Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Ginisang Bagoong (Fish Paste Saute in Tomato)

“Bagoong” is a Filipino fish paste made from small fresh fish or shrimps that is salted by mixing in brine then cured and fermented for several months until it breakdowns into bubbly and smelly thick paste with salty liquid on the top. The resulting thick brown paste is the “bagoong” while the salty liquid is the fish sauce called in the Philippines as “patis”. Both “bagoong” and “patis” are serve as condiments and use as flavorings in many Filipino dishes. They are excellent natural MSG and good sources of important nutrition, containing Omega-3.

“Bagoong” is also popular in Hawaii and throughout the Pacific. In the Ancient Rome, they had a similar product called “garum”. The difference is that, they used mainly fish intestines to make them while in the Philippines they use the whole fish. “Bagoong” was made originally from several types of fish, the most common of which is anchovies about two inches long. Sardines, “padas” and goby are also sometimes used.

In the Philippines, people use it to complement vegetables, fish, meats and even fruits. Filipino dishes such as “kare-kare” (stew in peanut sauce), “pinakbet” (a vegetable dish) and of course “binagoongan” (pork in fish paste) is totally incomplete without “bagoong”. Filipinos learned to eat green mangoes and sometimes “singkamas” (jicama or Mexican turnip) with “bagoong” just like butter to bread. Some people, like me, even appreciate “bagoong” with plain steamed rice. :-)

Many Westerners may be appalled by the murky look and pungent smell of “bagoong”. But for the Filipinos, the concoction is fragrant and really makes food taste even better.

To make the “Ginisang Bagoong” we only need about 2~3 tbsp of the fish paste. The other ingredients are: 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 tbsp minced garlic, 1 large onion, peeled and chopped, 5 pcs ripe tomatoes and about 2 tbsp chili pepper (optional).

With such very basic ingredients, expect to have very basic procedures. In a small pan on medium flame, heat the oil and sauté the garlic, add the onion and continue cooking until onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes and continue sautéing until mushy and liquid is rendered. Add the chili pepper. You can add a little amount of hot water if it’s drying up.

When the vegetables are almost dissolved pour the “bagoong”, stir and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Stir once more to evenly mix. Transfer to a bowl and serve in a meal.

It is so good with a plateful of steaming plain rice and a simple vegetable dish like grilled eggplant.

And even better if serve along with freshly grilled fish.

And even more fish. No salivating please. And give me more rice. c“,)

Simple foods are sometimes just what we need to feel good. Really good! :)

1 comment:

  1. i prefer to eat using my bare hands rather using a pair of spoon and fork, mas feel ang sarap.... kain na tau, kakagutum naman.



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