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Pinakbet (Picture from ([1]).

The Ilocos Region is known for milk fish cultivating and processing, shrimp paste processing, rice, sugarcane, raising livestock, and good cuisine. The Pinakbet is a healthy dish that is known all over the Philippines. Pinakebbet is an Ilocano word which means "to shrivel" or "dry up." The dish is made with different types of vegetables, meat, shrimps and Bagoong. Fatty pork is one of the ingredients that contributes flavor to this dish. To add a twist, others put lechon or chicharon. Unlike other stews, this viand from the Ilocos Region is a bit dry. The sweet taste of squash, the saltiness of the shrimp paste and the crisp vegetables make this an irresistible dish.



Serves: 6-8 persons

  • 3 cloves garlic, pound
  • 1 piece red Onion, quartered
  • 2 pieces fresh Eggplant
  • 6 pieces fresh Okra, halved
  • 2 pieces fresh Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups cubed Squash
  • 350 grams Pork Liempo,cut into 3/4 inch thick strips
  • 350 grams Shrimps, peeled and deveined; Galunggong can be used as an alternative

and finally:

  • 1/4 cup Bagoong or shrimp paste

How to Prepare

There are several ways of cooking the Pinakbet. Here are two ways of preparing the favorite dish of the Ilocanos.

Version One

Heat cooking oil in a medium pan. Saute garlic and onion until tender. Put onions and cook until soft. Add shrimp paste and pepper. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Put pork and cook until the natural oil of the meat comes out. Add in all the vegetables and cover the pot. Cook for few minutes. When the vegetables are almost half cooked, add shrimps and once it change color immediately turn off heat. Cover the pot for about 1-2 minutes (maintaining the heat and to continue the cooking process).

Version Two

The traditional way of cooking the very delicious Pinakbet or Pakbet...

first Wash the fresh eggplant, fresh okra, fresh squash, fresh red tomatoes, fresh bunch of string beans, the ampalaya, and the fresh pork or shrimps. while doing that place a "kaserola" containing a cup of water,then heat the water. Dissolve the Bagoong in hot water and remove the unwanted impurities. Gather all the ingredients and prepare them according to the "Prepare the ingredients" section of this article.

Place the cloves of garlic, quartered onions, fresh tomatoes and the medium-rare pork,inside the Kaserola. Carefully place the Apalaya on top of the ingredients previously mentioned.Place the fresh eggplants, okra and cubed squash beside the Ampalaya.

Once vegetables being cooked, get the dissolved shrimp paste [Bagoong], without the unwanted impurities, and pour inside the kaserola.Gently close the lid. Simmer. Wait for a few minutes. Once the string beans are soft, remove the kaserola from the stove. and serve it.enjoy!


Serve with steamed rice and eat.



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