Pinakbet is a traditional Filipino dish that originated from the Ilocos region in the northern part of the Philippines. It is a vegetable stew that is made with a variety of local vegetables such as bitter melon, eggplant, squash, string beans and okra, along with some pork or shrimp, and flavored with fish sauce. The dish is popular among Filipino households as a healthy and nutritious meal.
Pinakbet is also considered as a cultural symbol of the Ilocano people and their way of life, showcasing their love for locally grown produce and their resourcefulness in making use of what's available in their environment.
Here's a recipe on how to cook Ilokano Pinakbet:
- 1/2 kg pork belly or shoulder, cut into cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 3-4 cups mixed vegetables (e.g. bitter melon (ampalaya),eggplant,squash, okra, string beans, green peppers)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp fermented fish sauce (bagoong)
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooking oil
Heat some cooking oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned on all sides.
Add the garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Cook until the onions are translucent and the tomatoes are soft.
Add the mixed vegetables and cook for a few minutes until slightly tender.
Pour in the water and fish sauce(bagoong). Cover and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are fully cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
That's it! Enjoy your delicious Ilokano pinakbet. Don't be afraid to experiment with different vegetable combinations to find your perfect flavor.
Serve the Pinakbet with hot steamed rice and even better with some fried or grilled fish. Mangan tayon, kabagis!