Do you remember when I said a few months ago that if there’s one recipe here at 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!
Out of all the dishes to choose from, however, what stood out to 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 there is such a thing as binagoongan baboy sa gata. Ha! So much for being a Filipino food blogger! Anyway, I have made up for lost time as I’ve cooked the dish at least three times since my delicious discovery. 🙂
Other than the addition of coconut milk, the two dishes are actually very similar in prep. Cubed pork shoulder are first sauteed in onions, garlic, and shrimp paste until nicely browned and then simmered until fork-tender in rich coconut milk.
While I like my adobo cooked until it begins to render fat, I prefer my binagoongan baboy sa gata with a little more sauce to spoon over my rice. If want it on the drier side, skip the 1/2 cup water. I also add a good amount of chili peppers to round out flavors with a nice kick of spice but if you prefer it a bit tamer, remove the seeds of the chili peppers before mincing.
- 2 large eggplants, ends trimmed and cut into cubes
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 pounds pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tablespoons shrimp paste
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 (14 ounces can) coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 to 5 Thai chili peppers, stemmed and minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a wide pan or skillet over medium heat, heat about 2 tablespoons oil. Add eggplant and fry until lightly browned, turning on sides as needed. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
- In the pan, heat another 1 tablespoon oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until limp. Add pork and cook until lightly browned.
- Add shrimp paste and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until color darkens.
- Add tomatoes and cook, mashing with the back of the spoon, until softened.
- Add vinegar and allow to a boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until mostly absorbed. Add coconut milk, water, sugar and chili peppers.
- Lower heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is reduced and pork is fork-tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with fried eggplant.