Know where to get the best bagnet in Ilocos and do the "bagnet dance"
This deep-fried pork dish (or slab of heaven?) is one of the best reasons to head up North.
In Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Herencia Restaurant's bagnet is popular, while in Batac, a spot called Malabed Toledo Snack Haus has been making bagnet since 1960.
Emiliana Malabed and her team churn out 35 to 40 kilos of bagnet every day and sells them at their stall in the local market. Their bagnet involves boiling pork chunks in water until they are tender, then the meat is removed. The water is left to boil until only the fatty oil remains. They add a bit of lard to the same pot and the pork is fried in its own oil until the skin becomes tough. It is fried to perfection until the skin becomes crunchy cracklings or chicharon.
Yummy magazine contributor Mira Angeles, whose family hails from Ilocos, offers some tips on how to make bagnet extra crispy and tasty: Some add sukang Iloko while boiling the pork. It's also important to drain the pork after boiling and refrigerate the drained pork overnight if you can. While deep-frying, you can prick the pork skin so bubbles can appear, making the skin extra crunchy.
How to recreate your own bagnet at home? You can use a turbo broiler! After simmering the pata in a deep pan, bake it in a broiler at the highest temperature setting for 15 minutes. Then, lower the heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes. The skin will be almost like chicharon but without the deep-frying.
Of course, you can always just head up North for some authentic bagnet!
Herencia Restaurant is in Sangladan Poblacion, Paoay, Ilocos Norte. For more information, visit Herencia Restaurant Paoay on Facebook. Malabed Toledo Snack Haus is in Gomez, Batac, Ilocos Norte.
This story originally appeared on Yummy.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Spot.ph editors.