Healthy Recipe: Pinakbet

For moms and dads who are looking for healthy food for their family meals, here is a popular Filipino dish from the north to add to your dinner recipe collection.
The name of the dish, pinakbet, is derived from pinakubet; an Ilokano word which means wrinkled up. This gives us a clue as to how to cook the dish: to simmer the vegetables until they get shriveled from cooking.
You can serve your pinakbet with a sawsawan of kalamansi and bagoong.
pork with fats or pork chicharon
bagoong Pangasinan (fish paste)
bitter gourd (ampalaya)
string beans
calabasa (for tagalog style)
*for authentic taste, cook in a palayok
Step #1. Cut and prepare ingredients. Cut the meat into small cubes. Crush the garlic. Shred tomatoes into little pieces (this is really how they cut the tomatoes, they shred it with the knife while holding on to it. They don't lay it down on the chopping board!) Cut the onions, unless you are using the small native ones, then you just peel the outer layer and use it whole. Slice and crush the ginger.
Step #2. Peel and dice the camote into bite size pieces. Soak in water while working on the other ingredients.
Step #3. Cut the eggplant by slicing it lengthwise 4 times without separating the slices. If you are using the smaller eggplants, you can leave the tops which should still be tender.
Step #4. Leave the okra whole unless the tops are hard. If they are, you must cut off the hard parts and the tips. Always try to get the young veggies, but in case you got the large and mature okras, cut them in half.
Step #5. Cut the ampalaya lengthwise, rub salt on the insides and wash it if you want it less bitter. Slice into strips.
Step #6. Cut the beans about 2 inches in length. Take out the tips. You can still use mature beans by removing them from the pods and cooking only the beans themselves.
Step #7. Cut the calabasa in half, take off seeds. Peel the calabasa and slice into bite size cubes.
How To Cook the Pinakbet
In the palayok or pot, cut the meat in small cubes and fry with a little oil. Add the chopped garlic, then the ginger and tomatoes. Adjust the fire in medium. Place the fish paste with a bit of water enough to soak the veggies but not cover it.
Add the eggplant first then the other vegetables in succession. The veggies that take the longest to cook are first into the pot. Therefore: camote, then calabasa, then ampalaya, then beans, then okra. Put in the onions. Remember to adjust the stove to medium or low. Don't stir. Leave the pot with the layering of veggies and simmer until the vegetable is infused with the bagoong soup. You can now drop in the chicharon.
You will know it’s almost cooked because you will soon begin to notice the wonderful aroma coming from your pot.

Before she got married, Kelly didn't know anything about cooking. She learned this dish straight from the kitchen of her Pangasinense mother-in-law, who is a graduate of the U.P. College of Home Economics. 


Anonymous said...

Hmmm this sounds delicious! You should upload your own pinakbet Mommy para everyone can see what it looks like. :D Or maybe a photo of any of your boys eating pinakbet.

artnanay said...

I will soon! I'm organizing my photos..if I don't find that pic soon I'm cooking me some pinakbet and taking some pictures :D

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