Paksiw na pata is Filipino dish made of pork hocks and banana blossoms stewed in vinegar and soy sauce. Melt-in-your-mouth tender and smothered in a sweet and savory sauce, it’s delicious with steamed rice!
Since pork is said to be a “lucky” dish to serve on New Year, I thought I’ll update this paksiw na pata, first posted on the blog in 2013, and include it in our holiday series. If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy pork, check out my hamonado, guisantes, humba, menudo, and estofado recipes! They’re perfect for large parties and are sure to be hit with the crowd.
Paksiw is a Filipino-style of cooking where meat, fish or vegetables are stewed in vinegar and spices such as garlic, ginger, onions, and peppercorns.
In this pata version, pork hocks or knuckles are the type of cut used and soy sauce is added for a savory flavor. Other key ingredients also give this patang paksiw its distinct taste. Brown sugar is stirred during the last few minutes of cooking for a touch of sweetness along with dried banana blossoms for texture.
- While you can just throw everything in the pot to simmer, I suggest taking the extra step of browning the pork. Searing over high heat caramelizes the surface of the meat. which enriches the dish with more complex flavors.
- Allow the vinegar to boil, uncovered and without stirring, for a few minutes to cook off the strong acid taste.
- Give it time! Cooking low and slow allows the fat to melt and the tough connective tissues to soften. This paksiw is best when the hocks are cooked until fall off the bone.
- Use brown sugar and not white as it has a slightly less concentrated sweetness and contains molasses for added depth of flavor.
- Want to make it extra special? Add pineapple chunks or pan-fried saba bananas!
This braised pata dish is simple to prepare, albeit it takes a couple of hours to simmer to adequate tenderness. No time to tend the pot? You can make it in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker!
- Slow Cooker- takes longer but it can cook unattended. Sear the meat and combine with the rest of the ingredients in a crockpot. Cook on HIGH for about 4 to 6 hours or on LOW for about 6 to 8 hours. When the meat is tender, remove the lid and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until sauce is reduced. Or transfer the liquid into a saucepan and simmer on the stovetop until reduced.
- Pressure Cooker- cooks in half the time. Sear the meat and combine with the rest of the ingredients in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on HIGH for about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the hocks. Carefully remove the lid of the pressure cooker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Continue to simmer, without the lid, until sauce is reduced as desired.
Serve as the main entree with generous helpings of steamed rice as an excellent canvas for the delicious meat and sweet and savory sauce. Enjoy!
Paksiw na Pata
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 pounds pork shanks or hocks, cut 2-inch thick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns, cracked
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dried banana blossoms (lily buds)
- salt to taste
- In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add garlic and onions and cook until softened.
- Add pork hocks and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides.
- Add vinegar and bring to a boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 2 to 4 minutes.
- Add soy sauce, water, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
- Lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat starts to fall off the bone, adding more water in 1/2 cup increments as needed.
- Add sugar and banana blossoms. Continue to cook until blossoms are softened, meat is very tender and sauce is reduced and thickened.
- Season with salt to taste. Serve hot.