Bagoong fried rice

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By Ed Dychauco, RN

Pots and Pans

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I WAS introduced to ‘bagoong’ (shrimp fry) when I was still a kid growing up in Manila.

But getting to like it was far from my mind and taste buds then.

But then I remember enjoying it with unripe mangoes, sometimes semi-ripe mangoes which tastes a lot better when I was in my teens.

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During my summer vacation in the beautiful island of Camiguin, we have ‘guinamos’ (made of fish) in lieu of the ‘bagoong,’ which of course, tastes almost the same—salty!

It was in the last 10-15 years that I finally started to really like it and would look for it when I finally realized that it is really a very versatile item to have at home.

Personally, I find these bagoong to be wonderfully good when added to a variety of dishes or even plain as it is. It makes one to eat more!
Now that they are available nationwide and even worldwide, this particular Pinoy delight has reached almost everyone and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.

One dish that goes side by side with bagoong is the world famous ‘kare-kare.’

It kind of adds some saltiness to the sweetness of this saucy-peanut butter infused dish.

Fast forward to modern time, we have bottled bagoong now which comes in a variety of flavors.

It comes in plain, sautéed, flavored with garlic, spicy, sweet and sweet and spicy.

And maybe more that I am not aware of.

Several national brands are available, although there are also a lot of “home-based” bagoong being produced all over the country which is equally good, if not even better than their counterparts.

This truly Pinoy dish, if one would consider this as such, has come of age.

And because of how it is being prepared, bottled and marketed, we can proudly say it has reached “gourmet” level!

They even come in pretty collectible glass bottle containers which can definitely be reused once it’s empty for other purposes.

For me, I like the sautéed “sweet and spicy” variety.

Eaten with plain steamed rice or better yet, incorporate it in our day-old rice for a not-so-new dish which I am going share with you.

This has been a very popular item for some time in high-end five-star hotels to the ordinary ‘carenderias’ and those in-betweens.

And I won’t be surprised because eaten as it is, it can be very filling.
And depending on what is incorporated in it, price can range from a few pesos to a few hundreds per order.

Basic ingredients which is needed but not necessarily a must include: minced garlic (lots of it!), chopped onion (again, another one that I like to add more than what is called for), cubed bell pepper (optional), carrots-cubed or shredded (can turn this into a yellow/orange color dish if a lot is used), ground or sliced meat), cubed mangoes (or peaches if one feels like upgrading this a notch), sliced scrambled egg (sliced), peas (optional but would be nice for contrast & texture), black pepper (if a spicier fried rice is wanted) and a few other vegetables if one desires.

And finally, don’t forget the bagoong!

2-3 Tbsps. oil
3-4 cups day old rice
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 pc small onion, chopped
1 pc small carrot, shredded or cubed
½ cup ground meat (optional)
1-2 tbsps. Bagoong (of your choice)
2 pcs scrambled eggs (for topping)
Salt & pepper (if needed)
1 pc cubed mangoes (optional)
Chopped green onions (topping)

Sauté garlic and onions in hot oil. Add the meat. Once it is cooked, add the bagoong and the carrots. Once the mixture is fragrant, add the cooked left-over rice. Continue frying the rice till everything is combined.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, or more bagoong if needed. Lastly, mix in the mangoes. Transfer to a platter. Top with scrambled eggs and green onions.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Fried Bananas as a side dish is delish!
For those who are watching their salt intake or those with hypertension, please eat moderately.

[Email: potsnpans1976@yahoo.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 09, 2014.

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