Gamet: Gem of Burgos

Long before I was introduced to the colorful world of Japanese cooking, I had already been accustomed to eating gamet, a kind of seaweed akin to nori. Gamet is an Ilocano delicacy from the town of Burgos. Said to be rich in iodine, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, essential vitamins and proteins, gamet sheets are prized by locals up north, balikbayans most especially.

We buy gamet in the form of dry sheets. There are many different ways of preparing the seasonal seaweed. It could be cut up into squares or strips, toasted in a pan, and then munched as a healthy crunchy snack. Softening them for delish soup or salad is likewise popular. I was surprised that gamet is also added to tupig and canton noodles — the more modern ways innovated by the connoisseurs of Burgos.

Somewhat rare, they are available at the Burgos and Laoag public markets or can be ordered straight from the Burgos makers.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2011

OMG Ilocano Salad

Oh, my greens! Healthy and light  Ilocano vegetable salad with uttong (string beans), pallang (winged beans), katuday (scarlet wisteria) and camatis (tomatoes) seasoned with bugguong (fish sauce) and laya (ginger) is simple to prepare. Choose maribanban (young) uttong. Remove bitter stigmas from the katuday flowers; cut pallang and uttong into suitable slices; blanch katuday, pallang and uttong in boiling water for 2 minutes and be careful not to overdo, then drain well. Put the greens in a bowl and add camatis slices, crushed ginger bits and the desired amount of fish paste, then toss. I suggest just a bit of the salty fish. A cinch.

Photographed at a function by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED