If you’re looking for a partner for your fried dish, this vegetable dish is certainly the best for it. Experience a variety of vegetables in one dish. Pinakbet na gulay (Tagalog version) is a vegetable mix containing string beans, okra, tomatoes, eggplant, bitter gourd and squash. Most of its flavors come from the umami and savoury fresh shrimp paste. Best eaten as a side dish or as an ulam on its own. Serve it with some hot steaming rice during lunch or dinner.
Pinakbet na gulay is a vegetable dish which originates from the Ilocos region. Its name is derived from the Ilocano word “pinakebbet” which means “shriveled”. This makes sense as the vegetables kind of shrink as they are cooked. Pinakbet also comes with different names like pakbet or pinakbet tagalog.
There are two types of pinakbet which primarily differs with the type of vegetable and the alamang used. The Ilocano version uses string beans, okra, eggplant, kamote and bitter gourd and uses bagoong monamon or fish bagoong as the seasonign. The Tagalog version uses the same ingredients with the addition of squash. Regarding the alamang, this version uses fresh shrimp paste as the seasoning.
Whenever my mom prepares fried fish, grilled meat or anything dry, it is a must to serve pinakbet na gulay. I remember plating my food using the Pinggang Pinoy way where my rice, meat and vegetables are nicely portioned. Like other kids, I was an ampalaya hater before. What kid would enjoy something bitter, right? Pinakbet became my training on eating ampalaya. I was hesitant at first but the bitter taste lessens when eaten with other vegetables. And with a lot of pinakbet, at some point I felt numb, but I learned how to eat ampalaya with a smile.
Now, we are applying this same technique to my niece who also hate ampalaya. We’re really excited to see if this technique will also work on her.
If you want a technique on how to teach your kids on how to eat ampalaya, pinakbet na gulay is a good start. Aside from this, pinakbet is really a good vegetable dish which adds a nice amount of vegetables in our diet. To learn how to make Pinakbet Tagalog, read the recipe below.
HOW TO MAKE PINAKBET TAGALOG
Start by preparing the pork belly. Seared pork belly will make the dish more savoury and adds intense meat flavor. But if you want a meatless dish, you can simply omit this ingredient. Alternatively, you can add chicharon on top.
Eggplant becomes super soft when overcook so shallow-fry it initially so we can simply add it later in the cooking.
Make the sauce base by sautéing the aromatics and the fresh shrimp paste. Remember to wash and rinse the shrimp paste before adding to the pan. This is also to reduce the saltiness to an amount that is just perfect for the pinakbet.
The next steps will just involve adding the rest of the vegetables. Here’s a quick note. String beans and squash are considered “hard vegetables”. This simply means that they needed to be cooked in a longer time compared to other vegetables. With that, add the string beans and squash first and let them cook before adding the rest. Adding a little water will also help cook the vegetables faster. But be careful not to make the pinakbet too saucy.
Lastly, add the rest of the ingredients and toss gently until every piece is coated with the alamang sauce. I like my pinakbet na gulay together with any fried fish. Enjoy!
Pinakbet (Tagalog)Course: Filipino Recipes, Vegetable Recipes
1 bunch string beans (cut into 2 inches)
2 – 3 cups squash
1 small bitter gourd
2 pieces eggplant (sliced)
3 – 5 pieces okra (sliced)
250 grams pork belly
¼ cup fresh shrimp paste
1 medium-sized onion (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 small tomatoes (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
- Season the pork belly with salt and then massage the meat. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Put the pork belly in a pan (no oil) and sear using high heat until light brown. Wait until the oil is rendered from the fat.
- Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Reduce the oil from the pan.
- Sauté the eggplants for a few minutes until light brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Sauté the onions, garlic and ginger for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue sautéing. Gently press to crush them. Lastly, add the fresh shrimp paste and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the string beans and squash and saute for a few minutes. Add around 1/3 cup water just to help cook the veggies. Cover the pan and let it simmer for 5 to 8 minutes using medium heat or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the bitter gourd and okra. Toss to combine well. Cover the pan again and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the new veggies are tender.
- Add the seared pork belly and stir well. Season with black pepper. Add the eggplant and toss to combine well.
- Transfer the pinakbet to a serving dish. Serve with some hot steaming rice. Enjoy!
Paano Magluto ng Pinakbet Tagalog
- 1 tali ng sitaw (hiniwa ng 2 inches)
- 2 – 3 tasa ng kalabasa
- 1 maliit na ampalaya
- 2 piraso ng talong (hiniwa)
- 3 – 5 piraso ng okra (hiniwa)
- 250 grams pork belly
- ¼ tasa ng alamang
- 1 sibuyas (hiniwa)
- 4 butil ng bawang (hiniwa ng maliliit)
- 2 maliit na kamatis (hiniwa)
- asin at paminta
- Ilagay ang pork belly sa isang bowl at budburan ng asin. Masahin ang karne at iwan ng 5 minuto.
- I-sear ang pork belly gamit ang mataas na apoy hanggang maging light brown. Hintaying lumabas ang mantika.
- Alisin ang karne at bawasan ang mantika sa kawali.
- Ilagay ang mga hiniwang talong at igisa hanggang maging light brown.
- Igisa ang sibuyas, bawang at luya ng ilang minuto. Ilagay ang mga kamatis at medyo durugin habang ginigisa. Huling ilagay ang alamang saka igisa ng ilang minuto.
- Ilagay ang sitaw at kalabasa at igisa ng ilang minuto. Maglagay ng 1/3 tasa ng tubig para mas mabilis maluto ang mga gulay. Takpan ang kawali at lutuin ito ng 5 – 8 minuto gamit ang katamtamang apoy o hanggang sa lumambot ang mga gulay.
- Ilagay ang ampalaya at okra. Haluin ng mabuti. Takpan ang kawali at lutuin ng 2 – 3 minuto hanggang lumambot.
- Ilagay ang pork belly at haluin. Budburan ng paminta. Ibalik ang mga talong sa kawali at haluin.
- Ilipat ang pinakbet sa isang serving dish. Ihain kasama ng mainit na kanin. Enjoy!