Sunday, February 05, 2012

My favorite Filipino dish PINAKBET!!

My favorite Filipino dish PINAKBET!!


4 Japanese long eggplant, cut in 3-inch pieces
2 cups water
1 teaspoon Hawaiian salt
25 dried shrimp
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half 
1/2 small onion, sliced
2 inch finger piece ginger sliced in half crushed
1-2 tablespoon minced garlic  More the better!
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons bagoong (Filipino fish sauce) or harm ha (Chinese fine shrimp paste)
1/2 cup water 
2 cups long beans, in 2- to 3-inch pieces
1/4 lb sweet peppers
2 long bittermelons cut in 3-inch pieces
1 pound whole okra pods
2.5-ounce bag chicaron (fried pork rinds) or fresh sitsaron or lechon kawali.


Soak eggplant in water and Hawaiian salt for 30 minutes then drain.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add dried shrimp to hot, dry pot. Add dash of water to lock in flavor. Layer tomatoes, onion, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon bagoong over shrimp. Add water. Reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes are soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add long beans and stir gently. Cover and cook until beans are half-done, about 3 minutes.
Layer bittermelon, eggplant and okra in pot. Break pork rinds into bite-sized pieces; sprinkle over top. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of bagoong and a little more water, if needed.

DO NOT STIR!   True Ilocanos never stir the pinakbet in the pot.  Because it would smash the already tender veggies.
Cover and simmer until vegetables settle, about 10 minutes. "Intalta" -- turn the ingredients by lifting, tossing, and shaking the pot. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Serves 8.

Watch the videos below!

Pinakbet or pakbet is a popular Ilokano dish, from the northern regions of the Philippines, although it has become popular throughout the archipelago. The word is the contracted form of the Ilokano word pinakebbet, meaning "shrunk" or "shriveled".[1] The original Ilokano pinakbet uses bagoong, of fermented monamon or other fish, while further south, bagoong alamang is used. The basic vegetables used in this dish include native bitter melon, eggplant, tomato, okra, string beans, chili peppers, parda, winged beans, and others. Root crops and some beans like camote, patani, kadios are also optionally added. The young pod of marunggay is also added. It is usually spiced with ginger, onions, or garlic. A Tagalog version usually includes calabaza. Most of these vegetables are easily accessible, and are grown in backyards and gardens of most Ilokano households. As its name suggests, it is usually cooked until almost dry and shriveled; the flavors of the vegetables are accentuated with shrimp paste. In some cases, lechon, chicharon, or other meats (most commonly pork) are added. It is considered a very healthy dish, and convenient in relation to the harsh and rugged, yet fruitful Ilocos region of the Philippines.

The vegetable dish pinakbet is more than a regional cuisine. It is an enduring symbol of the Ilokano palate and a lucid display of the Ilokanos' history of contestations and struggles with the physical and social environment. The recipe weaves intimations of the cultural productions of the Ilokanos' transaction to their arid and less productive land. (Caday, 2009)
Pinakbet is similar to the Provençal (French) vegetable stew ratatouille except for its sauce.

Enjoy and let's kaukau!!  :D

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