Thrice cooked pata tim Thrice cooked pata tim

Note: For my latest version of pata tim, click here.

I used to cook pata tim by marinating, frying then braising the pork pata (leg). Somehow, the meat never reaches the stage of tenderness that Chinese restaurants are famous for. The skin of the pata sticks to the cooking pan during braising before the meat reaches the desired tenderness. So I thought I’d revise the cooking procedure. To cook last night’s pata tim, I first boiled the pork pata in highly seasoned water. Then, I placed it in the convection oven for about 35 minutes to make the rind crispy. Finally, I steamed it for another 45 minutes. This time, it was as tender as the pata in the Chinese restaurants. The meat was falling off the bones and the texture was moist and wonderful.

Ingredients :

1 whole pork pata (front)
1 whole garlic
a thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 whole onion
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
10 peppercorns
a teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 c. of soy sauce
1/8 c. of honey, dark corn syrup or molasses
sesame seed oil
a bunch of pechay (pei tsai), ends trimmed

Wash the pata wall. Scape off the skin with a knife. Remove any remaining hairs with a kitchen torch. Make a deep incision on the joint that separates the leg from the feet. Place in a large cooking pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, removing scum as it rises. Pour in the soy sauce and the corn syrup, molasses or honey. Add the garlic, ginger, onion, peppercorns, oregano, bay leaf and star anise. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Alternatively, pressure cook for an hour counting from the time the valve starts to turn. Cool in the sauce. When cool, transfer to a plate and continue cooling.

Strain the sauce. Add more salt if necessary.

Place the pata in an oven proof dish and place in the convection oven set at maximum heat. Cook until the rind starts to get puffy. Remove from the oven and transfer to a clean heat proof bowl. Pour over the strained sauce. Steam over simmering water for another 40 to 45 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the trimmed pechay. Turn off the heat and drizzle with a teaspoonful of sesame seed oil.

You can serve the pata tim in the same bowl in which it was steamed or carefully transfer to a plate, arrange the pechay around it and pour over the sauce.


  1. anna martin says

    the way you wrote about your p[ata tim seems very interesting but there was no recipe attached-did you forget? i was very interested but turned very sucky. hopefullt you will be a little careful. thanks.

    • ellen says

      If I may share something from what I’ve learned you should first boil the Pata & then pour honey / molasses brush it thinly all over the skin & deep fry it..then rinse w/ vinegar to get the wrinkle effect & to minimize the oil taste … & return the pata back to the broth,continue boiling at med heat until its soft & tender, then in a separate pan saute the veggies, then flavored w/ chinese spices & seasonings,then pour the sauteed veggies back to the broth & thicken w/ cornstarch .. *

  2. Bonix says

    We tried it and WE LIKED IT! Thanks! If you could only smell how lovely it is after you cooked it. All the flavors really blend with each other. Delicioso…

  3. josh says

    connie, if i steam the pata, do i have to cover the steamer. sorry, to ask, but i’m just new to cooking. thanks.

  4. Abby says

    will cook this for noche buena…. my hubby and son said we should lay off the ham this year… i think this will do the job. thanks connie!