Pork Binagoongan is super-easy to prepare that comes together in 30 minutes! Tender, tasty pork belly cooked in flavorful shrimp paste sauce. The eggplant and chili makes it more appetizing with a side of steamed rice!
I love cooking this pork dish for my husband because we both enjoy the flavor of bagoong plus the spiciness of the dish. It’s always included in my monthly rotation of dishes to make like kare-kare or pinakbet. This recipe is so easy to prepare and doesn’t take up much time making it great weeknight dinner idea.
Pork Binagoongan boasts a delightful combination of ingredients that come together to create a harmonious explosion of flavors. The star of the show is tender pork, typically sourced from the belly or shoulder, which is cut into bite-sized pieces. The key component that sets this dish apart is the “bagoong,” a pungent shrimp paste that infuses the pork with its distinctive savory taste.
What is Binagoongan
Binagoongan na baboy is a Filipino dish where meat like beef veggies is cooked in shrimp paste. It’s truly a tasty dish full of umami and savory flavors. This is a popular dish in the Philippines with variations like adding coconut milk or cooking it with vinegar. Other recipes make use of fresh bagoong alamang while some prefer pre-cooked shrimp paste in bottles.
In addition to bagoong, the dish features a medley of flavors, including crushed garlic, sliced onions, and juicy tomatoes, which lend their sweetness to counterbalance the pungency of the shrimp paste. Chili peppers (labuyo) or chili flakes are often added to give a spicy kick, elevating the overall taste profile. Some variations of Pork Binagoongan may incorporate green mangoes or eggplants for additional texture and tanginess.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Where is the Origin of Binagoongan?
Binagoongan is deeply rooted in Philippine history and culture, reflecting the country’s fusion of indigenous, Spanish, and Asian influences. The dish’s origins can be traced back to the pre-colonial era when the Filipinos first started using bagoong as a primary flavoring agent.
Over the centuries, the recipe evolved as different regions added their own unique twists. However, the essence of Binagoongan as a flavorful pork dish remained intact. Today, it stands as a beloved Filipino pork recipe, with each region boasting its own variation.
What is the difference between Binagoongan and Bicol Express?
While both Pork Binagoongan and Bicol Express are iconic Filipino dishes, they differ significantly in taste, ingredients, and spice levels. Pork Binagoongan, as previously discussed, revolves around the combination of pork and bagoong, resulting in a savory, slightly sweet, and pungent profile.
On the other hand, Bicol Express is a combination of pork, coconut milk, shrimp paste, and an abundance of chili peppers. This gives Bicol Express its distinctively creamy, spicy, and umami-rich taste, completely setting it apart from the complex flavors of Pork Binagoongan.
Best Shrimp Paste to Use
Choosing the right kind of shrimp paste or bagoong (yes, there are different types) can greatly affect the outcome of the dish. The bagoong alamang, which is raw and saltier, can be bought in wet markets in the Philippines. It needs to be cooked first in garlic, onion and sugar before using for binagoongan.
The commercially bottled bagoong, in my personal experience, is better. It’s usually marketed as bagoong guisado and is ready to use. This saves you time since the bagoong is pre-cooked and flavorful that helps building the taste of the dish.
Tips for Pork Binagoongan
How to serve and store
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- 500 grams pork belly (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- ½ cup sautéed shrimp paste (store bought)
- 1 piece green chili pepper (cut into small pieces)
- 1 piece red chili pepper (cut into small pieces)
- 1 medium onion (sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 medium tomato (sliced)
- 2 medium eggplant (cut lengthwise into 4 pcs. slice to 1 inch thick)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- ¼ tsp salt (for seasoning)
- 1 cup water (add more if needed)
- Wash the pork thoroughly and cut it into small pieces.500 grams pork belly
- In a deep pan or wok over medium heat, cook the fry the pork without oil until browned and fat has rendered. Remove meat from pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan, add cooking oil if needed and fry the eggplant until lightly browned and wilted. Set aside2 medium eggplant, 2 tbsp cooking oil
- Sauté garlic and onion. Add the tomato and lightly mash to squeeze out the juice. Cook until wilted.1 medium onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 medium tomato
- Add cooked pork belly and mix to distribute. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Tip in shrimp paste and stir to coat pork slices then simmer for a few seconds.½ cup sautéed shrimp paste
- Add water, stir then cover the pan or pot with lid. Simmer for 7-10 minutes or until pork is soft and tender. (Add more water if needed)1 cup water
- At the last minute of simmering, taste and adjust with salt or shrimp paste (if needed). Add chilies and simmer for a minute.1 piece green chili pepper, ¼ tsp salt, 1 piece red chili pepper
- Add eggplant then cover with lid and simmer for additional 1-2 minutes. Serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!