Pork Binagoongan, also called Binagoogang Baboy, is pork stewed and sautéed in shrimp paste. It is one of the all-time favorite Filipino dishes. A perfect dish when served with fried eggplant, unripe mango, and steamed rice!
The key ingredient of Pork Binagoongan is the shrimp paste (Bagoong Alamang in Tagalog), a condiment made from a fermented mixture of small shrimps and salt, which gives flavor to the dish. You can either use the 'salty fresh reddish bagoong alamang' or the commercialized 'bottle of sautéed shrimp paste' of Kamayan or Barrio Fiesta. If you choice to use the 'salty fresh reddish bagoong alamang', then be very careful to add the shrimp paste gradually until you are able to achieve your desired taste and not to over salt your Binagoogang Baboy. If you do over salt your dish, you can always balance the taste with the use of water, vinegar, and sugar but, of course, nothing is much better and flavorful than having to add the exact amount of shrimp paste preference to your taste.
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.
Cooking Pork Binagoongan is not that hard. Think yourself as a cook who wants to sauté some pieces of parboiled pork meat in garlic, onion, and tomato. When mixture is sautéed and pork starts to render fat, you realized that it's the perfect time to season it with salt. In same way, instead of using salt, you use shrimp paste or bagoong alamang to add flavor to you dish. Intuitively, you again realized that it's not complete without your favorite vegetable, so you add chili pepper, eggplant, string beans, and other veggies of your choice. You live in a place where there's plenty of coconut and you thought that it might be better if you add coconut cream to it. Ingenuity! You have created a perfect dish specially designed to your own liking. There you are... you are the creator of 'Binangongaong Baboy with Coconut Cream'.
When cooking our own version of Binagoongang Baboy, your main objective is to be to achieve the 'sour, salty, and sweet' taste of the dish all at once. We have all the necessary ingredients like vinegar, shrimp paste, and sugar to able to achieve this taste. Other ingredients are added to enhance and bring more life to the dish. Shrimp paste are different in taste and flavors, depending on how it is made and cooked. It is, therefore, up to you on how to balance the flavor of your Pork Binagoonan. By experience, it is the Barrio Fiesta Shrimp Paste and Kamayan Bagoong Alamang that bring the best result.
Pork Binagoongan Ingredients
- 1 kilo pork liempo; cut in serving pieces
- 1/2 cup shrimp bagoong
- 4 cloves garlic; minced
- 1 small onion; chopped
- 1 medium tomato; sliced in 8 pcs.
- 1 teaspoon Philippine bird's eye
- pepper (siling labuyo)
- 5 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 eggplant; cut in slices
Pork Binagoongan Cooking Preparation
- Boil pork until tender and cut into cubes. Set aside.
- Sauté garlic, onion, and tomato.
- Add pork and shrimp bagoong.
- Stir fry for few minutes until pork starts to render fat and edges turn to brown.
- Add vinegar and siling labuyo. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Season with sugar and drop the eggplant.
- Continue cooking in low fire until the eggplant is done. Serve hot!