October 13, 2013

ebun a barag

A bowl of boiled (half-cooked) ebun a barag presented during the sneak preview of MarQuee Mall's "Big Bite! The Northern Food Festival" in Angeles City last week
ebun a barag - (e-bun a ba-rág; Capampangan exotic food) [n.] monitor lizard’s egg. The egg of bayawak.
itlog ng bayawak in Tagalog
itlog sa halo in Cebuano 
itlog sa hawo or itlog sa haw in Boholano 
illuk alivo in Itawis

The pliant shell of the egg would shrunk after it is boiled (half-cooked) causing the surface to dent 
The taste of ebun a barag is agreeable.  It reminisces the taste of masabaw na balut penoy. A friend, Kenny Ngo of  Life is Kulayful gestures with approval after trying ebun a barag  
Another friend, Az Coladilla of Azrael's Merryland Blog, seems to be fascinated also by the ebun a barag. A rare exotic delicacy of Pampanga.
Its egg yolk is cream-colored and the egg-white is transparent. 

The yolk is creamy-white and does not hold any shape. When squeezed out, the yolk would flow like toothpaste. The albumen (egg-white) is transparent and coagulating like that of chicken egg and flow thin (watery) 
The Capampangans would boil the bayawak’s (monitor lizard’s) egg as malasado (half-cooked)  and eat the cooked egg by puncturing a hole on the top side of shell then squeeze the pliant shell. The egg’s content is often spread on hot, freshly cooked rice.

The pliant shell of spent egg would just deflate like a busted pingpong ball. Unlike the shell of chicken egg, the shell of ebun a barag  would not crack or brittle 

Its tastes similar to the balut penoy egg that is masabaw (moist and juicy)

RJ Ledesma, co-founder of Mercato Centrale, sips ebun a barag during the sneak preview of MarQuee Mall's "Big Bite! The Northern Food Festival" in Angeles City last week. 

betute tugac

I got this freshly fried betute tugac during the sneak preview of MarQuee Mall's 'Big Bite' The Northern Food Festival in Angeles City, Pampanga in October 2013.
etute tugac - (ba-tú-tè tu-gák; Capampangan exotic dish) [n.] fried stuffed edible frog.
a.k.a. batute or batute tugak in Capampangan 
also spelled as betute tugak in Capampangan
I found this skinned ricefield frog sold in the public market of  Cabanatuan City January last year. There are ingenious Capampangans and Novo Ecijanos who would tan the skin into leather and made into taxodermy-like coin purse with keychain holder

A fried relleno-like skinned farm frog stuffed with minced frog meat or ground pork and finely chopped fresh herbs and spices. It is an exotic dish made of whole tugac (farm frog) caught from the river or rice paddies in Pampanga.

When I came back to Cabanatuan City last June 2012, I brought home and cooked these skinned frogs.

The frog is skinned and all its entrails are removed, feet are cut off, its head decapitated and thrown away. The cleaned hollowed body is then stuffed compactly with minced meat of another frog, or ground pork, or finely chopped meat of chicken, or their combinations.

The internal organs of the frog have to be removed and the hollowed cavity has to be filled with ground meat mixed with seasonings and minced tangle leaves if you are going to make a betute tugac.

Betute tugac is deep fried till brownish red or darker and crisp. The Capampangan betute actually means butete in Tagalog or puffer fish in English.

The host was trying to impress us with a serving of betute tugac during the sneak preview of MarQuee Mall's 'Big Bite' The Northern Food Festival in Angeles City, Pampanga. 

The stuffed frog is called betute because of its bulging filled belly that makes tugac (frog) to look like a betute (puffer fish)

The stuffing of minced or ground meat is mixed with chopped leaves of tangle (fragrant premma tree) and seasoned with any locally available herbs and spices (i.e. garlic, red onions, ginger, tangle, tomatoes, kuse, kulitis, etc.) all minced or chopped into small pieces.

This one is filled with ground meat and minced vegetables. The tangle leaves in it added the aromatic flavor.

Betute tugac is eaten with a dipping of spiced up vinegar, chili sauce, or toyomansi. Without the dip, the fried frog would taste flavorless, and its two spreading legs but just a tough piece of meat.  The fillings could be tasty if it is made with ground pork or beef with all the seasonings and herbs mentioned above.   

Dipping the betute tugac in spiced up vinegar (or any Pinoy dipping sauce) would bring out the taste and enhance the flavor of this exotic dish



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