Pinakbet is a popular Filipino stew consisting of vegetables with meat or seafood. The dish is flavored with a favorite Filipino condiment: sauteed shrimp paste. Some other recipes I’ve shared that uses shrimp paste include bicol express and pork binagoongan. In this recipe, I used shrimp instead of pork. What do I love about this dish? The tender and earthy sweet taste of the squash, the crunchiness of the green beans, the bitter taste of the bittermelon and the slimy texture of the okra. Furthermore, the taste and texture of each of these vegetables contribute to make this dish a popular staple at my house.
What is Pinakbet?
Pinakbet is a popular Filipino dish which traditionally consists of pork and mixed vegetables, cooked and flavored with shrimp paste. Vegetables like string beans, squash, okra, bittermelon and eggplant are commonly used for this dish.
This version of Pinakbet consists of the following ingredients:
- Shrimp – I use shrimp instead of pork in my pinakbet.
- Sauteed Shrimp Paste – This is a popular Filipino condiment. It’s very salty and adds a lot of flavor to the dish.
- Bitter Melon
- Green Beans
- Serrano Peppers
How to make Pinakbet
The first step in making pinakbet is to cook the shrimp until pink. Then, add 1 tsp of sauteed shrimp paste to the cooked shrimp, remove the shrimp from the pan and set it aside. Then, in the same pan you used to cook the shrimp, saute the garlic and ginger followed by the remaining shrimp paste. After that, add the squash and water to the pan and cover to let it simmer for 3 minutes. Then, add the bittermelon, okra, green beans and eggplant. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Finally, add the cooked shrimp, tomato and serrano peppers. Gently stir and correct seasoning with salt to taste. Serve with white rice and enjoy!
- 3 tbsp avocado or vegetable oil
- 1 lb medium shrimp , shelled and deveined
- 1/3 cup sautéed shrimp paste plus 1 teaspoon to flavor shrimp
- 2 cloves garlic , chopped
- 1 thumb-size ginger , peeled and julienned
- 1 lb banana squash , peeled, deseeded and cubed
- 1 cup water
- 1 Chinese or Japanese eggplant , sliced into the diagonal (1-inch thick)
- 1 bittermelon , halved, deseeded and sliced into the diagonal (1-inch thick)
- ½ lb okra
- ½ lb green beans , ends trimmed
- 1 tomato , cut into wedges
- 2 serrano peppers (optional)
- Kosher salt
- Heat one tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in a teaspoon of shrimp paste. Transfer cooked shrimps onto a plate and set aside.
- Using the same skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add garlic and ginger; sauté for 1 minute. Add shrimp paste, stir for 20 seconds. Add squash and water; cover and let simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the eggplant, bittermelon, okra and beans. Cover and let simmer for another 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Make sure to stir the mixture occasionally.
- Add the cooked shrimp, tomato and serrano peppers, if using; gently stir and correct seasonings with salt to taste.
- Serve with steamed rice.