Pinakbet or pakbet is a popular vegetable dish in the Philippines which originated in Ilocos Region, the word pinakbet is derived from the Ilocano word pinakebbet, meaning “shrunk” or “shrivelled”. It is cooked with a different variety of vegetables such as bitter melon, string beans, eggplants, okra, tomatoes, lima beans, etc. (the list can go on) and flavoured with bagoong. It is a good dish on its own but it is better when paired with meat usually fried fish or grilled pork. My version would be a simplified version as it’s hard to find bitter melon in where I live and it is seasonal as well.
So for the veggie lovers try this one out, it’s the Filipino version of the Ratatouille.
2 small eggplant, sliced into 2 inch pieces
1 bunch string beans, sliced into 2 inch pieces
300g okra, sliced into 2 inch pieces
1/4 squash or buttercup, sliced roughly 1 inch
150g shrimps, shelled and deveined (optional)
150g pork belly, cubed
2 pcs tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 head garlic, minced
2 tbsp bagoong monamon
1 tbsp sugar (optional, some love this with a hint of sweetness)
fish sauce or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water
1. In a pan sauté garlic, onion and tomatoes in oil.
2. Add pork pieces and brown evenly.
3. Add squash and okra continuously pan frying for 2 minutes, bring the heat to low and cover for 5 minutes
4. Add string beans and eggplants pan fry pan fry for additional 2 minutes.
5. Add water, sugar, shrimps and bagoong monamon, cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes in medium heat until vegetables are cooked.
6. Season with pepper add fish sauce/salt if needed.