What can be more deliciously tempting than green mangoes and bagoong (fish sauce)?
To many Filipinos unripe green mangoes and bagoong (fish sauce) is the ultimate sour-salty side dish that is a 100% winner in any dinner table. Especially pregnant women are known to crave for hilaw na mangga (unripe mangoes) and bagoong for the ultimate Pinoy snack.
Marinated mangoes sprinkled or with a dust of dried and crushed chilli peppers is another variant that goes best with coconut milk-based vegetable stews and meat dishes. For the bagoong, a shrimp or any fish-based sauce will do. For those with diet restrictions or high blood go easy on the bagoong as it has a high salt content.
Bagoong (pronounced as BAH-GO-ONG) is fermented fish or shrimp paste ( a variant called bagoong alamang), a ubiquitous sauce, side dish or accompaniment in the Filipino kitchen table.
Foreigners or the non-iniatated may find the smell repulsive, but it takes only a few tries to find and locate the yumminess of this saucy paste especially when eaten with Filipino meat dishes such as kare-kare, pinakbet (vegetable dish) or with green mangoes as a zesty salad. Bet your 10 dollars you’d be guaranteed finger-linking goodness!
Although on the salty side, bagoong adds a distinct flavor to common dishes. So be careful with the cooking measurements as this sauce might sharpen the saltiness of your dish.
Again in popular lingo, bagoong has its contributions such as in the expression: “Nabagoong ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas dahil kay GMA.” Translation: The Philippine economy has stagnated (na-bagoong) because of GMA (Gloria Macapapagal-Arroyo, sitting-duck president).
For Filipinos this is an unmissable sauce on their table, and is often brought to the farthest corners of the world as a tasty souvenir from the homeland.
Mabuhay ang bagoong!