Pinakbet (or Pakbet)

Pinakbet or pakbet is a popular Ilocano dish hailing from the northern regions of the Philippines. Pinakbet means shrunk or shriveled. It is considered as a very healthy dish consisting of basic vegetables such as native bitter melon, eggplant, tomato, ginger, okra, string beans and others.


1/2 cup squash, cubed
5 pcs string beans, cut 3 inches long
5 pcs okra, sliced lengthwise
4 small whole baby ampalaya, only ends are cut off
1/4 cup patani (optional)
6 pcs eggplant, halved
3 pcs tomatoes, quartered
1 tbsp. ginger strips
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 pcs onions, quartered
1 tbsp. fish bagoong or shrimp paste
1/4 kilo bagnet or pork belly, fried until crispy ( for vegan, replace with fried gluten )
1 cup water


1. In a saucepan, arrange the vegetables in the following order: squash, string beans, ampalaya, okra, patani, eggplant, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and onions.
2. Top with bagnet (or pork) and bagoong (fish paste).
3. Add water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer.
4. Slowly stir with a ladle to make sure that all portions are cooked.
5. Simmer until almost all the liquid is conserve hot. Good for four.

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