Binagoongan Pork Adobo

Here I am with another round of adobo. I was actually unenthusiastic about this recipe when my mom first saw it in our national daily. The recipe called for bagoong ( [bɐɡoˈoŋ] bah-go-ong; fermented shrimp fry), coconut milk and sugar. *unrelated: I hated transcription and phonetics in college*

First off, I’m partial to a simpler, more traditional adobo – more vinegar than soy sauce, with no sugar. I don’t enjoy eating “sweet adobo” because after a few spoonfuls I lose my appetite. The only way to get me to eat adobo with rice after rice after rice if it’s salty-sour.
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Next, pork binagoongan is a recipe that calls for bagoong (shrimp paste) and sometimes even coconut milk. So why would I desecrate my adobo with coconut milk, bagoong and *shudder* sugar?

Then after making said recipe for Valentine’s day, I knew the answer – IT JUST WORKS (!).
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Looking back, now I understand why it’s called “Hybrid Adobo” – it blends together adobo and binagoongan, two Filipino favorites in one dish, creating something that plays like an incredibly satisfying tug-of-war in your mouth. This, right here, is delicious and it left the people around here craving for more. The enthusiasm that I get talking about this dish is off the roof!

Now my palate and appreciation for the humble adobo has definitely expanded. Sure, I might crave for the classic salty-sour, even the white (no soy sauce) variety from time to time, but this “hybrid”, is something else entirely.
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Because it’s difficult for me to call it a “hybrid” without thinking of a Zebronkey (a cross between a zebra and a donkey), let’s just call it…
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Adobong Binagoongang Baboy/ Binagoongan Pork Adobo (serve 6 – 8; adapted from The Philippine Daily Inquirer Lifestyle Section)

1 kg pork shoulder, cut to serving pieces

Marinade:

  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons liquid seasoning or soy sauce (I used 2 tbsp liquid seasoning and 1 tbsp soy sauce)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 heads garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
  • 2 pieces bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons shrimp paste
  • 1 piece finger chili OR 1 tablespoon chili flakes (plus more for garnish, optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 200ml pack coconut cream
  1. Marinate pork with vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar for 30 minutes.
  2. Sauté garlic in a pan until aromatic. Add peppercorn, bay leaf and shrimp paste.
  3. Add pork belly (without the marinade) and cook until it changes color.
  4. Add marinade, chili/chili flakes and water. Simmer for an hour or until meat is tender.
  5. Add coconut cream and simmer for 15 minutes more. Garnish with chili flakes if desired. Serve hot with lots of steamed rice. Enjoy!