Ilocano Pinakbet (Pakbet) recipe

by - Monday, October 17, 2016

How to cook Ilocano Pinakbet and how to make it delicious without MSG. This is how I cook this Ilocano Pinakbet recipe.
Ilocanos Pinakbet (Pakbet) recipe

Pinakbet is obviously one of the signature dish of Ilocano because Ilocanos are known for being thrifty which somehow is true. Some of them have their own plants of different vegetables at their backyard and they don’t need to buy veggies in the market, a good side of an Ilocano.

Pinakbet or Pakbet has so many varieties all over the Philippines. The dish consists of bitter gourd or melon, eggplant, squash, okra, tomatoes and shrimp paste. 

Shrimp paste is the main ingredient of this to make this tasty and flavory. Making it is also very easy to do and I have a recipe for it in my other post. When we say shrimp paste, this is made up of small shrimps that is cooked in vinegar and a little spoon of sugar to balance out the saltiness.

This is how I cook this Ilocano dish and I am pleased to share it here because this is one of the my favorite especially if it has lots of bitter gourd.

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil 
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 whole fried tilapia or any kind of fish you like
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp ginger, sliced thinly
  • 5 ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 cups squash
  • 5 pieces okra (small)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (optional)

  1. Heat oil in a pan
  2. Saute garlic and tomatoes. Cook tomatoes until flavors come out in oil.
  3. Add ginger. 
  4. Add veggies and etc: onion, shrimp paste, squash, bitter gourd, okra, fried tilapia and stir.
  5. Add water, cover and simmer for 7 minutes.
  6. Add eggplant and cook for another minutes until everything is cooked.
  7. Season with salt & pepper. Adjust according to your taste.
  8. Optional: Add 1 tsp of fish sauce if you’re not contented with the flavor.

That’s it. I hope you try this at home.

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