The Happy Home Cook: Kusinang Pinoy's Pinakbet (Sauteed Vegetables with Shrimp Paste)

The Happy Home Cook features cherished recipes of Filipino dishes from well-known foodies and contributors. If you have a recipe that you are proud of and would like to share, please send it along with a photo of the dish, your two-sentence bio and your picture to

Kusinang Pinoy's Johnny Ventura shares an Ilocano favorite, pinakbet.
Kusinang Pinoy's Pinakbet (Photo by Ivan Kevin Castro)

Kusinang Pinoy's Pinakbet (Photo by Ivan Kevin Castro)


3 medium-size eggplants, cut into 2-inch cubes
½ squash, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups bitter melon, cut into 2-inch lengths (take out the soft center and the seeds, then cut into 2-inch long pieces)
10-ounce package frozen okra
10-ounce package frozen lima beans
½ cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
4 ripe tomatoes, cubed
½ cup sautéed–type shrimp paste
12 pieces of lechon kawali (Filipino crispy fried pork belly)
salt and pepper to taste


Saute garlic and onion in hot oil until onion is transparent. Stir and cook for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add shrimp paste and stir for 3 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Add okra, squash, eggplant, bitter melon and lima beans. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread lechon kawali on top.

Video follows:

Photography and videography by Ivan Kevin R. Castro