Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Binagoongan a la Lalaine (Pork Binagoongan or Pork Cooked in Shrimp Paste)

This may be among the perfect anti-diet dishes of the Philippines. First of all, it’s basically oily and thus laden with saturated and unsaturated fats. Second of all, it’s relatively salty and therefore high in sodium. Furthermore it can, unwittingly, cause you to over-consume steamed rice which is high in carbohydrates. Lastly, it is fragrant, mouth watering and utterly DELICIOUS. Does it make sense? Even if it does, I will not be dissuaded from enjoying this irresistible dish ………..with lots of rice of course ………..probably lots and lots of it ………. because that’s the way it is eaten ………… and it’s the way it’s always going to be.

Most Filipinos love “bagoong alamang” or shrimp paste and we love pork or “karneng baboy” even more. Of course it is a no-brainer to assume that most of us also love “binagoongang baboy”. Generally referred to as simply “binagoongan”, the dish is a spicy, salty and flavorful pork viand largely popular in the Central and Southern Luzon regions as well as in the Metro Manila area of the Philippines. It is made by braising pork cubes in spices, tomatoes and then seasoning it with “bagoong alamang”. Sometimes coconut milk is added for an even richer and tastier dish.

The shrimp paste to use in a “binagoongan” can be the fresh or raw one or the sautéed homemade type like the one I posted before or the commercially prepared ones which abound in most groceries and supermarkets or in Filipino or Asian stores abroad. But adjustment on the amount of ingredients should be observed. Addition of sugar and /or vinegar might be needed when using fresh “shrimp paste”.

This “binagoongan” recipe is again shared to us by our family friend Lalaine who earlier provided the hit “kutsinta” recipe. This involved a huge portion which she specially prepared and served, along with many other authentic Filipino dishes, which of course includes her signature “kutsinta”, in a friend’s party in London where many Filipinos were in attendance. As expected the “binagoongan” was also a hit …… and Lalaine and her friends shared a truly luscious meal…….great time ……. and some magical moments.

As shown above, a combination of several cuts of pork was used in this recipe such as spare ribs, belly or “liempo” and pork shoulder/loin or “kasim”. All in all, about 3 kilograms or 6.5 lbs of pork, cut up to about 1 inch cube were used. As always, the meat were properly washed and thoroughly drained.

The other ingredients utilized were: 2 bottles of prepared sweet-spicy shrimp paste, 2 heads garlic, peeled and minced, 5 medium onions, peeled and chopped, 6 large tomatoes, chopped, 18 pcs finger chilies, a dozen chopped and half a dozen kept whole (more if you want a stronger kick), 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper, 2 cans or about 4 cups coconut milk and about ¼ cup of vegetable oil.

In a large heavy wok or pan, heat the oil and fry garlic followed by onion. Stir-fry until onion is translucent. Add in meat and continue sautéing until the meat renders its own liquid. Simmer on medium heat with occasional stirring.

Continue simmering until the liquid is reduced and the meat is slightly seared and just tender. Add in tomatoes and continue cooking until the tomatoes have wilted. Season it with ground pepper.

Add the prepared shrimp paste and after several minutes add in the coconut milk and continue simmering. Cook until the sauce is reduced and has attained a rich consistency and oil starts to form on the surface. Add in the chopped chilies and cooked for several minutes more.

Add the whole chilies and cook for a couple of minutes further. Cook until the meat is fork tender and the oily sauce has thickened. If you feel there is excessive oil on the surface, you can scoop out some as it floats. I usually do this. It does make such oily dish a little less sinful. It also somehow reduces the guilt you tend to feel after heavily indulging. :-)

Transfer in serving plates and serve immediately with hot steamed rice. Be ready to compromise your diet. :-) It’s but natural to lose control when in front of such sumptuous meal involving the enticing “binagoongan” a la Lalaine. On the second thought, those on diet should avoid this. You should have discipline. :-)

Enjoy this wonderful Filipino dish! Many Filipinos in London did. Check out the huge smile on their face…………… and their sparkling oily lips………..but you have to watch out……… those lips are a little salty too. c“,)


  1. Lalaine,

    All I can say is that, this dish is my favorite. It is very tasty with a twist of chillies. Well done indeed. I will cooked this dish tomorrow< wish me luck> !!!!!!!


  2. Hello Lalaine,

    I'm a very particular cook, I not only want my food to look appetizing, but also tasty. . . You see, we have an upcoming Team Building adventure and I'm tasked to cook Binagoongan for all my fellow colleagues, of course, I want the best recipe there is. I've been browsing the web for half an hour, searching for the right look, and great recipe... I'm sure glad that I clicked on your URL... :) Keep On Cookin' is all I can say. :)

  3. Hi Anonymous, like many other readers, i hope you and your colleagues will love this awesome Binagoongan recipe shared by our friend Lalaine, enjoy! :-)



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