This should really be paksiw na pata—a stew that calls for pork legs—that bony part with plenty of folded skin (not much meat nor fat), and cut like meat rolls. Yes, in this dish you’re supposed to be after the skin—when it turns to that almost melting, gel-like consistency! But where to get them in the UK? I don’t know. Anyway, had this leftover from a pork shoulder (with plenty of skin) which I decided against roasting ….
I checked on the internet and people have different versions. I’m mostly particular about the ratio of vinegar to soy sauce and sugar. You see, change the ratio and it will already be a different dish (I remember doing this a long time ago and my friend said it tasted like humba—which is not paksiw at all). Paksiw is supposed to have a dominant sour taste, with the salty and sweet tastes not far behind. Now I should tell you that I also use sugar cane vinegar (available at Asian stores—check the ones from the Philippines)—it’s not as sharp as malt vinegar, so if you’re using the latter, use less probably.
The recipe that gives me the ratio that I like (I imagine how it would taste like) is from Kawaling Pinoy. As to the ratio of the other ingredients and the procedure, I made some modifications. Also, I didn’t know where to get the banana blossoms (and I’ve always wondered what they were for as I just push them to the side of my plate and never ate them), but Lalaine, the blog owner commented that it can be done without. Other recipes from the net had oregano in them, but I don’t remember oregano in Filipino dishes. Although oregano grows like weed in the Philippines, they’re cultivated in the backyard for a homemade elixir that fixes you when you’re under the weather.
pork shoulder with plenty of skin (est. 500g)
cane vinegar (4 parts) – use less if you’re using sharp-tasting vinegar like malt
soy sauce (2 parts)*
brown sugar (1 part)
garlic (8 cloves, crushed or minced)
1 onion (julienned)
peppercorns (est. 1 tsp, crushed)
*Please note that I use a soy sauce with 20-27% soya content. It’s imported from the Philippines and available in most Asian stores.
1. Saute garlic and onion.
2. Sear pork.
3. Add bay leaf and crushed peppercorn. Stir and cover until flavours had come out.
4. Add vinegar and cover. Wait 3-5 minutes.
5. Then add soy sauce and sugar.
6. Let boil, then simmer. If the dish is drying up, add some water a little at a time.
7. Now you can decide whether to wait for the meat to turn tender and for the sauce to thicken, after which you could add salt to taste—or, do what I did—transfer it to a slow cooker, set the time, sleep, and wake up with your paksiw done 🙂