Bagoong Alamang refers to Filipino shrimp paste made from baby shrimps called “alamang”. It is commonly eaten as a topping on crunchy green mangoes or used as an important cooking ingredient in Filipino cuisine. “Bagoong Alamang” is essentially a shrimp and salt mixture left to marinate and ferment for several days, under specific conditions, until the salty and earthy flavor develops.
I was thinking of how can I make our today’s dinner a little more exciting since I’m only planning to fry fish “hammam”…that is how they call it here. For this, “Ginisang Bagoong Alamang” will be the best match with a some vinegar as “sawsawan” or dipping sauce. For me, it could pretty complement such dishes as fried or grilled fish, grilled meat, steamed, boiled or grilled vegetables and of course, chopped up fresh mango, tomatoes and onion. This is what I have adopted from Tagalogs, from my hubby’s family in particular. During childhood I can eat sauteed bagoong alamang with rice alone, a viand in itself specially when it is sauteed in pork or by my grandma’s bagoong cooked in coconut milk in a coco shell, oh i missed it so much!
Ginisang Bagoong Alamang can range from salty to sweet and spicy and its usage depends on the type of food it will go with. For this preparation, I didn’t add pork and preferred it a little sweet by adding vinegar, sugar and banana catsup (I used UFC). Also catsup adds a hint of color to the drab bagoong, while improving its texture with the banana fruit’s natural viscosity. The tamis-anghang character of banana catsup balances the saltiness of preserved baby shrimp. Kainan na!!!
You can try the recipe below:
- 1 bottle or about 340 grams bagoong
- 8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 big onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili, chopped
- 2 big tomatoes, minced
- 1/2 cup banana ketchup
- 5 tbsp. brown or white sugar
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Saute garlic, onions and tomatoes in hot oil until limp. Add peppers, sugar, vinegar and catsup; stir until oil separates. Pour in bagoong and cook over low heat, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.
- Simmer until reduced by 1/3 and bagoong changes color. Taste and add more sliced chili if needed.