Pinakbet or pakbet 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 "shriveled". The original Ilocano pinakbet uses bagoong, of fermented monamon or other fish, while further south, bagoong alamang is used. The basic vegetables used in this dish include native bitter melon, eggplant, tomato, ginger, okra, string beans, lima beans, chili peppers, parda, and winged beans.
Pinakbet is best if the vegetables are fresh. My paternal grandfather used to cook this viand every market day, Thursday and Sunday, the days when my grandmother would rush early to the market to buy fresh vegetables. I used to watch my grandfather while he was cooking pinakbet...
Ø 1/4 kilo pork with fat, cut into small pieces
Ø 3 amapalya (bitter melons) sliced to bite size pieces
Ø 4 eggplants, sliced to bite size pieces
Ø 5 pieces of okra, cut in two
Ø 2 head garlic, minced
Ø 2 onions, diced
Ø 6 tomatoes, sliced
Ø 1 tablespoon of ginger, crushed and sliced
Ø 6 tablespoons bagoong
Ø 3 tablespoons of oil
Ø 2 cups water
Ø Salt and pepper to taste
Ø In a cooking pan, heat oil and fry the pork until brown, remove the pork from the pan and set aside.
Ø On the same pan, sauté garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes.
Ø In a casserole, boil water and add bagoong.
Ø 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.
Ø Add in all the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are done, careful not to overcook.
Ø Salt and pepper to taste.