Pata is the Filipino name for pork legs. Come to think of it, the word is actually Spanish. Paksiw is one of the standard traditional Filipino way of cooking dishes almost at par with the ever popular adobo probably because of its simplicity and ease of preparation. Certainly it's very similar to adobo except that the proportion of vinegar to soy sauce or salt is higher. It also uses dried banana blossoms. Now, I used to think that the ones we actually use is the dried lily buds same as the ones the Chinese use . But a check with a fellow food blogger, with my mother in the Phils, and on inspecting a packet from a Pinoy food store here, confirmed that we indeed use dried banana blossoms. It was not a fairly tale or a misnomer. Though you can definitely substitute the dried lily buds if it's not available - I can attest to that.
Like most Filipino dishes, this is best eaten with piping hot steamed rice and for me a little side dip of patis. Yum!
Paksiw Na Pata
1 kg bone-in pork legs - chopped into 2-inch thick pieces
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 soy sauce
1 bay leaf
1 tsp peppercorns
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup water
1-2 dried sprigs of oregano (optional)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup dried banana blossoms or dried lily buds
- Combine all the ingredients except the brown sugar and dried banana blossoms in a pot. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer for 1.5 hours or until pork legs are tender. Add more hot water if it is drying out too much.
- Stir in the brown sugar and banana blossoms and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.