If you are on a diet, stay away from this page. You’re still there? Okay, let us prepare something to get your high blood, cholesterol, gout, kidney, or diabetes go disco-dancing. This dish has always been sinful, especially since it bursts with flavor and commands to be stuffed down with plenty of rice. May I also warn you that, aside from the health concerns, cooking this will stink up your kitchen, and consequently the clothes you’re in, so please take the necessary precautions.
Before I ramble on, I would like to thank Luvluv Tan, my very pretty friend from Davao City, who shared this recipe with me a year ago. I asked her permission to post it in my blog and she happily obliged. Luvluv is known to host dinner parties and never fails to wow her friends with her cooking. I wish I can be like that. Whenever I try to cook for a crowd I tend to get anxious, overdo something, and mess it all up. (To my friends: there, that’s my excuse.)
I just would like to add that this was inspired when my wife opened a big jar of Barrio Fiesta Sauteed Shrimp Paste for her hilaw na mangga. There was just too much bagoong and it ought to be used to clear some refrigerator space and to keep these food stuff from expiring. Have you ever thought about how much grocery items you end up throwing away because they have gone past their expiration date? That equates to a lot of money wasted.
The thing is, after cooking this dish, there’s still more than half of the bagoong left in the jar.
- half kilo of pork liempo (belly), cubed
- half kilo of pork kasim (shoulder), cubed
- 1 head of garlic, chopped
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 3 or 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup of sauteed shrimp paste
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- half a teaspoon of ground pepper
- 2 green chilies, chopped
- 3 cups of water to simmer the pork with
- water to blanch the pork with
- an eggplant, sliced (optional)
In a pot or wok, bring water to a rolling boil and blanch the pork for about 3 minutes. This procedure will make sure that your pork is thoroughly clean. Get rid of the water and dry the pork cubes in paper towels.
In the same pot, or wok, stir fry pork cubes until they turn light brown. Resist the urge to eat them. Set the pork cubes aside and leave the oil in the wok.
If you are big on eggplant, this is the time to fry them until they turn brown on the sides. Set them aside and add them later into the dish.
Add oil into the wok if necessary. Saute garlic until light brown, then add the onions until they turn transparent. Add the tomatoes and saute until the skin starts to peel.
Add the shrimp paste a spoonful at a time. This is dependent on the kind of bagoong you have so you’ll have to use your superior knowledge to gauge the taste. Add the brown sugar and let simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the fried pork and vinegar. Pour just enough water to cover the meat. Lower heat, cover, and let simmer for 40 minutes until the meat is tender and the mixture has become less watery. It is important that you stir occasionally to keep it from burning. I repeat, stir it occasionally.
Add the chopped chilies and the ground pepper, give it another stir and turn off the flame. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
You might want to keep the number to the hospital ambulance handy. Make sure you have enough rice. And don’t forget to breathe between mouthfuls. Enjoy!