A popular Ilocano dish from the Northern regions of the Philippines. You can omit the bittermelon if you're not a fan, as it is an acquired taste. Authentic pinakbet includes bittermelon in the recipe. If you can't find the salted shrimp paste at your local Safeway, try your friendly local Asian supermarkets. You can also make this a vegetarian dish by omitting the pork.
- 1⁄2 lb pork, sliced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1⁄2 calabaza squash, cubed
- 2 cups okra, sliced
- 2 cups chinese long beans, chopped
- 2 Japanese eggplants, sliced
- 1 bitter melon, sliced (optional)
- 1 -1 1⁄2 cup water
- 2 -3 tablespoons bagoong, alamang (salted shrimp paste)
- In a large, deep skillet (or casserole), heat oil over medium heat. Cook pork until it turns slightly brown.
- Stir in garlic, onions and tomatoes. Sauté for a few minutes until tomatoes are wilted.
- Add squash and okra, stir-fry for a minute or two and then add the rest of the vegetables. Gently stir to combine.
- Pour in water and add the bagoong alamang, and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer covered over low heat until vegetables are tender. Be sure not to overcook it. You may wish to correct the taste by adding a little bit of bagoong alamang. Gently stir to blend.
- Immediately remove from heat. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot alongside steamed rice.