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.
Whatever, as long as it’s palatable. Sulit!
I tried this last night and it was delicious! Tagalog style, just the way I like it because I prefer the alamang over the traditional bagoong any day, even though I’m Ilocano. I think Filipinos in general are too critical and the two comments above come off as really arrogant and snooty! Anyone can make this in any version they want, doesn’t mean it’s a horrible recipe! Move along! My family and I loved it!
Thanks so much for the kind words! Glad your family enjoyed this recipe as much as my family does. Take care and thanks for writing 🙂 Much appreciated!
This is not pinakbet, this is bulang-lang. In pinakbet, bagoong isda is the main ingredient while bagoong alamang is the main ingredient of bulang-lang.
Pinakbet is an Ilocano dish. The pinakbet in the picture is a poor preparation of the dish, it is the tagalogs’s way of cooking pinakbet. Ilocanos use “monamon bagoon” in it’s recipe. Never do Ilocano’s use “aramang or alamang” when cooking pinakbet. Neither is “sili” mixed in the dish, and the Ampalaya used are the small ones about the size of chicken egg.