Binagoongan Baboy sa Gata with pork belly stewed in coconut milk, shrimp paste, and chili peppers. It’s a hearty, boldly flavored dish that’s perfect with steamed rice.
Do you remember when I said if there’s one recipe here on Kawaling Pinoy you should try it should be the ginataang talong? Well, folks, make that two because this binagoongan baboy sa gata is about to rock your taste buds.
It was my best friend’s birthday two Saturdays ago and I went to San Diego bright and early that day to help cook and prepare for the simple celebration she was having at home. You know how Filipino parties go, a simple celebration usually means the whole neighborhood and a whole lot of food! She had two long tables overflowing with all sorts of Filipino favorites.
To add to the kare-kare, orange chicken, BBQ pork, grilled seafood and whatnot her family prepared, I also made pancit palabok, baked macaroni and buko pandan. Out of all the dishes to choose from, however, what stood out for me was the binagoonan baboy sa gata the birthday celebrant herself cooked. I couldn’t get enough of the tender pork swimming in a rich coconut sauce; I made multiple trips to the buffet table to replenish my plate.
I’ve made binagoongan baboy more times than I can count but I never knew before her party that you could make it with coconut milk. I’ve definitely made up for lost time as I’ve cooked the dish at least three times since my delicious discovery.
The two dishes are actually very similar in preparation and ingredients. Cubed pork belly is first sauteed in onions, garlic, tomatoes, and shrimp paste until nicely browned and then finished off in coconut milk and chili peppers until fork tender. The resulting creamy sauce is pure heaven spooned over steamed rice!
Tips on How to Make Binagoongan Baboy sa Gata
- Freeze the pork belly until partially firm to make slicing easier. Make sure the pieces are in uniform sizes to ensure even cooking
- To trim down the fat and calories, swap the belly with a leaner cut such as pork shoulder.
- I use already sauteed shrimp paste which has a tamer “fishy taste”. If using raw bagoong, saute it a few minutes longer until nicely browned.
- The vinegar will help balance the strong flavors of the dish. Once added to the pot, boil it uncovered and without stirring until mostly absorbed, to cook off the acidity.
- If you want a bit more sauce, increase the water to one cup.
- I like the dish with a good kick of spice. If you want to tone down the heat, scrape off the seeds and veins of the chili peppers before mincing or decrease the amount called for in the recipe.
- For a smoother sauce, do not bring the coconut milk to a rolling boil lest it curdles and separates.
- Eggplant is a traditional accompaniment to pork binagoongan. Cut the vegetable into 1-inch thickness, pan-fry until tender and lightly browned, and toss in the dish during the last few minutes of cooking or serve on the side.