Photo from Gam1983 from iStock
In some parts of the world, Christmas might be a one-day or weekend-long celebration but in the Philippines, it’s a three month affair! Known to have the longest holiday celebrations, you can hear local Christmas carols as early as September 1 stretching all the way to the first weeks of January. If you think it stops at Christmas songs, imagine how seriously Filipinos take Christmas and New Year feasts!
Families are known to get together to ring in Christmas and New Years with Noche Buena and Media Noche feasts. You’ve got lechon, buko salad, relleno, Spanish paella, Pinoy-style spaghetti, fried lumpia, and other Filipino food favorites spread across dinner tables for families as small as 3 or as big as 50 (or more!) to enjoy.
One classic Filipino Christmas recipe that’s ever-present in holiday celebrations is Pata Tim. It’s a braised pork leg dish that deliciously fuses Filipino and Chinese ingredients, namely oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar. This Pata Tim recipe from Pinoy Recipe calls for the meat to be slow cooked over gentle heat in order for you to achieve that sweet and juicy meat that falls off the bones.
PATA TIM INGREDIENTS
- 1 kilo pork’s leg (pata)
- 1/4 cup Coconut Secret Organic Aminos Soy-Free Seasoning Sauce
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 3/4 cup Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand Oyster Sauce
- 5 cloves garlic; crushed
- 1 tablespoon Kikkoman Aji Mirin
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 1 red onion; chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- Lettuce (fried in 2 minutes)
PATA TIM SAUCE INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup broth of pata
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- Salt to taste
HOW TO COOK PATA TIM
- Pre-boil the pork leg over water for 15 minutes to clean the meat of any impurities.
- Simmer the pork with all the ingredients in a stock pot with enough water until the meat is tender. Alternatively, you can cook the pork for about 35-40 minutes in a pressure cooker to tenderize the meat faster.
- Add more hot water, if necessary.
- Drain and cut the meat from one side and separate the bones. Set aside 1 cup of the broth to be used in the sauce, and plate broiled pork over lettuce.
- In a skillet, combine broth, cornstarch, and salt to taste. Bring to boil until sauce becomes thick.
- Pour the sauce on top of the pata. Serve hot!