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Pork leg is a prized ingredient in Filipino cooking. In fact, crispy pata (deep-fried pork leg) is an honored tradition in the menu of both fine dining restaurants as well as the corner carinderia (food stall).
One other popular way of cooking pata is by simmering it in vinegar and other spices. The process is called paksiw. It is akin to the Chinese pata tim.
Paksiw na pata can be as vinegary, salty or sweet as you want it to be. But as always, a good balance is best!
1 lb pork leg, sliced
2 cups water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small white onion, sliced
3 leaves, dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup banana blossoms
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup 7-Up
Remove the pistil and calyx from the banana blossoms. Soak them in the 7-Up and store in refrigerator overnight.
In a large pot, place sliced pork legs, water, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, onions, basil, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. After three minutes, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add in banana blossoms, including the 7-Up.
Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.
First published in My Bay Kitchen: https://mybaykitchen.com/2016/10/23/paksiw-na-pata-pork-leg-stew/
Rene Astudillo is a writer, book author and blogger and has recently retired from more than two decades of nonprofit community work in the Bay Area. He spends his time between California and the Philippines.
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