Pinakbet is a popular Ilocano dish, from the northern regions of the Philippines, although it has become popular throughout the archipelago. The word is the contracted form of the Ilocano word “pinakebbet”, meaning shrunk or shrivelled. The original Ilocano pinakbet uses bugguong, of fermented monamon or other fish, while further south, bagoong alamang is used. Usually its most basic vegetables used in this dish include native bitter melon, eggplant, tomato, ginger, okra, string beans, lima beans, chili peppers and various Filipino vegetables like parda, winged beans, and such. A Tagalog version usually includes kalabasa. Most of these vegetables are easily accessible, and are grown in backyards and gardens of most Ilocano households. As its name suggests, it is usually cooked until almost dry and shrivelled, however, the flavors of the vegetables are emphasized and accentuated with the help of bagoong. In some cases, lechon, chicharon, or other meats (most commonly pork) is added.
Estimated cooking time: 35 minutes
1/4 kilo pork with fat, cut into small pieces
2 Amapalya (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
1 1/2 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.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with plain rice.