Filipino Patatim Recipe

Patatim is a Filipino dish made out of slowly braised pork leg. Historical account of this dish was lost in the passage of time. However, in order to better comprehend the origins of Pata Tim is to better understand the meaning of Pata and Tim. "Pata" is a Spanish word for "leg" and Tim is a Chinese word which is conclusively and probably refers to a cooking style or manner on how a dish is cooked.

The conclusion and probability of the word Tim was based on two reasons: First, the dish is very popular in the Filipino-Chinese community in the Philippines and so we can conclude that is was a Filipino-Chinese in origin. Second, there is another dish called Pato (duck) Tim which is cooked in the same way or manner as the Pata Tim and so we can conclude that Pata (leg) Tim is cooked in the same way or manner as the Pato Tim. We can conclude that Pata Tim is a dish that was cook up or invented after the Spanish era by the Filipino-Chinese (not to mention that Filipino-Chinese are still Filipinos in the broader sense) in the country. The evolution of this dish, therefore, was due to the Filipino, Spanish, and Chinese influence. It can also be that the dish started when a Filipino-Chinese master ask his chef to cook a Pato Tim, the chef misheard it as Pata Tim and so instead of cooking a duck, the chef cook the pork leg in a manner how he cook the Pato Tim.

However, whatever the chronologies of this historical Filipino dish, Pata Tim is one of the most delicious Filipino food in the Philippines. The dish is being cooked in a manner similar to Paksiw na Pata but without the use of vinegar. The pork leg is braised until fork tender, kind of the meat is going to separate from the bone and the sauce becomes gelatinous. The most common ingredients of Pata Tim found online and cookbooks are the pork leg, rice wine, garlic, star anise, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, pork broth, cornstarch, and salt. This recipe continues to evolve as creative cooks and chefs try to variate it by adding additional ingredients or substitutions such as bay leaves, mustard leaves, pineapple juice, dried squid, shiitake mushrooms, spring onions, cardaba bananas, onions, honey, cinamon, peppercorns and other ingredient they can think of suitable to this dish.

Patatim Photo

Patatim Ingredients

  • 1 kilo pork's leg (pata)
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic; crushed
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon pepper corns
  • 1 red onion; chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Lettuce (fried in 2 minutes)

Patatim Cooking Instructions

  1. In a stock pot with enough water, simmer the pork pata with all the ingredients until fork tender. Add hot water if necessary to replace the evaporated liquid.
  2. Drain and cut the meat from one side and separate the bones. Save 1 cup of broth.
  3. Place lettuce in a platter. Put the pata over the lettuce. Set aside.
  4. Pata Tim Sauce Ingredients
  5. 1 cup broth of pata
  6. 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  7. Salt to taste

Pata Tim Sauce Cooking Instructions

  1. In a skillet, combine broth, cornstarch, and salt to taste.
  2. Bring to boil until sauce becomes thick.
  3. Pour the sauce on top of the pata. Serve hot!

Cooking Tip

Boiling the pork's leg slowly and gently over low heat brings out the flavor of the meat, and keeps the meat very tender.