On this intriguing plateful, you have three of the recipes from last month's Philippines-themed Kitchen Trotter box - Java Rice, a recipe I will be sharing shortly, the surprising Banana Ketchup (click through to that recipe if you dare !) and the main part of the dish, Binagoongan Talong, which was described in the recipe as a colourful dish combining the surf and turf flavours of the Philippines.
The fishy side of the flavour comes from Shrimp Paste, an ingredient that is very popular in Asian cuisine but I am really not keen because I just can't get past the smell. It absolutely reeks ! I therefore used the tiniest amount which didn't really impart any flavour to the dish - but I had no regrets !
The original recipe uses 250g raw pork belly, but as I had two lonely looking slices of roast pork left over from the day before, I used those. It could have done with a bit more meat but I just bulked it out with extra courgettes.
2tsp shrimp paste (I used 1/4 tsp !)
2tbsp olive oil
2 ripe tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
250g pork belly
30ml cider vinegar
1 red chilli
Heat the oil and fry the courgettes until they go slightly brown. Remove to a plate (and drain on kitchen paper if necessary).
Put the garlic and onions in the pan, with an extra glug of oil if needed.
Toss in the cubed pork - mine was precooked but you can use raw pork too. You just need to cook it for longer. Hold your nose and add the shrimp paste ! Cook until the pork starts to release its fat and go slightly brown.
Add the roughly chopped tomatoes to the pot.
Cook, pressing down with a wooden spoon, until it all starts to reduce. Pour in the vinegar and bring to the boil. Leave on a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes without stirring.
Add the water, sugar and chilli, stir to combine then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the pork is cooked and tender. (I left mine for about 5 minutes as the pork was already cooked, and added less water.)
Throw in the courgettes and cook until the liquid has reduced and the courgettes are soft but not soggy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
I found it slightly bland (probably because I didn't put in enough shrimp paste) so I added a squeeze of sweet soy sauce to perk it up. It wasn't bad but I did think the vinegar ended up as the dominant flavour.
*** Don't miss my country-by-country globecooking recipe index ! ***
Adding to this month's #KitchenClearout linky as it used up some leftover cooked pork and couple of overripe tomatoes.