By Joel Ortega (4)
My last article is about condiments, it’s about Sukang Ilocano, one of the well-known condiments in Ilocos. If Sukang Ilocano is ONE of the FAMOUS condiments in Ilocos, Now I’m about to unveil the MOST FAMOUS condiment in Ilocos, well not just in Ilocos but in the whole Philippines. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Bagoong.
The bagoong has a salty taste like fish sauce, but the bagoong tastes more salty and sour. And the bagoong has an awful smell; but not like crap-smell it’s just that the smell of bagoong is really strange and unusual, in other word it’s weird. You can’t really describe the smell. But don’t be fooled by this, bagoong is really good and tasty.
But my article is not just about bagoong alamang or isda, my article is about a kind of bagoong isda that is famous in Ilocos, its Bagoong Monamon. Bagoong monamon or bugguong munamon in Ilocano is an ingredient used particularly in Northern Ilocano cuisine. While bagoong monamon really don’t have any difference at the ordinary bagoong isda, the bagoong monamon is made only in Ilocos.
So, I’m an Ilocano and Ilocanos love bagoong, and call me crazy but I love bagoong more than vinegar, but I love combining them, when you combine bagoong and vinegar it will turned into a very tasty condiment. Since I was a kid, my family is already using bagoong monamon, as an ingredient to our food or as a condiment. Bagoong monamon turns the ordinary fried fish into a very special dish when we use it as a condiment. And bagoong monamon it adds more taste to our pakbet and dinengdeng (two of the famous Ilocano vegetable dish.)
But what I really love about bagoong monamon is that you don’t need food when you have bagoong monamon, you just need a rice, pour the bagoong monamon into the rice then voila you can already eat it. It will be tastier and yummier when you have tomato and onion. This is not a good food for those who are in a diet because when you combine bagoong monamon, rice, tomato and onion I will really assure you that you will eat more than one cup of rice. Because it's really taste good and yummy.
I highly recommend not just the bagoong monamon but all the kinds of bagoong to those who people who are foreign with bagoong, especially to those people who are not Filipinos. Bagoong is truly a signature condiment of Filipinos. And it’s really a must try.