By: Olivia Ong
Baliwag is breaking away from their lechon manok trademark with this new Filipino favorite that will give your meals more of a crunch. Baliwag introduced their newest menu item on their Facebook page: the bagnet.
Traditional bagnet is essentially a deep-fried pork favorite from Ilocos. The pork is usually seasoned in a brine that includes salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaves and more before it is dried. The bagnet is very similar to another Filipino dish called lechon kawali, but what makes the bagnet stand out is that it’s deep-fried twice rather than just once like lechon kawali usually is. This double frying gives bagnet a much crispier skin covering the flavorful tender pork underneath. Ilocanos will often eat this with chopped tomatoes and onions, as well as bagoong or sukang Ilocos, to give it that extra burst of flavor that pairs well with the pork’s richness.
Baliwag’s bagnet has brought the classic dish back to the spotlight. The dish has been receiving a lot of attention and it’s pretty obvious why. The classic texture of the pork-belly skin is wonderfully crispy without being too tough, before giving way to the juicy and rich meat underneath. They’ve seasoned it with just enough salt to enhance this flavor without being too overpowering, and it’s perfectly balanced with the fat and lean meat that’s pretty much expected in a dish like this.
And we can’t forget Baliwag’s signature lechon sauce. Every order of the bagnet comes with two packets of this sauce along with a pack of spiced vinegar. If you’ve ever tried it, you know that this sauce can do no wrong. It has a sweetness to it that also has hints of pepper, which obviously goes really well with a rich bagnet dish like this. The vinegar on the other hand is also a good option to pair with this dish as it introduces a strong and bright spiced tartness that cuts through the fattiness of the pork easily.
Baliwag’s bagnet is available for P385 in their kiosks, or P482 on GrabFood and FoodPanda.