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...