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16 September 2010

Pata Tim

My wife usually just strolls through the grocery aisles and dumps onto the cart anything that we will need for the coming week. Last weekend, though, she had a checklist. Something was up.

She was cooking Pata Tim, a braised pork leg recipe of Chinese origin. She followed a recipe which turned out great (thank you Myra!). The meat was tender and scrumptious! There is quite a lot of fat on this dish though. So I suggest reserving this for special occasions or when you have guests.

Shopping list notwithstanding, my wife forgot to buy a head of bok choy but this is mainly for aesthetics (though you can also eat it of course) so she went ahead and cooked Pata Tim for dinner.

1 kg pork hocks, washed clean
2 tbsp chopped scallions / green onions
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup rice wine or sherry
1 cup water (and more on standby)
1 head bok choy, washed and pat-dried


Place all ingredients except the bok choy in a pot.

Put on medium-high heat, skimming off any scum. When it boils, turn heat to very low, cover and simmer for 3-4 hours or until meat is tender (meat separates easily separates from the bone).

During the simmering process check once in a while if there is sufficient liquid in the pot. Add more water or rice wine/sherry if needed. A guide would be to check that there's 1-1/2 cups sauce in there at all times. A transparent pot will come in handy, come to think of it.

Halfway through the simmering time it will also be good to turn the pork hocks on its other side.

Steam bok choy for 3 minutes then spread the leaves on the serving plate.

Turn heat off the Pata Tim and place on top of the bok choy. Pour the sauce over it.

Serve with hot, steaming rice.

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