The idea of adding shrimp paste to a dish was brought to locals of island of the Philippines by migrants and traders from the peninsulas in Southeast Asia – Borneo, Malaya, and Java in particular – prior to the coming of the Spaniards. In fact, shrimp paste is a common ingredient used to dishes across the Mainland and Maritime Southeast Asia. It was believed that the Malay who once settled in Central Luzon created Binagoogang Baboy where the dish is most popular.
2 pounds pork shoulder, cubed
1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoon soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons Shrimp Paste or Bagoong Alamang
1 long chili pepper, seeded and cut in strips
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
PREPARATION TIME : 10 minutes
COOKING TIME : 30 minutes
1 Combine the pork, vinegar, water, soy sauce and half of the garlic and onion in a pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer until meat is tender, about 20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water if it’s drying out before the meat gets tender. Sauce left on the pan should be about half a cup when done.
2 In a separate pan, saute the remaining garlic and onion in oil. Add the tomato and cook until it’s wilted.
3 Add the boiled pork (without the sauce). Cook for a minute. Then add the sauce and bring to a boil.
4 Stir in the shrimp paste and chili pepper, then simmer for 2 minutes.
5 Serve with rice.
(Learn more about COOKING RICE, THE FILIPINO WAY.)
If you prefer a hot and spicy Binagoongang Baboy, add some extra chili flakes to suit your taste.
The chili pepper is added towards the end to control the heat of the dish and just so it’s not all wilted and makes for a nice plate presentation.
I also put the shrimp paste in towards the end so that the flavor is more pronounced and not lost by being absorbed in the cooking process.
If fresh bagoong alamang is all you have, drain and wring out the salty liquid that came with it, then saute it in garlic and onion, and also add the juice of one lemon and a little sugar, too. This will help to mellow out the strong flavor and cut down the salty taste.
Adjust the amount of shrimp paste to your taste. If you like it more salty, add just a little bit. Remember, you can always add more, but once it gets too salty, your dish is ruined…so be careful.