Crispy Pata from Gingerroot in Our New Asian Food Feature, Chop PHX

Tired of the same old tired orange chicken and California rolls? Want to venture beyond the standard suburbian-stale take-out? Here comes Chop PHX, with the Valley's rarer Asian offerings. 

This Week: Crispy Pata from Chef Susan Bilas of Gingerroot (1076 W. Chandler Blvd. Chandler, AZ)

The Basics: Crispy pata, or deep-fried pig's leg, is one of the famous pork staples of Filipino cuisine. It's a dish marinated in tradition that's been filling the bellies of pinoys and pinays for a long time, and something that serves well as both meaty party food and a hearty family dinner.

The best crispy pata is an exercise in delicious simplicity. The pig's leg (usually the hind) is boiled in a spices and seasonings until tender, and then cooled down. Then, the limb (tasty collagen, ligament, trotter, knuckles and all) is deep fried until the skin is golden and crispy, and the juicy meat is falling off the bone. The dish is then served with rice and sawsawan (soy-vinegar sauce).

Hit the jump to see Gingerroot's tasty take on this classic.

Gingerroot's Cripsy Pata: The crispy pata at Gingerroot was like taking a delicious, deep-fried trip down nostalgia lane. The skin was just the right amount of fatty, and crackled and crunched under each bite. The meat, tender and always juicy. This a pretty difficult dish to eat gracefully.

The Process: Chef Bilas first boils her pig's feet in a special blend of herbs and spices (including salt, peppercorn and bayleaf) until tender (around 5 hours depending on size). She then lets the meat cool down in the fridge until the excess moisture has dried.

She deep-fries the pata at 350°F for about 20 minutes. The dish is done when the meat temperature is at 165°F. She then cuts the now crispy pata in dish-size pieces and serves with garnishing, rice and sawsawan.

Ying and Yuck: Good crispy pata is soft and tender, with a crunchy outside. "If the meat is hard or tough, it needs more time boiling," says Chef Bilas.

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