Monday, June 22, 2009

Binagoongan (Pork in Shrimp Paste)

It certainly wasn’t my intention to write a blog about binagoongan. Well, not last night, that is. But after all the trouble I’ve gone through to get this dish finished I think my binagoongan deserved to be blogged about!

I’m still not feeling 100%. I just wanted to get dinner over and done with (pretty sad huh…not the usual me). The last thing on my mind was to take photos of my cooking…so I didn’t.

About halfway through the process I realised I’ve got no bagoong. And no bagoong (Filipino shrimp paste) means no binagoongan. This essential ingredient just has no substitutes! Patis (Fish Sauce) won’t do. Salt is just not good enough. I’ve got belacan (Malaysian shrimp paste) in the pantry but I couldn’t see how that could work.

Knowing full well that the shops were already shut I’ve got no choice but to visit my closest Pinoy neighbour. By that I mean some 5kms drive away. So I rang them to announce my spur of the moment visit to borrow some shrimp paste. I brought my own ziplock bag to spare the couple further trouble (sad…really!)! But being the good and generous friends that they are they gave me half a jar rather than the few tablespoons I needed (or they probably just want to get rid of me ASAP!). Thanks to Patrick and Pilar for saving our dinner last night!

Binagoongan for me is normally a side dish to kare-kare (oxtail in peanut sauce). But in my condition I just wasn’t up to cooking kare-kare.

Some of you might find the thought of combining pork and shrimp paste horrifying. I say, don’t knock it back till you try it!

The best way to cook this dish is by pre-frying the pork before adding all the other ingredients.

Binagoongan ala Beancounter

500g pork belly diced
2-3 cloves garlic chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
4 tablespoons bagoong (shrimp paste…Barrio Fiesta or Kamayan brand preferably)
1 teaspoon vinegar (optional)
Chillies (optional)

1. Heat up a pan. Add a bit of oil and fry the diced pork. Do this in batches to avoid steaming the meat. Set aside.
2. Remove excess oil from the pan. Fry the garlic (till golden brown).
3. Add the onion and cook till translucent.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the shrimp paste. You can add more than 4 tablespoons if you like. It’ll be more like a dipping sauce rather than a side dish if you do. Cook for about 2 minutes.
6. Add the pre-cooked pork. Simmer for 5 minutes.
7. Add the vinegar and cook for another minute.
8. Serve with freshly cooked rice.


Tangled Noodle said...

I love this! I haven't had it in ages but wanted to make it for so long, especially for the hubs who has not yet tasted a fully binagoongan dish. I'll have to get a jar of bagoong but I also brought back some balaw-balaw from our trip - do you think that would work as well? This will give me a good reason to buy pork belly which I don't often but a dish like this needs that extra, yummy fat!

I'm saving this recipe right now.

The Beancounter said...

honestly TN i don't know what balaw-balaw is...i'll google it shortly...

for less effort and max result i use Kamayan or Barrio Fiesta bagoong... wonder how your better half would like binagoongan...

you can use the leftovers (shred the meat a little) to make binagoongan rice...