Bagnet: A Calorific way to Bento


A calorific feast hailing from the Northern province of Vigan, bagnet is thrice-cooked deep fried pork. Big slabs of pork belly is boiled in an assortment of spices. It is air dried, fried slowly, then sold along the streets of Vigan. Bought by the kilo, it’s simply wrapped in brown paper. When ready to eat, we take a few slices, then fry to a delightfully sinful crispness. Served with a side of tomatoes and onions slathered with bagoong balayan (fermented fish paste) and copious amounts of rice, all notions of healthy eating is put aside as this palate pleasing treat tantalizes your appetite.

174 Bagnet Bento

Bento #174 • 26 November 2007

While the best bagnet is most definitely the one from Vigan, since it’s more than half a day’s drive to get there, it’s not always a feasible option to buy direct. Instead, my mom makes her own bagnet, which, after much trial and error, is now a very satisfactory replacement.

Presented here is our homemade bagnet, cut to big chunks for easier eating. On the side is a soy egg shaped like a flower. It’s supposed to be a star, but I guess the egg I used wasn’t big enough. I hardboiled an egg, stuck it in an egg mold, then dipped it soy sauce before slicing in half. Together with this, is a tomato, sliced to manageable cuts, then sprinkled with salt.

As with most of my Filipino food-based bento, I have some freshly steamed rice. For a bit of color and sweetness, I sprinkled it with sakura denbu (ground seasoned codfish), a Japanese condiment that’s usually sprinkled on rice. And of course, I can’t have my bagnet without a dipping sauce. In this case, it’s a mix of red cane vinegar and soy sauce.

A very easy bento to prepare, though not necessarily the healthiest. Still, if it’s only eaten a day or two in every few weeks, I guess it doesn’t really set my health back that much, does it? Moderation is always the key.

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16 Responses to Bagnet: A Calorific way to Bento

  1. ryan says:

    yummy! especially if there is more fat than meat XD

    i love having this with garlic fried rice and a siding of tomatoes, onions and bagoong alamang (shrimp paste)

  2. Tony Lou says:

    i hate chu! i want bagnet. i want! starbucks chocolate is so unappetizing right now.

  3. lalalady7 says:

    i looooooooooooooooove pork belly!!!!

  4. aoitenshi says:

    Being Ilocano, I love bagnet! Yum!

  5. Mila says:

    Ah bagnet! I spent a weekend in Ilocos this year just munching away at all versions of deep fried pork I could get my hands on. Will now have to wait till all that cholesterol is out of my system before another round with the bagnet. It’s so good though!!! Sigh sigh sigh

  6. toni says:

    i love bagnet! pero tagal na akong hindi nakakakain. natakam ako sa picture.

    and those eggs! how cute! may i ask where you got your star molds? aaaah!

    and are you feeling better? i heard you were supposed to join the mario’s meet-up last sunday but had the flu :(

  7. Lisa says:

    Why have I never heard of this bagnet???

    About the sakura denbu – is that supposed to be kept refridgerated? I bought some recently, and it was, so I do – but not sure if it’s a must. It’s way more stronly flavored (and sweet!) than I imagined so I bet the little packet will last awhile…

  8. kaoko says:

    @ryan
    Ah, that’s were we differ. I prefer the meat part over the fat. Maybe we should share—that would make a win-win situation :D

    @Tony Lou
    Don’t hate me cause I eat good food… :P

    @lalalady7
    Don’t we all? Bad for you has never been this good…

    @aoitenshi
    Don’t forget the kamatis! *bright idea* Any chance you’ll be visiting the province soon? And passing through Vigan by any chance? :P *coughpabilicoughcough*

    @Mila
    I’m so envious. I’ve only been to Vigan enroute to Pagudpod, and all the other times I’ve gotten to eat bagnet is through pasalubongs. It must be so good to enjoy it against the backdrop of its home province. *sigh*

    @Toni
    *sobs* I missed out on Mario’s! And I was so looking forward to it, *sob sob* I mean, my mom’s been telling me about Mario’s since I was a kid, then this chance comes up…then I GET SICK! *sobs*

    I got my star molds from Hatchin but their stock pretty much varies.

    @Lisa
    Well, better late than never :D It’s sort of similar to lechon kawali only more evil. :P

    And about sakura denbu, I’m not so sure about storage either, but since the store I bought mine from kept it refrigerated, so do I. And you’re right about the flavor. I use just a little at a time too, so it’s lasting quite a while. And it hasn’t gone bad or anything so I guess refrigeration is a good idea.

  9. aoitenshi says:

    Hehe unfortunately, I’m going to Bicol soon, not Ilocos. ;)

  10. Mila says:

    Kaoko, have you heard about the upcoming Ilocos fair at Salcedo Market this Saturday? If you need to stock up on bagnet and other things iloko, this would be a good time to go to the market.

    • kaoko says:

      Wasn’t able to get any :( It was all sold out by the time my mom got there. She did manage to snag some empanadas. I wish Ilocos fairs would be held more often—even if only for the bagnet.

  11. kaoko says:

    @aoitenshi
    Hey, it was worth a shot :P

    @Mila
    You said the magic word! I won’t be free to go this Saturday but I think I can pester my mom to go buy the bagnet instead :D Thanks so much for the tip, I appreciate it greatly :D

  12. Mi says:

    There’s a place in QC where you can buy bagnet and ilocos food like their longganisa.

    i’m commenting on very old posts. hope you don’t mind.

    • kaoko says:

      Waaaah! No fair, QC gets all the cool restos and food places. Longganisa I can live without (though my mom loves it) but bagnet! <3 <3 <3

      And of course I don’t mind you commenting on old posts. That’s what makes food marvelous. It’s timeless! So most anything (well, except for old event related posts maybe?) is relevant.

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