Pinakbet Recipe: Healthy Traditional Food

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Pinakbet Recipe
Pinakbet is a traditional Filipino vegetable stew made with a variety of fresh vegetables and shrimp paste. It's a flavorful and nutritious dish that is perfect for vegetarians or as a side dish for meat mains.

Hello Foodies! Jacob here, dishing out some kitchen excitement from our Beyond the Bayou Blog. I’ve cooked a batch of homemade Pinakbet Recipe that’s just too good!

Packed with bold taste and healthy stuff, this dish blends Asian-inspired goodness into one simple, tasty meal.

Remember this: sizzling sesame oil, garlicky pork, and a spicy punch of sriracha, all mixed with crunchy cabbage and soft shirataki noodles.

Whether you’re in a rush or aiming to wow your guests, our Pinakbet Recipe is guaranteed to hit the spot!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe?

You’ll adore this Pinakbet recipe for its genuine Filipino taste, bringing together juicy pork belly, a colorful mix of veggies, and the special touch of shrimp paste. It blends savory smells and various textures, giving you a true Filipino food journey.

But the best part? Making this Pinakbet at home is a breeze. With our straightforward recipe, mastering this delicious dish is a piece of cake.

Overview: How to Make Pinakbet Recipe?

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Pinakbet is a tasty Filipino dish made with lots of colorful vegetables cooked in a savory shrimp paste sauce. It’s a dish that bursts with flavors and textures, making it a favorite among many Filipino households. The veggies used in Pinakbet can vary, but common ones include eggplant, squash, okra, and string beans.

To make Pinakbet, you start by sautéing onions and garlic until they’re nice and fragrant. Then, you add in the vegetables and let them cook until they’re tender but still have a bit of crunch. The secret ingredient in Pinakbet is the bagoong, or fermented shrimp paste, which gives the dish its unique and delicious flavor.

Pinakbet is often served as a main dish, accompanied by steamed rice. It’s a wholesome and nutritious meal that’s perfect for vegetarians or anyone looking for a flavorful veggie-packed dish. Whether you’re a Filipino food lover or just someone who enjoys trying new cuisines, Pinakbet is definitely worth a try!

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Pinakbet Recipe

Pinakbet is a traditional Filipino vegetable stew made with a variety of fresh vegetables and shrimp paste. It’s a flavorful and nutritious dish that is perfect for vegetarians or as a side dish for meat mains.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Jacob Allen
Servings: 4 Servings


  • Pan
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Serving Plates
  • Spatula


  • 1 Tbsps Cooking oil
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes sliced
  • 1 Small Bitter gourd Ampalaya, sliced
  • 1 Medium Eggplant
  • 1 Cup Squash
  • 1 Cup String beans cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 Cup Okra
  • 1 Cup Kabocha squash
  • 1/4 Cup Bagoong
  • 2 Cups Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat cooking oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes and cook until softened.
  • Stir in bitter gourd, eggplant, squash, string beans, okra, and kabocha squash. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add bagoong and water. Stir to combine.
  • Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with rice.


  1. Adjust the amount of bagoong according to your taste preference. Some prefer it more savory, while others prefer it less salty.
  2. You can add other vegetables like ampalaya (bitter melon), patola (sponge gourd), or sigarilyas (winged beans) for variety.


Serving: 1Cup | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g

Time For My Personal Tips!

Tip 1: Soak the bitter gourd in salted water for about 10 minutes before cooking to reduce its bitterness.

Tip 2: Don’t overcook the vegetables to retain their crispiness and nutrients.

Tip 3: Use fresh and ripe tomatoes for a richer flavor in the stew.

Tip 4: Experiment with different types of squash for varied texture and taste.

The Story Behind Pinakbet Recipe

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The story behind Pinakbet starts with its name, derived from the Ilocano word “pinakebbet,” meaning “shrunk” or reduced in size. This reflects how the cooking process causes the ingredients to shrink and meld together. Traditionally, slicing the ampalaya into quarters adds saltiness, resulting in tender, shrunken vegetables, flavorful meat, and a savory broth.

Originating from the Ilocos region, Pinakbet has become a beloved dish throughout the Philippines and even beyond. While the traditional recipe excludes squash, modern versions may include it, although some argue it alters the dish’s original taste. Despite variations, most Pinakbet recipes feature a mix of vegetables like string beans, tomatoes, and eggplant, seasoned with the beloved Filipino condiment – bagoong.


  1. Seafood Pinakbet: Add shrimp, squid, and fish fillets to make a seafood version of pinakbet.
  2. Meat Lover’s Pinakbet: Include pork belly, pork ribs, or chicken pieces for a meatier option.
  3. Coconut Milk Pinakbet: Add coconut milk for a creamy twist to the traditional recipe.
  4. Spicy Pinakbet: Incorporate chili peppers or chili flakes for an extra kick of heat.
  5. Root Vegetable Pinakbet: Replace some of the traditional vegetables with root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes for a heartier dish.

What to Serve With Pinakbet Recipe?

Leftovers Storing And Freezing

Pinakbet can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When storing, make sure it has cooled down to room temperature before sealing it tightly to maintain freshness. Reheat the dish thoroughly before serving.

If you have leftovers that you won’t consume within 3 days, you can freeze Pinakbet for longer-term storage. Transfer the cooled dish into freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Pinakbet can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen Pinakbet, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it on the stove or in the microwave until heated through. While the texture of some vegetables may change slightly after freezing and reheating, the flavors will still be delicious.

Can I Substitute Shrimp Paste With Anything Else?

Yes, you can use fish sauce as a substitute for shrimp paste, although it will alter the flavor slightly.

Can I Add Meat to This Dish?

Traditionally, pinakbet is a vegetarian dish, but you can add pork belly or shrimp for added protein and flavor.

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