Bagoong Alamang at ang Unang Anibersaryo ng LP

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Choosing a dish that is definitive Pinoy for LP’s 1st year anniversary (hosted by Stef) is quite tough that it took me this long to come up with an entry not to mention a busy month packed with traveling and deadlines, and transferring our websites to a new hosting site. (Yeah this blog has a new domain name, a gift!) I thought about dishes I’ve already blogged about adobo, sinigang, sinaing na tulingan, and few more iconic regional dishes until I thought about the lowly bagoong alamang.

Bagoong alamang or fermented shrimp paste is something that we can’t live without. Having no Filipino store around I always bring a big jar or 2 with me from Manila. We also buy few more if we visit HK and my sis never forgets to bring me some every time she drops by for a vacation. If only I can find here something similar like the Malay variety belacan or the Thai counterpart (kapee?) oh I wouldn’t go into such trouble. Back home give me some of those pinkish alamang from the wet market and I would be more than happy.

Oh the things that you can do or indulge with it – unripe mangoes, steamed leafy vegetables, grilled or steamed eggplants, fried fish, kare-kare, pinakbet, even nilaga and sinigang. The list goes on I am very sure of that depending on which region one belongs to. With its unique yet distinguishable smell, just one whiff and you will know immediately what’s cooking. And when the craving is intense I’m back at the dinner table, plain rice with alamang is good enough for me. Nakakamay pa! Not bad as it is rich in calcium and vitamin B complex. Read this.

Above is a photo I took during a reunion last December. Prepared by my cousin Maribeth, a big bowl of salad stuffed up with skinned steamed eggplants, chopped tomatoes and shredded unripe mangoes. Next to it was a smaller bowl of bagoong alamang guisado sinfully drenched in pork fat. Yeah the perfect match! As for me, I prefer to grill the eggplants, peel off the charred skin and flatten its flesh with fork.

I usually prepare bagoong alamang guisado with fatty pork tidbits but I cook chunky binagoongan (pork cooked in bagoong as shown in the last photo) almost the same way, just a difference in proportions. Anyways, here’s a very simple recipe.

1/2 kilo of fatty pork, cut into tidbits
2-3 cloves garlic, grinded using mortar and pestle
1 onion, minced
3 tomatoes, chopped
a bowl of bagoong alamang

Cook the pork in its own juice until it renders fat and saute until the meat is brownish. Push the cooked meat to one side and fry the garlic using the pork fat until golden brown. Throw in the onions and tomatoes, and sautetogether with the pork until the tomatoes are mashed. Add in the bagoong alamang and continue frying over low to medium heat until desired consistency. You may wish to add vinegar, chili and sugar for zest, zing and sweetness. Remove from oil and drain or leave it drenched in pork fat. How about binagoongan sa gata?

Maligayang pagbati sa unang anibersaryo ng Lasang Pinoy! Thanks to Ces & Marco for the wonderful LP button :)

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

15 thoughts on “Bagoong Alamang at ang Unang Anibersaryo ng LP

  1. Hi Iska! Congrats on the new domain :) I’ll update my link to your siteASAP.
    Definitely, alamang has to be at the top of uniquely Pinoy dishes. It is certainly one of my faves and a regular at our table. I have to admit though that even though I love binagoongan, I never cooked it before because the smell will definitely drive the whole family outside. Plus, I’d be the only one eating it.

    You just gave me an idea with the green mango and eggplants. I’ll be trying that out soon.

  2. Hi Iska, congratulations on your new domain! Is it now called iskandals or still edible experiments?

    What a great entry for the 1st anniversary! I love bagoong alamang and have been meaning to cook some but my oriental store currently don’t have any in stock. I cook mine like this too. I blogged about it in my old blog :)

    How i miss it!!! I have to cure my cravings soon or i’ll go crazy :)

  3. aba oo nga sister! nakalipat ka na pla ng site! congrats! buti kpa! ako kya klan? kc nga long time no chat tyo…hehe
    anyway, parang bigla nag-amoy bagoong ang apt! sa entry mo! lol! d in! as if you were here, cooking that with the pork bits!!!!almusal pa naman…teka nga…happy anniv to us!

  4. Congrats on your new site!

    Ubos ko na ang 2 jars ng alamang ko!!! Waahh! I need to schedule a (one-hour) trip to d nearest pinoy store soon. I must admit I have not tried to cook pork binagoongan (although I always ate that bought from carinderias when I was still in PI, kapag nakaduty.

  5. Uy, bago na ang domain, parang showbiz chismis ang title :)

    Since I’m living here in our country, hindi nawawalan ng bottle of bagoong sa fridge. Very useful sa ating mga nanay, dami paggagamitan.

    Like Manang, I have not tried cooking binagoongang baboy. I know pag sa iyo galing ang recipe, sure na wagi sa sarap iyan. I will try na talaga.

  6. i love bagoong na alamang! i always have it on the side whenever i’m at home (sometimes even in restaurants) – with adobo, sinigang, fish, steamed vegetables, any dish with gata, etc! yum!

    congratulations on your new domain! happy 1st anniversary!

  7. well of course! amoy na amoy na lang — you know immediately it’s Pinoy!!! that pic of yours with the tomatoes just triggered my salivary glands into overdrive. it’s killing me!!!!

    thanks so much again for joining us, iska. Mabuhay ang LP!

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