Recipe: Pata tim (braised pork hocks)

We’ve posted about this dish several times on this blog. There was even a post “fixing” the dish. But I just realized we never really posted a recipe for it (we seem to have done that a lot, shared about food without providing a how-to, LOL!). So here’s how we make pata tim in my family.



  • 3 pounds pork hocks (or pork knuckles)
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 6-8 pieces star anise
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • 6 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 small Napa cabbage
  • 1 can button mushrooms
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cooking oil for frying and sautéing



Heat the oil in a pan.

Run pork hocks under water and pat dry with paper towel. Put the pork in a bowl and pour 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Rub the pork in the soy sauce, making sure the pieces are totally covered.

When the oil is hot enough, place a few pieces of pork in the pan. Lightly fry the pork, about 3 minutes each side. Remove and place in a dish lined with paper towel. Repeat until you’ve fried all the pork.

Sauté garlic in a pot until golden brown, then add the onions. Wait until the onion is translucent, then add the fried pork. Pour the water and crank up the heat. When the water is boiling, add the rest of the soy sauce, the star anise and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Lower the heat and simmer for about an hour, or until the meat and skin are very tender. Adjust the taste with more soy sauce or sugar.

You can add the carrots and mushrooms about 5 minutes and the cabbage about 2 minutes before you finish cooking the stew so they don’t get too mushy. I prefer to cook the veggies separately so I can control how tender they get. I like my carrots with a bit of crunch. Enjoy!


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