How to Make Your Own Etag Burger

How to make your very own etag burger Etag, a way of preserving meat is one of the most loved proteins of the Igorots. Some say it looks like tapa (smoked ham). Others would compare it to Ilocos’s bagnet (their own version of chicharon). Contrary to its meat counterparts, etag smells brackish. It has a strong burnt moss odor with a pinch of pungent fishy smell. And has a potent salty and smoky flavor. Innasin, the other term for etag is derived from the Bontoc/Igorot term inassinan or salted in English. This describes meat such as pork, chicken and beef that are generously treated with salt.
Actually, etag is smoked ham but rather than the normal sweet flavor it is salty, very salty. Etag has been a special recipe in cultural gatherings of the Igorots such as weddings and clan reunions. To some who don’t know what it is, what exactly is etag? Etag is like daing na bangus. Just like its fish equivalent, etag commonly made out of pig’s meat is salted liberally and is hanged to undergo a curing process. Then, it is smoked for a minimum of thirty minutes and a maximum of three hours per day, for two weeks. There are different variations in cooking etag.
People of Bontoc, Mountain Province like it sun-baked while locals of Sagada want it smoked. A lot of culinary innovations have been done with the meat. Go Grab Grub’s blog had presented 5 ways on preparing etag. Aside from the traditional boiled etag, the beloved meat can also be cooked as tinola, stir-fry, vegetable soup, an additional ingredient for fried rice and etag salad. In Inglay’s Restaurant at Km. 6, La Trinidad they have incorporated etag with burgers and lumpia. Burgers, who would not love them? Make etag its main ingredient and well, what do you have? Etag burger!

So, here’s a simple recipe to help you make your own etag burger. Have a nice piece of etag chunk. I suggest you choose a chunk with twenty percent fat. Grind your meat at a local butcher’s or better yet, grind it with your own chopper or meat grinder (but make sure you cut it into one to one and a half cubes first, to ease up the process). Next, wet your hands with water, this will keep the meat from sticking to your hands. It will also allow the grind etag to come together and prevents it from over-handling. After grinding the meat, put it in a large bowl. Add pepper and other seasoning to add more taste.
You don’t need to add salt to it for the meat salty enough. If you want to make it healthier, you can toss in small slices of your favorite vegetable like carrots, bell peppers and potatoes. Mix it gently using your hands until it is loosely mixed. Then, scoop the amount of meat you want from the mixture. Normally, burgers shrink and pull in during cooking. In order to solve this, put a dimple at the center (this can be done by poking the middle of the patty with your forefinger). This will result to an even patty-shaped burger in the end. If you are planning to cook it after preparing, heat up your pan first to a steady high temperature.
Pour oil until the pan is sizzling. This will prevent your patty from sticking to the pan. Upon frying, avoid pressing the burgers. This will release the juices and flavors of your patty. Let it sit for 5 minutes for thorough cooking. Flip it if you think the patty is well done. Let your burgers rest after you take it from the pan. This will allow the patty to finish cooking. Also, it will allow the juice of the burger to be distributed thoroughly. Finally, like any other burgers sold in the market, put you cooked etag patty in a bun. You could include onion rings, lettuce and tomato in it.
Add you favorite sauce like catsup, mustard or mayonnaise for a more personalized taste. To maintain the right flavors and if you are planning to not cook the etag patties for a while, better put it in the freezer. Through this the patties will stay together and juicy. Voila! You now have your very own etag burger-fusing old tradition and modern gastronomic practice in one. //Reden C. Reyes Sources: Anonymous. “Who doesn’t love etag? ’ Retrieved on October 19, 2012 from The Igorot Journal. http://www. igorotjournal. com/2010/07/who-doesnt-love-etag. html Anonymous. Go Grab Grub! 5: What to do with Etag (smoked mountain ham).
Retrieved on October 19, 2012 from grabgrub. wordpress. com. http://grabgrub. wordpress. com/tag/etag-etag-recipes/ Molly Watson. “10 tips for perfect burgers”. Retrieved on October 19, 2012 from About. com. http://localfoods. about. com/od/grillingtips/tp/10-Tips-For-Perfect-Burgers. htm Laura Dolson. “Tips for Cooking the Best Hamburgers”. Retrieved on October 19, 2012 from lowcarbdiets. about. com. http://lowcarbdiets. about. com/od/cooking/a/easybestburgers. htm Donald Daryl Ayochok Daoey. “Innasin”. Retrieved on October 20, 2012 from daoey. tripod. com. http://daoey. tripod. com/innasin. html

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