operation that even a deep frying klutz like me can manage to do it without mishap. The secret is drying and freezing the joint so it doesn’t spatter in the oil. You’ll end up with crispier skin, too.
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