Ginisang Bagoong a la Marketman

I left the bottle of “experimental” bagoong alamang in the back of the fridge in our Cebu office for 2.5 weeks before taking it back out again, with more than a bit of trepidation. An earlier experiment with tuyo (dried salted fish) had gone a bit awry, so I wasn’t sure the bagoong was going to be edible. It didn’t help that one of the cooks said the bottle had somehow fallen on its side, and some of the salty juices had leaked out sometime during the two weeks. The first whiff of the bagoong alamang was surprisingly pleasant, perhaps too pleasant as others in the office felt it should have had a funkier smell. :) We rinsed some bagoong alamang in some fresh running water and squeezed it a bit.

Into a saute pan I added several tablespoons of lard, sauteed chopped onions, garlic and lots of tomatoes, and added a fistful of rinsed alamang. Sauteed this for a few minutes and plated this up, above. This was good, albeit still a tad salty, so we decided to add some chopped kamias or iba or belimbi and saute this all for a minute or so more. Yum.

On another day, we made sauteed bagoong with some lard, onions, garlic, tomatoes, kamias, muscovado sugar, coconut cream cooked until it was essentially just coconut oil remaining. This version was superb. The balance of saltiness, sourness, sugar and richness of oil was a real delight. Add a tablespoon of achuete oil if you need a redder/orange color.

On a third day, we made yet another batch of sauteed bagoong and added many of the ingredients above, but threw in chopped up lechon, and that was nice as well. Eaten as a condiment or side dish to say deep fried fish, or grilled meats, any of these ginisang bagoong concoctions packed a wallop in flavor, a bit of a blast of the past from childhood days when my mom used to make something similar (though she never made her own bagoong)… The base ingredient of brined tiny shrimp was so easy to make that we promptly purchased more fresh alamang and have five kilos worth brining away in the fridge as I write this… :)

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17 Responses

  1. Goodness, I’m so excited to do this alamang experiment! The recipe with coconut milk sounds really rich and delicious.

  2. MM,I saute mine with the usual garlic,onion and tomatoes then I add bacon bits and banana chillies or green capsicums and it’s just as delicious. I’ll be trying this with coconut cream next time.

  3. Mangang hilaw. Back in July for my bagoong fix, and this time you’ve inspired me to try and make my own.

  4. Wow, I like the coconut cream version. MM, how long would the bagoong last if it was already sauteed?

  5. I will substitute kamias with ginger, saute in lots of onions, tomatoes and garlic then add slivers of siling haba,sugar to taste and bits of zubuchon and stew in coconut cream! Yum!I could taste it from here!

  6. My daughter is allergic to shrimps and shellfish. She cannot eat bagoong. I might experiment with bagoong using silver fish (not the insect) which is readily available in Asian supermarkets here. Thanks for the idea.

  7. I’m curious about the shelf-life of these gisado versions, because onions and tomatoes in any recipe are notorious for making the food spoil quickly. Would pasteurization be required if we bottled up the stuff described above, or is it enough to simply store it in sterilized jars? =)

  8. My mother in law is from Jolo and she’s been making bagoong with gata and sili for years now. This is topped with lechon kawali and crisp garlic chips. I cannot find a substitute that even comes close.

  9. Sounds like I could eat a BIG potful of rice even with any version alone of your sauteed alamang bagoong. Forget about glycemic index.

  10. Oh, great! It does look good … I’m already planning what to do with my fermented alamang. It’s going to be paired with green mango. Also the ripe ones like what Kapangpangans usually do with rice. A Bicol Express recipe using this. Loads of siling mahaba, coconut cream and liempo. It’s gonna be mean, hahaha! Thanks, MM!

  11. To make bagoong alamang from scratch, use one part rock salt and 3 parts fresh alamang.

  12. My Lola and Mama used to cook ginataang alamang a lot when we were kids. I remember making this my ulam and then i would have lacatan banana on the side, yummy!

  13. Your recipes and pictures brought a lot of childhood memories. We call this type of bagoong in bikol “balaw”. My mom would cook this either as ginisa with lots of tomatoes (same as the 1st photo) or with gata and lots of sili — a bikolano trademark. Both dishes are yummy.

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