Pata Bihon is a Filipino dish of stir-fried rice noodles called bihon cooked with the sauce from pata tim, a slowly simmered pork leg on sweet and savoury soy sauce infused with Asian aromatics.
Stir fried noodle dish that is served and flavoured with gelatinous sticky gravy from the slowly braised pork leg bones rich in collagen, topped with melt in your mouth pork fat and fork tender meat with hints of sweetness, umami, floral star anise and earthy goodness of shiitake mushrooms, this is what this noodle dish is all about. If that does not capture your soul, I don’t know what will, because this dish is seriously good. Where was this dish when I was growing up? I just wished I had known this earlier but that is not possible since this just came about recently and I got introduced to it when I saw it in several Instagram posts when netizens started sharing this dish that they tried from Shifu Master’s Kitchen and Capitol Restaurant– during late 2014 and early 2015.
I haven’t tried the real thing but this is quite easy to recreate just by basing on the descriptions I found online, most of them say this dish is a glorious combination of pancit bihon and pata tim, so if you know how to make both then it’s a no brainer. To confirm it further this information was strengthened when I saw this YouTube video from Unang Hirit where the two of its main elements are cooked separately before combining it together.
There are also a version of this noodle dish I saw online where canned pork hocks are used. This canned pork under the brand Narcissus, is something I personally tried, and it tasted almost similar to pata tim. This noodle version though is quite common in other South East Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore.
While I would love to make it the easy way by using the canned pork hock, I can’t seem to find it in our Asian Groceries here so I will prepare this the harder way by cooking pata tim first.
Pour the pork stock, add the shiitake mushrooms then top up with water until pork is fully covered.
Bring to a boil and slowly simmer for 2 hrs.
Set aside 2 cups of the stock boiling the pork legs.
Pour all remaining pork sauce ingredients then simmer/braise for 30 minutes in medium heat until sauce becomes thick and heavily reduced into gravy like consistency. Turn heat off then set aside.
In a large wok add oil then sauté garlic on shallots, cook in medium heat until shallots are soft.
Bring heat to really high, add the noodles, cabbage, carrots and green beans then stir fry continuously while adding the reserved pork hock stock 1/2 cup at a time. Scoop out around one cup of sweet soy sauce gravy from the braised pork hock then continue to stir fry until noodles are cooked, add water if necessary. This whole step would take around five minutes.
Remove noodles from the wok, place on a serving platter then top with the braised pork hock,
mushrooms and more sauce from the braised pork. Serve.