It may be cooked in several ways. In fact, I have already posted some pakbet recipes in this blog. I suppose this one right here is an improvement on my old recipes. I do improve on what I know and I am always happy to share what I learn in the kitchen with my readers.
Some use fish sauce as the base of their pinakbet dish. Others use fish paste (bagoong balayan); while others use shrimp paste (bagoong alamang). For this post, I’ll share with you how I cook pinakbet using shrimp paste.
The very thing to remember in cooking pinakbet is to have all the ingredients ready to go (as if having an assembly line) to avoid overcooking the vegetables.
It is, after all a quick and easy dish. I don’t want to cook pakbet for too long; else, the vegetables might lose they vibrant colors and texture. That is why I cook pakbet under medium to high heat.
There are staple vegetables you’d use in cooking pakbet. There’s the eggplant, green beans, ladyfingers and squash. You may put bitter gourd (ampalaya), if you like this vegetable. I totally understand if you prefer to cook without it. I know that not everyone is a fan. Also, while the squash is usually in a pakbet recipe, I tried cooking it once without the squash and it is surprisingly tasty. I would share with you a recipe in a different post.
For now, here is another way of cooking pakbet. My husband, who is very particular with his food, enjoyed this one. So I hope you'll like it, too.
-Garlic, 5-7 cloves, crushed and chopped
-Onions, 1 whole, cut in shreds
-Tomatoes, 2 pieces, cut into 6-8 pieces
-Ladyfingers (Okra), 200g at least, cut in halves
-Squash or Pumpkin, 300g at least, cut
-Green beans, 300g at least, julienned
-Eggplant, 2 pieces, julienned
-Pork shoulders, 100g at least, cut in small pieces
-Water, ½ cup
-Shrimp paste, 2-3 tsp
-Fish sauce, ½ tbsp
-Pepper, to taste
-Cooking oil, 2-3 tbsp
1. Put oil in a heated pan.
2. Saute the garlic under medium heat.
3. When the garlic turns golden, put in the onions.
4. When the onions turn sweaty, put in the pork.
5. Fry the pork for 12-15 minutes until they are a bit burnt.
6. Put in the tomatoes. Stir well.
7. Season the dish with shrimp paste.
8. When the tomatoes begin to soften, add in the squash.
9. Add in the eggplants.
10. Stir well until the flesh of the eggplants start to turn brown.
11. Add in the green beans and the ladyfingers.
12. Add the water.
13. Continue stirring under medium heat.
14. Season with fish sauce and pepper.
15. When the water boils, turn off the heat.
16. Do not cover. Transfer to a cool dish if it’s not yet serving time.
17. Serve with hot rice and fried fish.
Here’s my simple fried tanigue (Spanish Mackerel) recipe that I served with my pinakbet recipe.
Season the tanigue with salt, pepper and garlic powder for at least 15 minutes. Fry in a pan, preferably with butter, for 4 minutes on each side under low to medium heat.
Easy,easy, easy!! Remember me when you cook!