If you have some beans, eggplants and okra at home, you can cook pakbet in a jiff! It may be seasoned with shrimp paste or fish paste; if you don't have any of the two, fish sauce will do as a good alternative.
A few days ago, I shared with you how to cook pinakbet or pakbet using shrimp paste (bagoong alamang). For this post, I’d like to show you how I cook it with fish paste (bagoong balayan).
While the ingredients are basically the same for the two; using fish paste on your pakbet transforms it into a rather different dish altogether. Personally, I prefer the one with fish paste. I tend to eat more rice with it. It works especially well when fried fish is added in the dish. I recommend using the Tanigue fish or the Spanish mackerel if you’d like to add fish as the protein for your pakbet.
Here’s how I make pakbet with bagoong balayan.
-Garlic, 5-7 cloves, crushed and chopped
-Onions, 1 whole, chopped
-Tomatoes, 2 pcs, quartered
-Squash, 300g, peeled and cut
-Okra (Ladyfingers), 200g, cut
-Green beans, 200g, cut
-Eggplant, 1-2 pcs, cut
-Spanish mackerel fillet (tanigue)
-Fish paste (Bagoong Balayan), 1 ½ tbsp
-Salt and pepper, to taste
-Cooking oil, 2-3 tbsp
-Water, 1/3 cup
1. Marinate the Spanish Mackerel fillet with salt and pepper.
2. Fry in a pan under medium heat. 4 minutes per side.
3. Cut the fillet into 4.
4. Set aside.
5. Pour oil on the same pan under medium heat.
I prefer cooking under medium heat, especially with pinakbet, because the vegetables are very sensitive to heat. I want to cook them fast under the pan.
6. Saute the garlic until it turns golden.
7. Add in the tomatoes. Stir continuously to avoid burning.
8. Add in the onions. Stir until sweaty and wilted.
9. Season the dish with fish paste. Stir well.
10. Add in the squash, eggplant, ladyfingers and beans. Stir well.
11. Add the water. Cover the dish.
12. Simmer for 2 minutes or until the dish starts to boil.
13. Season the dish with salt and pepper according to liking.
14. Add the fish.
15. Gently stir to avoid breaking the fish.
16. Turn off the heat.
17. Transfer to a plate or serving dish to avoid overcooking with remaining heat from the pan.
18. Serve with hot steamy rice.
Now, that's yumm! Remember me when you cook!