Pakbet or pinakbet is a popular vegetable dish that originated from one of the northern provinces of the Philippines, Ilocos. The vegetables used on this dish are usually grown in the back yard of every villager and are available almost all year long. Bitter Melon, eggplant, okra, and string beans are just some of the vegetables that make-up this delightful dish. Pakbet is cooked in a clay pot called “Palayok” and Anchovy sauce (bagoong isda) is used to add flavor.
As the fame of this dish grew, several versions have sprouted. In the National Capital Region (Manila and the near by cities), Pakbet is cooked with squash (kalabasa) and bagoong alamang (shrimp paste) is used to give flavor to the dish. This variation is known as “Pakbet Tagalog”.
A very easy-to-cook dish packed with different vitamins and minerals (just limit the bagnet if you are conscious of your health), Pakbet is a dish that is really worth trying. By the way, having an extra cup of rice around might help.
Try this delicious Pakbet Ilocano recipe.
- 4 pcs round eggplant, cut in half
- 2 pcs small bitter melon (ampalaya), quartered
- ½ bundle string beans, cut into 2 inch length
- 1 small sweet potato (kamote), quartered
- 8 pcs small okra
- 2 thumbs ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 large tomato, cubed
- 1 large onion, cubed
- 1½ cup water
- 1 lb bagnet or lechon kawali
- ½ cup Anchovy sauce (bagoong isda)
- In a large pan, place water let boil
- Put in the anchovy sauce and wait for the mixture to boil once more
- Add-in the vegetables starting with the ginger, then the sweet potatoes, okra, bitter melon, eggplant, string beans, tomato, and onion and simmer for 15 minutes
- Add the bagnet or lechon kawali (cooking procedure available in the recipe section) and simmer for 5 minutes
- Serve hot. Share and Enjoy!