I haven’t written a post in over a week because I got really sick. It started with a cold and then followed by a dry cough that really bothered me for days. Everybody in the family got sick, too.
Because I was busy caring for my children and trying to feel better myself, I didn’t have time to work on the photos and recipes for this blog. But one thing I am happy about is even if I didn’t post a new recipe, I still have a steady number of visitors checking my site. That’s enough to boost my confidence and letting me know my efforts are not in vain. Thank you all for your support!
For today’s post, I decided to share one of my all-time favorite Filipino comfort food. It’s called pakbet in my native Cebuano dialect or pinakbet in Tagalog.
It is a traditional dish that originates from the northern Ilocos region of the Philippines. The word “pinakbet” came from the Ilokano word “pinakebbet” which means “shrunk” or “shriveled”.
The dish consists of pork and a variety of vegetables simmered in a little bit of water and flavored with bagoong (fermented fish or salted shrimp fry) and cooked until most of the liquid has evaporated. This is a very tasty one-pot meal that can be served everyday or whenever you have someone over for lunch or dinner.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 8-10 servings
2 lbs pork, sliced thinly
1 lb bitter melon (ampalaya), deseeded and cut into ½ inch slices
1 lb kabocha squash (kalabasa), deseeded, peeled if you prefer, and cut into ½ inch slices
1 lb long beans (sitaw), both ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch slices
1 lb Chinese eggplants, cut diagonally into 2-inch slices
½ pound okra, top trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch slices
1 large tomato, cut into chunks
½ medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup sautéed shrimp paste or ginisang bagoong (if you use regular salted shrimp fry, the one that’s pink in color, use only about ¼ cup and omit the salt because it’s going to be too salty)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup cooking oil, for sautéing
3 cups water
Tools You’ll Need:
Large wok / skillet with lid
1. Heat oil in a wok or skillet and sauté garlic and onions until garlic turns slightly brown and onions become translucent.2. Add the pork, season with salt, and sauté for 10 minutes until meat has browned. 3. Throw in tomatoes and sauté for another minute or so until slightly wilted.4. Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté for about 3 minutes.5. Add the shrimp paste and ground black pepper and mix with the rest. 6. Add water and cover. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium low for 20 minutes until meat and vegetables are thoroughly cooked and most of the water is gone.7. Serve warm with boiled white rice or as it is.