Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Binagoongan Baboy (Stewed Pork with Fermented Shrimp Paste)
Filipinos have this stinky condiment called "bagoong" or fermented shrimp paste. My hubby, an American, cannot stand it when I cook with it. It smells like dirty socks stewed in armpit juice. Well, you get the picture. But for someone who grew up with it, it smells like heaven, gastronomic heaven.
Different Asian cultures have their own version of bagoong. In Indonesian, they have "terasi", in Thailand they use "kapi", in Malaysia shrimp paste is referred to as "belacan", "mắm tôm" in Vietnam, and "hamho" in China. In Korea, they also have salted shrimp fry but not that fermented like "bagoong" or "belacan".
One of my favorite viands for lunch is "Binagoongan Baboy" which means stewed pork in shrimp paste. It's quite easy and very flavorful. Here's how to make it.
500 grams fatty pork, preferably from the belly or spare ribs cut in 2-inch cubes
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 onion, minced
1 medium tomato, minced
4 cups water
1/2 cup bagoong (shrimp paste)
1 tbsp oil
2 pieces of green chili, stemmed and cut into two
1. In a pot, add water and pork and bring to a boil. Cook until the pork is tender. When the pork is cooked, take it out of the pot and set aside the pork stock.
2. In a large wok (with a cover), add the oil and heat until hot. Add the pork cubes and cook until all pieces are golden-brown. Make sure to cover the wok since the pork would make the oil splatter.
3. When the pork cubes are golden-brown, take out the pork pieces and take out the rendered fat/oil but leave about a tablespoon in the wok.
4. Heat the oil again in the wok and add minced garlic. Fry until golden-brown. Add the onion and fry for a minute or until they are translucent. Then add the tomatoes and stir-fry for about2-3 minutes.
5. Add the bagoong to the wok, stir thoroughly. Add the pork cubes and stir-fry for a minute. Add a cup of the pork stock and let simmer. Lower the temperature and let the pork cook until the sauce has been cooked down to half the amount.
6. When the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat and serve the binagoongan baboy with freshly cooked rice. Plenty of it.