Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Braised Pork with Shrimp Paste (Binagoongan)

Warning: Extremely yummy! This dish may be dangerous to your health!

I have always tried to serve healthy dishes to my family. If you will check out the posts of this blog, you will notice more entries for vegetables and seafood. I am happy that my kids have learned to eat vegetables when they were still young and they do prefer to eat fish than meat. However, once in a while, I do get tempted to prepare dishes such as this. Why? Because it is extremely flavorful and delicious! I guarantee that with this dish, you will consume double the amount of rice you normally eat. However, due to the high fat content, I recommend eating this only once a year. Okay, maybe twice a year... okay, okay, thrice a year... :)

The shrimp paste or bagoong is made from fermented minute shrimps. This is different from the one made with krills (minute fishes - alamang). You will know immediately from which kind it was made from because there are still some identifiable ingredients. Personally, I prefer the one made from shrimps. People who are not from Asia may be turned off by its pungent odor. But for most of us Asians, just the mention of the word bagoong (shrimp paste) is enough to make us salivate because the taste is really heavenly. However, consuming large amount of shrimp paste may cause a sudden increase in your blood pressure. Therefore consume more while young and healthy... :)

This dish is my retake on the Filipino Pork Binagoongan. In the original version, the pork meat is cooked and tenderized in water until the water dries up and the pork is cooked in its own lard. Then the rest of the ingredients are added. In my version, I braise all the ingredients together so that the pork meats are flavorful even without the sauces and soft to the bite. So, this dish can also be called Pork Adobo with Bagoong. I also added some vegetables to have some pretense of healthiness.

1 kilo Pork, cut into cubes
2 T cooking oil
5 T garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
6 T shrimp paste ( I used the bottled guisado/stewed chinese style)
soy sauce, according to taste
sugar, according to taste
salt, according to taste
2 T peppercorns (or more)
2 T cane vinegar (or any kind of vinegar)
1 bunch (around 100gms) Kangkong (swamp cabbage), cleaned
2 pcs eggplant, sliced
5 pcs jalapeno peppers or finger chillies (sliced, if you prefer spicy. whole, if not)
2 C water

1. Heat up the oil in a deep pan. Saute the garlic and onions until fragrant but not burnt. Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir fry for a while, then add the shrimp paste. Mix up everything in the pan.

2. Add the pork cubes. Mix up everything so that the sauce can cover all the meat pieces. Add soy sauce, salt, sugar, according to taste. Add the peppercorns and the jalapeno peppers. Mix everything up. Add the cane vinegar and cover. At this point. Do not stir until the mixture boils.

3. Stir all the ingredients together when it boils so that the flavors can mix. Add some water. Simmer for one to one and a half hours until the meat is fork tender. Add more water if the sauce is drying up. Alternately, you can cook everything in a slow cooker/crockpot.

4. Just before serving, add the eggplants. Cook for about 5 minutes. The add the Kangkong (Swamp cabbages). Cook one more minute. Dish up. Serve hot with lots of rice.

1 comment:

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