The Happy Home Cook: Pinakbet

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Pinakbet (Photo by Guilhem Vellut, Wikimedia Commons)

Pinakbet (Photo by Guilhem Vellut, Wikimedia Commons)

Good for 6-8 people


2 small slabs of pork meat with fat

12 pcs regular size shrimp

1 head garlic - chop up in small pieces

1 big head onion - chop up in small pieces

4" x 1" size ginger - slice thinly

3 regular size tomatoes - cut in not too big pieces

Sauteed Bagoong Alamang (I use Kamayan brand and if you like the pakbet to have some bite, use the spicy sauteed kind) - 3 heaping tablespoons

2 small size ampalaya

3 good size eggplants 

13 pcs okra

string or green beans (handful)

a bunch of scallions cut into one inch sizes

half a bunch garlic flowers (young leeks, normally available only in Asian stores) - cut in one-inch sizes

3 pcs green or red, sweet or hot peppers

Chicharon with laman (or bagnet if available)


  • Boil pork until tender with just enough water to cover the meat. When done, slice meat in small pieces
  • Cut the sharp tip of the shrimp head, snip out the "whiskers", then cut out the head
  • Peel the body of the shrimp and cut into 3 pieces
  • In a pan and using about 1/4 cup oil, saute garlic -- then onions -- add the pork and sautee until pork turns golden brown -- add ginger, stirring for 1 minute -- add 3 tbsp (heaping) of bagoong, continue to stir until blended with rest of the ingredients -- add tomatoes, cook until soggy, then add the shrimps and stir until they turn red (esp. the heads) -- add about 2 or 3 ladleful of the broth from the boiled pork -- allow to simmer for a couple of minutes then add the veggies starting with the beans and okra, cover for a few minutes -- then add the ampalaya, eggplant, green/red pepper and chicharon/bagnet -- simmer in low fire and keep covered.  Stir occasionally for even cooking or shake pot to stir --  add the scallions and young leeks last for a flavorful smell.  Cook a little more until desired consistency of pinakbet is reached.

Melanie Q Suzara

Melanie Q Suzara

Melanie Q Suzara is a retired official of the United Nations. To keep up with her growing family,  she has taken up home cooking in the last couple of years.

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