How to roast a Monitor Lizard
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Roasting is very easy: prepare whatever is to be roasted, then Roast it... For animals, dress/skin it, spit it, roast it. How you roast something is entirely a different matter. A lot depend on the heating. It's up to you to add your spices, and to put anything you want, depending on your taste. Roasting a Monitor Lizard should be easy. Dress - errr, Shouldn't it be really undress? You'd skin it, spit it, then roast it. There is one problem though... The meat of the lizard has a certain fishy taste (Igorots describe this as "langsi"), although it tastes like Chicken. This is very much tasted on the meat near the viscera. So how should you roast it? This recipe also applies to snakes. Click here to see how snakes are roasted. This was made clear to me by my uncle, Daniel Ayochok. Way back when I was young, I caught a monitor lizard, but I did not want to bring it home because my previous experiences were such that whenever I brought something home, I did not get to have my fill of my own catch. So I thought of roasting it, and was starting to skin it at the farm when my Uncle passed by and saw me. He taught me. Thus, this recipe is not mine.
Yeah, I know it is an endangered specie, but heck, in the Cordilleras, the favorite part of a lizard's menu are Chicks. To the Igorots in the past, the lizards were either prey or pests. In any case, I have seen one Igorot along the Mountain trail way back in the 80's rearing monitor Lizards. So that means, if one loves the taste (Not to mention that the skin is sold to shoe makers), You can have a Monitor Lizard farm. I do not encourage hunting here. I simply am posting a recipe. Get it, Mr Environmentalist?
Ingredients:


One Big Monitor Lizard (Called "Faniyas" or "Hilay" or "bayawak")
Palongpong - A certain vine located in the Cordilleras. The leaves have a sour taste, and is usually eaten by kids. For replacement, you could either try using the "Kamias" (Readers, what's the english term for this?), or Unripe mangoes. I would appreciate if Igorot readers out there supply me with their local term for Palongpong, and whether there is a scientific name for this. (I'm still betting there is no scientific name)
Salt

Preparation


Prepare the Monitor Lizard. (Click here to find out how to skin a lizard and a snake) Now,Open the Monitor Lizard's mouth, and remove the tongue. Rub salt inside the mouth, and all over the body, including the space at the ribs where the heart was. Crumple leaves of the "Palongpong". Stuff the mouth with this. Stuff the space at the ribs with crumpled "Palongpong" too. Now spit it.Spitting a Monitor Lizard is just like what you would do to any four legged animal. However, you need not tie the legs. YOu havew to tie the tail and the head, and also tie at the abdomen. After it has been spitted, prepare your fire, and start roasting. Normally, the meat would reach a red/brown resin color, and it would be then ready to be eaten. Without the salt and the Palongpong, the fishy taste would be noticeable. However, the salt masks this, and the "Palongpong provides a sour taste that dissipates the fishy taste.
Substitutes


You can actually substitute ("Kamias"), but Strips of Unripe Mangoes are better. If You do not have any of this, you can still remove the fishy taste before you roast the Monitor lizard (This is an old trick: I do not know why I am still telling this). Get a container, fill it with vinegar, and let the meat stay there for thirty minutes, before roasting. The taste would be different, though, and you would not experience the original taste of Monitor Lizard Meat.

Daler, at your service....