Pinakbet is a very popular vegetable dish. This Pinakbet Recipe is also aptly called “Pakbet“. This is a medley of vegetables that are locally grown in the Filipinos’ backyard. It is cooked by sauteing vegetables and then flavored with Bagoong Alamang or fermented shrimp paste and some fish sauce or patis. It is sometimes topped and garnished with crumbled pork crackling or chicharon or Bagnet.
Pinakbet Recipe and Preparation Tip
The traditional pinakbet recipe used round small or baby eggplants which are green in color and not violet. It also has small “Lady Finger” or okra, and mini rounded ampalaya or bitter gourd. To hasten the cooking time, the eggplants are cut in half (lengthwise) while the ampalaya or bitter gourd are chopped into quarters, but the stem should be left intact. To retain the deep green color of the vegetables in this pinakbet recipe, the vegetables should be balanced and then shocked in ice cold water.
In the Philippines, the Ilocanos are well-known to be the primary ethnic groups that prepare the best pinakbet. The versatility of this pinakbet recipe makes it a very good complementary dish to fried foods like pork chops, fried chicken or even barbequed meats. In this pinakbet recipe, fresh cherry tomatoes are used instead of the traditional large tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes must be left whole for added visual appeal to the dish. The Ilocanos also add in bagnet, pork that resembles the Lechon Kawali. This adds into the savory flavor of the pinakbet aside from the salty and sweetness from the bagoong alamang or fermented shrimp paste.
- ¼ kilo pork with fat, cut into small pieces
- 2 Ampalaya (bitter melons) sliced to bite size pieces
- 2 eggplants, sliced to bite size pieces
- 5 pieces of okra, cut in two
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 2 onions, diced
- 5 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 tablespoon of ginger, crushed and sliced
- 4 tablespoons bagoong isda or bagoong alamang
- 3 tablespoons of oil
- 1½ cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a cooking pan, heat oil and fry the pork until brown, remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
- On the same pan, saute garlic, onion, ginger, and tomatoes.
- In a casserole, boil water and add bagoong.
- Add the pork in the casserole and mix in the sautéed garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add in all the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are done, careful not to overcook.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with plain rice.
There are also other vegetables present in this dish, like squash or pumpkin. The fresh and young leaves of the squash plant also added as well as squash flowers. Some cooks opt to lessen or omit the bitter gourd or ampalaya in the pinakbet recipe because of the bitter aftertaste.
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