How to make this basic shrimp paste

My son was very curious about the bottle of shrimp (krill) paste (bagoong alamang in Philippine language) I took out from the cupboard that was doubly wrapped in ziplock. A lot of questions ensued while I was unwrapping it with great care on the kitchen counter.

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Che cos"è shrimp paste? Sono piccoli gamberi? Yes, they are very small shrimp that are called krill. They are fermented, meaning left in large earthen jars for some time with salt for that they are smelly. They are eaten in Asia & is known with different names per country but it"s not eaten in Italy nor the rest of Europe. Do you know that krills are eaten by whales too?
Davvero (accompanied with big eyes)? Yes! But not all whales. Only the ones with the curtain of brush-like teeth called baleen, hence these whales are called baleen whales. They go down khổng lồ the bottom of the ocean, gulp the water và with the use of the baleen, they filter the krill và loosen them with their tongue then finally eat them.

Shrimp paste is the real epitome of pungency. Fortunately, someone thought of selling them already cooked và stored in bottles because cooking it from its raw size takes a long time và gives the house an odor that sticks for at least a couple of days. I used to lớn hate the smell when I was young but I couldn"t complain because I love bagoong. Being fermented, it is smelly and has a very strong flavor. These two qualities don"t really attract everyone especially my husband and my daughter.
Binagoongan means cooked with bagoong. I never cooked it when I moved khổng lồ Italy & resigned myself khổng lồ enjoying it only when I am in the Philippines. But this changed when I saw Jun Belen"s (Jun-Blog) beautiful pictures of the pork binagoongan. Reading through his recipe, a thought struck me. Why don"t I just showroom the shrimp paste at the very over of cooking? That way, the smell won"t permeate the kitchen. I also did a shortcut with the pork. In the classic way of cooking them, they have lớn be boiled for about an hour to lớn make them tender before mixing in the shrimp paste. My husband despises the smell of boiled meat so I just used a thinner cut (about 1-cm. Thick instead of the usual 1-inch thickness) and I fried them straight.
It came out so good even with the shortcuts và one important thing is that I was able lớn deviate from making the house reek of unpleasant smells. Needless lớn say, I am going to bởi vì this dish over & over again.

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This dish is best enjoyed in the Philippines sprinkled with calamansi or calamondin lemons (replace with lemon or lime if you can"t find them) & eaten with steamed trắng rice.

Crispy Pork Belly in Shrimp Paste (Pork Binagoongan)

Adapted from Jun-Blog"s Pork Binagoongan (Deep Fried Pork Belly in Bagoong)Ingredients:Serves 2400 g. Pork belly2 cloves garlic, chopped finely1 tablespoon salt1 small onion, chopped finely2 cất cánh leavesaround 5 cherry tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes, diced (the tomatoes boost the flavor)oil for deep frying (canola, peanut, sunflower or safflower)extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup cooked shrimp paste1/4 pork stock from boiled pork (or vegetable stock if you are not boiling the pork) 1 chili (optional)Directions:In a pot of water, put pork belly, bay leaves, và salt. The water should just be enough to lớn cover the pork. Bring khổng lồ a boil and reduce lớn simmer. Cook for about an hour or until pork is tender.Drain the pork. Mix aside 1/4 cup of pork stock. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and cut into 2-inch pieces. (You can also skip this part and go straight lớn frying if your pork cut is thin like I did.)Fill a pot with at least 2 inches deep of oil và heat the oil. Deep fry pork in small batches until brown. Take them out with a strainer and place on a plate with paper towels to lớn absorb excess oil.Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Saute garlic & onions until brown & softened, about 5 minutes. địa chỉ tomatoes & saute" for about 5 minutes.Add pork stock (or vegetable stock), chili (if using) và shrimp paste (I added my shrimp paste at the end of cooking.) Bring to lớn a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.Add pork belly & combine well. Add shrimp paste. (I only added the shrimp paste at this point.)Serve warm with steamed rice và calamansi.