Cook Authentic Pinakbet

Edited by mahalia jovita b. bugasto, Christine Cruz, Rafah Perlado, Lynn and 3 others

RafahPerlado pinakbet 1.jpg

Pinakbet is a native food of the Filipino people. It originated in the Northern provinces of Ilocos. If you ask a Filipino what Ilocos is all about, they will usually answer you with "BAGNET", "EMPANADA" and the ever so famous "PINAKBET".

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What is Pinakbet?

Pinakbet? It is a pork and native vegetable stew that also has shrimp paste (Bagoong) in it. This recipe is another testament to the ingenuity of the Filipino people when it comes to cooking.

There are many ways to cook this vegetable stew, and it varies by region. The beautiful and spontaneous thing about this dish is that Filipinos use whatever ingredients are available or at hand. Even so, there are mainstay ingredients that make up this dish such as ampalaya (bitter gourd), malunggay pods (moringa pods) and okra that give this interesting and exotic dish it's distinctive flavor.

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So how should Pinakbet taste? It is actually a mixture of different flavors along with seasoning. The vegetables used for this dish have certain distinct flavors that will meld together to produce a delicious result. Put simply, Pinakbet's taste is salty (because of the shrimp paste), sweet (natural sweetness of the vegetables used) and the option of spiciness - if you add chili to it.

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How to Make Pinakbet

A tip - when you want to cook an authentic Pinakbet dish, the salted pork you should use should be "bagnet" from Ilocos. If that particular salted pork isn't available, you can use "lechon kawali" instead. However, if pork belly is all that is available, make sure that you fry the pork until it is brown before you add the vegetables. Seriously, boiled pork will do no justice to this dish.

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Ingredients

RafahPerlado ingpakbet.jpg
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1/2 kilogram of either bagnet, lechon kawali or browned pork belly, sliced into strips
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • A thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons full of Bagoong or shrimp paste
  • Patis or fish sauce to taste
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • a pinch of granulated sugar for a bit of sweetness
  • 6 to 7 pieces of okra cut into half
  • 1 medium sized Ampalaya (bitter gourd) cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 cup of long beans or sitaw, slice into bite size
  • 2 medium-sized eggplants cut into 6 pieces
  • 2 cups of diced squash or Kalabasa
  • 1 cup of water
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Procedure

RafahPelrado prepakbet.jpg
  1. 1
    Heat the frying pan.
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  2. 2
    Sauté the garlic until it's golden brown.
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  3. 3
    Add the onions and stir until the onions are translucent.
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  4. 4
    Now add the ginger and tomatoes and stir, wait until the tomato meat has separated from its skin.
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  5. 5
    Lastly, the pour in the Bagoong a.k.a shrimp paste, add Patis or fish sauce to taste and do not forget the crushed black peppers
    .
    Toss them around until they are heated through.
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  6. 6
    Now it is time for the vegetables
    .
    Note: Not all at the same time. Choose which vegetables will take longer to cook, and add those first. In this recipe that would be the squash, let it boil for about 5 minutes.
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  7. 7
    Add the long beans, then the okra, and the ampalaya (bitter gourd)
    .
    Each will take at least 3 minutes before you can add the next vegetable in line.
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  8. 8
    Add the water and let it all boil for about 3 minutes.
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  9. 9
    Add salt and pepper to taste.
    RafahPerlado cooked 1.jpg
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An authentic Filipino vegetable and pork stew or simply put - Pinakbet. This is a simple dish that is very easy to prepare for you and your family to enjoy.

Bagnet

RafahPerlado bagnet.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1-2 kilos whole cut pork belly
  • 6 pieces garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons peppercorn
  • 1 bulb onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Cooking oil for deep-frying

Procedure

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  1. 1
    Wash the pork belly clean
    .
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  2. 2
    Place in a deep pot and add enough water to cover the top of the pork.
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  3. 3
    Add the following ingredients
    :
    garlic cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf.
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  4. 4
    Bring to a boil for about 30-45 minutes, or until tender
    .
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  5. 5
    Frequently remove all the scum that rises to the top.
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  6. 6
    When cooked, remove from the pan place on a wire rack to drain all the excess liquid
    .
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  7. 7
    Pat dry with clean cloth or paper towel.
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  8. 8
    Refrigerate for several hours.
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  9. 9
    Heat a generous amount of oil in a pan for deep-frying.
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  10. 10
    Deep-fry the cooled pork belly on a low heat for about 30-45 minutes.
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  11. 11
    Place the cooked pork belly in a colander or on a wire rack to remove all the excess oil
    .
    Let it cool completely.
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  12. 12
    Reheat the pork belly into the same oil for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown
    .
    Blisters will be noticed.
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  13. 13
    Drain on a plate lined with paper towel.
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  • Note: Photos above are just sample brands of the ingredients. This does not mean that the same brands are needed to prepare this recipe. You can always change things according to what you prefer, and what's available.
  • The pictures show how to execute certain procedures.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Ethnic Foods

Recent edits by: Nuance, Eng, Lynn

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