| | | | | |

Okra with Bagoong- Shrimp Paste

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

There are days we long for comfort food but don’t have time to simmer stews for hours. So, I cooked a classic Filipino sauté of Okra with Bagoong (shrimp paste). I buy fresh okra at the Asian market. It is almost always available. Even large supermarkets with diverse vegetable offerings have okra now.

To prepare okra, I handle them gently. I cut off the stems, making sure not to puncture the pod. These okra pods in the recipe did not need slicing. Take note, the more you slice okra, the thicker the sauce becomes. The seeds have a thickening agent.

I remember okra as a backyard-grown vegetable from my childhood in the Philippines. I watched my father harvest okra he’d grown, by cutting the stem off the shrub, expertly with a sharp knife. My mom often cooked our okra in pinakbet or inabraw, both also with bagoong.

In my American kitchen today, I blanched and then sauteed the okra. It was fast and easy. The salty bagoong flavors coating the softened okra  was superb. Sometimes, the simplicity of a dish is what makes it perfect.

We made it through another week. That’s a good thing. These are challenging times – what with the pandemic, a race to find the cure, an unprecedented economic recession, and volatile political times. But know this, the sun always shines the next day. We’ll be alright, folks. Meanwhile, serve a heaping bowl of these Okra with Bagoong on a mound of steamed white rice. It’s comfort food that’s easy and familiar.

Okra with Bagoong

A classic Filipino vegetable saute is Okra with Bagoong. This is prepared with fresh okra, blanched then sauteed in garlic, onions, tomatoes, pork and bagoong (shrimp paste). The salty shrimp paste coats the okra pods and makes for a superb vegetable dish that can be enjoyed as a side or entree. This is an Asian in America recipe by Elizabeth Ann Quirino. Serves 2 to 4.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish, Vegetables
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Okra with Bagoong
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 61kcal
Author: Asian in America - Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Large Skillet
  • Medium-sized Stockpot


  • ½ pounds okra, about 15 pods
  • water, to blanch okra, reserve 1/2 cup for saute
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1 whole medium-sized tomato, sliced
  • ¼ pound pork belly or pork shoulder, cut into cubes, ½-inch
  • ½ cup bagoong guisado (shrimp paste)
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For serving:

  • steamed rice


To prepare fresh okra:

  • Wash okra. Dry with paper towels. Carefully, trim stems with a knife. Leave the caps on. Do not puncture the pods. Set aside.
  • In a stockpot of boiling water, drop the okra pods. Boil the okra for 5 minutes. Remove the okra from the boiling water.
    Reserve 1/2 cup of the water for the saute. Set aside.
    Place the blanched okra in a bowl filled with iced water. Set aside.

To saute the okra:

  • In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil.
    Saute the garlic, onions and tomatoes.
    Add the pork cubes. Stir and combine ingredients. Cook till pork is done for about 8 to10 minutes.
    Pour the reserved half cup of water. Add the bagoong (shrimp paste).
    Add the blanched okra to the skillet. Mix the ingredients gently, making sure not to bruise the okra. Season with black pepper. Cook for 2 minutes more for flavors to blend.
    Serve warm with rice.

Cook's comments:

  • Bagoong guisado is sauteed Filipino shrimp paste that's very salty. Use the suggested amount in this recipe for the quantity of vegetables indicated. I don't add salt to the dish if I am using bagoong. You can buy baggong (shrimp paste) at Asian markets, Filipino groceries or online sources like Amazon. I like to prepare my own Bagoong Guisado or Begucan, as Kapampangans call it. My recipe for homemade bagoong guisado is in my cookbook My Mother's Philippine Recipes (Amazon.com). My recipe was also featured on Positively Filipino. Click here.
    Substitute: If you're out of bagoong, try sauteeing this recipe with one tablespoon of patis (fish sauce).


Serving: 1g | Calories: 61kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating