Bagoong (Shrimp Paste) Paella with Bagnet

 

Now, this is an indulgent dish that was also inspired by my trip to the market last weekend. A vendor was selling this pre-cooked hunk of love a.k.a. bagnet and immediately my mind went on overdrive.

I hurriedly approached the produce stall and bought two bundles of market-fresh okra then I was on my way home. I knew exactly what to make for a happy end of summer lunch.

All the other ingredients were typical pantry staples like arborio rice, bagoong or shrimp paste (which every Filipino household is sure to have!) and canned tomatoes. This recipe only consists of about 5-6 ingredients and I promise that this is the least daunting paella recipe you'll ever come across.


Bagoong Paella with Bagnet

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo prepared bagnet
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 1/4 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup jasmine rice
  • 1/3 cup canned tomatoes, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. bagoong (shrimp paste)
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • 8 pieces okra, sliced at an angle
  • 2 sili labuyo (red bird's eye chilies), thinly sliced - optional

Instructions

  1. In a paellera or a large heavy-bottomed skillet, pour some olive sauté onions until translucent. Add the rice in the pan and toast rice for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add 2 Tbsp. of bagoong (shrimp paste) and tomatoes and coat the rice in it.
  3. Pour 2 ladles of the hot chicken stock and let the rice absorb the stock a little. Pour one ladle again and let it absorb again while stirring.
  4. Add the rest of the stock, making sure that the stock is about half an inch higher than the rice (use your thumb to measure or just eyeball it because the stock is hot). Keep stirring for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add another tablespoon of bagoong (shrimp paste) and arrange the okra on top. Cover with aluminum foil. Let boil at medium heat for about 15-20mins with foil on. Uncover the aluminum foil and cook for another 5 mins. Add stock or water if too dry.
  6. Fry the bagnet as instructed or until the skin is crispy. Chop in bite size pieces or keep whole, depending on preference.
  7. To serve, sprinkle the sili labuyo (red bird's eye chilies) and let the bagnet sit on the rice.