Pinakbet is a vegetarian dish known throughout the Philippines. The main ingredient in this dish is ampalaya also known as "bitter melon". The spice named bagoong (pork and shimp paste) adds a unique flavor.
- 1 kg. kalabasa/squash, cut into chunks
- 2 kg. okra
- 2 kg. long eggplant, sliced ½" thick
- 2 kg. sitaw (string beans), cut into 2" strips
- 1 kg. ampalaya, cut into small pieces
- 1 lb. pork with fat, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 onions, sliced or minced, red, white, or yellow only
- 4 tsp. shrimp paste
- cooking oil
- In a big, fresh wok or an earthenware pot, sauté garlic and onion in oil.
- Then add the pork and cook until the pork turns light brown in color and is tender.
- Add the squash first and stir. Then add the other vegetables.
- Cover the pot or wok and let it simmer in low heat until vegetables are soft and tender.
- Take the lid off and add the shrimp paste. Be sure not to add a lot.
- The taste of each vegetable should still be intact. Stir until liquid is nearly gone.
- Serve hot and plain over rice or with other main dishes but scoop some of the contents into a large plate.