Paksiw na Pata is one of the best and most popular Filipino dishes that’s served during special occasions most especially during Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This Filipino recipe typically uses pork hocks or knuckles, stewed and slowly simmered over a hot stove with a combination of its key ingredients: vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce.
The added brown sugar near the end of the cooking process and a handful of cabbages and banana hearts results in a richly sweet sauce and makes the pork so tender and beautifully caramelized in the pot that it practically melts in your mouth with every bite.
It’s a classic Filipino recipe that’s served every year during the holiday and special occasions but can also be served for everyday meals which makes a lot of family members race to the table to get their first bite of paksiw na pata.
Growing up, I remember that we’ve always served paksiw na pata during every special occasion and its one of those dishes that must be there on the table for the holiday feasts. I actually can’t remember a time when paksiw na pata wasn’t served for a feast and my family also occasionally serve it for normal meals which were one of the best meals I had growing up.
I got a craving for paksiw na pata the first few months that I left home to leave alone as an official grown-up person. There were no special occasions to warrant for me to want this delicious, savory dish but I rationalized it’s to celebrate my moving out and getting a place of my own.
So I scoured online and found the best paksiw na pata recipe I could find to recreate, which I’ll add a link to below. With a few pointers from my parents through some much-needed phone calls and some trip to the supermarket to get the equipment and ingredients that I need, I’m proud to say that I made a delicious paksiw na pata on my own.
Paksiw na pata is surprisingly simple to make much like the cooking process of another savory pork dish, pata tim. Well, every paksiw recipe basically follows the same formula with its most important ingredients: vinegar and garlic.
Read the pinaksiw section on 13 Traditional Filipino Ways of Cooking to find out more about paksiw recipes.
But paksiw na pata uses some soy sauce as well so I kind of think of it as more of a hybrid between adobo and paksiw recipes that leans more on the paksiw side because we don’t marinate the pork? You’ll see it during the cooking process.
This recipe calls for a large serving which you can adjust. So I went to the local market and bought myself these ingredients: 1 large pork knuckle that’s about 2 lbs or 1 kg, a small pack of bay leaves, cabbage, and dried banana heart.
I already got some of the other ingredients I need for the dish in my pantry which are vinegar (you can use apple cider vinegar if you don’t have any), black soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and salt. I’ll put the rest of the measurements down below.
Now for the cooking process which is relatively simple. In a large saucepan, add some 2 liters of water that’s about 8 cups of water with the pork. Cover with the lid and bring to a boil. You can a deep saucepan, a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker for this recipe.
Remember to scoop out the floating scum. Once it’s reached to a boil, reduce to medium heat and add the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and bay leaves. Let everything simmer for about 45 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the pork is tender.
Now its time to add the banana heart to the pot and let it simmer for another 30 minutes. Once done, season with salt and pepper, turn off the heat, and serve immediately! Pair it with fluffy white rice and glaze with its rich sauce. I guarantee that you’ll have the best meal with this tender and savory dish.
Paksiw Na Pata Recipe
- 1 large pork knuckle about 2 lbs/1 kg
- 8 cups 2 liters water
- 1/2 cup 125 ml Filipino vinegar (suka) or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup 60 ml black soy sauce
- 1/3 cup 60 g brown sugar
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1/2 cup 35 g dried banana heart or lily buds, rinsed and soaked in water until soft, or
- 2 cups 200 g cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place the pork in a large saucepan with the water, cover, and bring to a boil.
- Add the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, bay leaves and garlic, reduce the heat and simmer until the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes.
- Add the banana heart and simmer for another 30 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper, and serve immediately.