Bagoong is a Philippine condiment made of partially or completely fermented fish or shrimp and salt. The fermentation process also results in fish sauce (known as patis).
The preparation of bagoong can vary regionally in the Philippines.
Bagoong (spelled as bugguong in Ilocano) are usually made from a variety of fish species. Common fishes used include the following:
1. Anchovies - locally known as dilis, monamon, bolinaw, or gurayan.
2. Round scads - locally known as galunggong or tamodios.
3. Bonnetmouths (Redbait or Rubyfish) - locally known as terong.
4. Ponyfish - locally known as sapsap.
5. Rabbitfish - locally known as padas.
6. Bar-eyed gobies - locally known as ipon.
7. Herrings - Clupeoides lila.
8. Silver perch - locally known as ayungin.
Bagoong made from fish is encompassed by the term bagoong isda in Luzon and Northern Visayas. In the Southern Visayas and Mindanao, fish bagoong is known as guinamos (also spelled ginamos). They can be distinguished further by the type of fish they are made of. Those made from anchovies are generally known as bagoong monamon or bagoong dilis and those from bonnetmouths as bagoong terong.
Bagoong can also be made from shrimp fry. This type of bagoong is known as bagoong alamang. In Ilocano or all of Northern Luzon, it is simply called "armang" because shrimp paste for them is distinct from "bugguong" or fish paste. It is called uyap in the South, in Western Visayas simply "ginamos or dayok".
In rarer instances, it can also be made from oysters, clams, and fish and shrimp roe. In the Ilocos Region, bagoong is occasionally made from a tiny fish called "ipon."
A kind of bagoong made in the town of Balayan, Batangas is also known as bagoong Balayan.
Bagoong isda and Bagoong alamang
Bagoong isda (fish paste) is prepared by mixing salt and fish usually by volume; mixture proportions are proprietary depending on the manufacturer. The salt and fish are mixed uniformly, usually by hand. The mixture is kept inside large earthen fermentation jars. It is covered, to keep flies away, and left to ferment for 30-90 days with occasional stirring to make sure the salt is spread evenly. The mixture can significantly expand during the process.
The preparation of bagoong alamang (shrimp paste) is similar, with shrimp cleaned thoroughly and washed in weak brine solution (10%). As in fish bagoong, the shrimp are then mixed with salt in a 25% salt to 75% shrimp ratio by weight.
The products of the fermentation process are usually pale gray to white in color. To obtain the characteristic red or pink color of some bagoong, a kind of food coloring known as angkak is added. Angkak is made from rice inoculated with a species of red mold (Monascus purpureus). High quality salt with little mineral impurities are preferred. High metallic content in the salt used can often result in darker colors to the resulting bagoong and a less agreeable undertaste. Likewise, oversalting and undersalting also has a significant impact on the rate and quality of fermentation due to their effects on the bacteria involved in the process. Some manufacturers grind the fermented product finely and sell the resulting mixture as fish paste.