Pakbet / Pinakbet
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. A Tagalog version usually includes calabaza. 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 shriveled and the flavors of the vegetables are emphasized and accentuated by bagoong (shrimp paste). In some cases, lechon, chicharon, or other meats (most commonly pork) are added. It is considered a very healthy dish, and convenient in relation to the harsh and rugged, yet fruitful Northern and Ilocos regions of the Philippines. The history of this dish is derived from such.
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
Pakbet Cooking Instructions:
- 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.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot with plain rice.