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Dinengdeng-Spinach Stir Fry and Bagoong Rice - Fried Rice with Shrimp Paste

Here's a delightful pairing of a vegetable dish and a hefty rice side. Dinengdeng (say "di-neng-deng") is a regional favorite in the northern provinces of the Philippines. These water spinach leaves were simmered quickly in a broth of vinegar and black fish sauce or "bagoong balayan", which is found in Asian markets or online Asian groceries that offer Filipino products. This went perfectly with the Bagoong Rice, a quick stir fry of garlic, Filipino shrimp paste and cooked white rice. The Dinengdeng recipe was inspired by Malou Nievera of the SkipToMalou.net blog.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Filipino Dinengdeng Spinach Bagoong Rice
Servings: 2 people


  • 3 cups Kangkong (water spinach) from Asian markets (or use baby spinach)
  • 2 Tablespoons Black fish sauce or Bagooong Balayan from Asian markets
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 3 cups cooked white rice, at least a day old, refrigerated
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Filipino shrimp paste or Bagoong Alamang from Asian markets


To make the Dinengdeng :

  • Put the water, vinegar and fish sauce altogether in a pan.  Allow a few minutes to simmer.  Add the onions and the leafy vegetables.  As soon as you dropped the veggies, switch off the stove.  Allow a few minutes for the veggies to cook but remove it at once. Malou advised : " You don't want to overcook your  veggies. "

To make the Bagoong Rice :

  • In a medium skillet, over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil. Then add the garlic and shrimp paste. Add the cooked day-old rice. Mix well so that the shrimp paste is spread all around.  Serve hot with any meal or the water spinach dish “Dinengdeng”.

Recipe Notes:

    If you’re wondering what the difference is between the 2 types used, Bagoong Alamang (which I used for the Bagoong Rice) and Bagoong Balayan (for the Dinengdeng), here’s a definition:

    • "The  bagoong balayan is made from fish", I was told by Glenda Rosales Barretto, grand dame of Philippine cuisine, cookbook author and restaurant owner of Via Mare. In an interview with her when I was in Manila, she mentioned "Bagoong Balayan is used in the vinaigrette dressing we serve with our Pako Salad (Fiddlehead Ferns)". Ms. Barretto further defined Bagoong Balayan as fermented fish paste. "
    • On the other hand, " Bagoong alamang, is fermented shrimp paste ", as defined by authors Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan in their updated, revised cookbook "Memories of Philippine Kitchens".
    • Ingredient Substitute: Use "patis" or fish sauce in place of 'bagoong balayan" if preferred. The results are just as amazing.
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