The Happy Home Cook: Binagoongang Adobo (Adobo in Shrimp Paste)

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Binagoongang Adobo (Adobo in Shrimp Paste) (Photo by Rene Astudillo)

Binagoongang Adobo (Adobo in Shrimp Paste) (Photo by Rene Astudillo)

I first saw this dish in a bar/restaurant menu, and it immediately piqued my interest. It has never occured to me that I can enjoy two popular Filipino dishes — binagoongan and adobo — fused into what I initially thought was an odd single recipe. How would a mixture of tastes — salty, sour, sweet and spicy — turn out? After preparing this dish in my kitchen, I now know the answer: a perfect combination.

I always have bagoong (shrimp paste) in the pantry for my occasional pinakbet and as dip for unripe mango. Now I may have a second bottle of bagoong on standby for this pork adobo!


1 lb pork belly, sliced into serving pieces

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 tbsps brown sugar

1 head garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tsp black peppercorn

2 pcs. dried basil leaves

2 tbsps shrimp paste (bagoong)

2 tbsps coconut oil

2 pcs. Thai chillies, chopped

1 pack (1.76 fl. oz) coconut milk powder dissolved in 1/4 cup water

1/4 cup sliced white onions


Marinate the pork pieces in soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar for about an hour.  Heat the coconut oil in a deep pan and sauté the garlic. Add the pork pieces to brown before pouring in the marinade. Add peppercorn, basil  leaves, Thai chillies and shrimp paste. When the liquid starts to boil, bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the meat becomes tender (45 minutes to an hour). In the last ten minutes of cooking, add the coconut milk and sliced onions and mix well. Serve warm with steamed rice. Reserve the sauce to pour over your rice.

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Rene Astudillo

Rene Astudillo

Rene Astudillo is a writer, book author and blogger and has recently retired from more than two decades of nonprofit community work in the Bay Area. He spends his time between California and the Philippines.

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