Bagnet is known as a local chicharon (crispy pork rind) originated in the Ilocos Region; it’s the Ilocos’ version of lechong kawali (fried pork joint). It is deep fried pork with crispy skin and fat. You don’t need a lot of ingredients in cooking bagnet, though you certainly need a lot of oil. Expect a lot of oil splashing. Spill-over oil can cause fire. Also remember that water on oil can cause splatter. So be careful and start cooking!
1/2 kilo pork liempo (pork belly), whole cut
1 tsp. peppercorns
2 tbsp salt
1/2 head garlic
1 bay leaves
cooking oil for frying
- Wash and clean the pork belly, cut into large chunks and place in a large pot.
- Add enough water to cover the pork belly.
- Add in salt, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves.
- Cover and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for an hour or until pork is tender. Check the meat from time to time and prick the skin with a fork. Remove all scum that rises.
- Remove from the wok and set aside, put it on a strainer to drain the water. Let it cool and air dry for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight
- Dry with paper towels if necessary. Keep refrigerated for several hours, you need this to achieve a crispy skin.
- In a deep fryer or large wok, heat oil in high temperature and reduce to low once it’s the oil is near its smoking point, deep fry pork belly at low heat for 30-45 minutes or until the pork turns brown.
- Remove pork belly from the deep fryer using long tongs and drain oil in a colander or paper towels, allow cooling completely.
- Reheat the same oil over moderate heat deep fry the pork belly once more for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown, crisp and blisters appear on the skin. Drain on paper towels.
- Chop bagnet to serving pieces. Best with rice.
You can also use bagnet in garnishing pinakbet or to serve as pica-pica or finger food or as side dish.
You can serve this with sukang Ilocos or tomatoes and onions with vinegar, sweet liver gravy or with shrimp paste with calamansi/lemon.