Pinakbet Tagalog Recipe

Pinakbet Tagalog is nutritious as it tastes delicious! A vibrant mix of local ingredients, pork belly, pork and shrimp paste, this traditional Filipino stew is delicious for a main dish or as a dish to add to grilled fish or fried meat.

One of my favourite memories of growing up was when my brothers and I would sit down for lunch with the Pinakbet my mother made for us. I’m sure that, as most children, we would have preferred spaghetti or chicken barbecue over this sour stew of vegetables if given a choice, and we devoured the food as if we had nothing to take a bite of.

Pinakbet Tagalog Recipe

Having dinner with the family and sharing the meal with family members made it even more memorable. It also helped feed my mom’s cooking, which made this meal special.

What exactly is Pinakbet?

Pinakbet (also known as Pakbet is a Filipino stew made of vegetables from within the Ilocos region. The name comes from its Ilocano term pinakbet, which refers to “shrivelled” stewed vegetables cooked in a pot at low temperature till “shrunken”.

The dish uses native products, root crops, and beans readily available and abundant in the region, like tomatoes, ginger, okra ampalaya, eggplant, sitaw, siling duwag, and kamote. It’s typically flavorful using bagoong monamon, a seasoning made from fermented fish. Other ingredients like chopped pork, crispy bagnet shrimp, or even pre-cooked fish are added to enhance the flavour.

Although the Pinakbet was first introduced in the northern portion of the country, it is a Pinakbet Tagalog version that is also well-known in the southern regions. This particular regional variant derives its distinctive flavour from shrimp or bagoong paste instead of bagoong isda. It usually has the addition of kalabasa to add a bit of sweetness.

Tips to Cook

  • For a uniform cooking experience to ensure even cooking, cut the ingredients into homogeneous sizes, such as the long beans cut in the same lengths, and the pork belly of the same size.
  • Put the vegetables in the pot to determine the time they cook. The more robust ones, like the kalabasa and the sitaw, are added first, followed by eggplant bittermelon and Okra, which require less time to soften.
  • The recipe below uses pork belly with the perfect proportion of fat and meat to give it a taste. Leaner cuts like Boston butt and other proteins such as Lechon, bagnet kawali, or shrimp. And grilled or fried fish are good choices too.
  • To eliminate the “fishy” flavour, simmer your shrimp paste for a couple of minutes until it begins to turn brown.

How can you serve and store it for future use?

  • A filling and hearty selection of meat and vegetables, it is a delicious and filling meal. Pinakbet Tagalog is a complete meal by itself. However, it is also great as a complement to grilled meats, fish or fried fish and steamed rice.
  • To store, let cool completely before transferring into an airtight container. Please keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • To warm, place it in a large pan and heat on medium-low until it is thoroughly heated.

Pinakbet Tagalog Recipe

Pakbet is an authentic Filipino dish with pork and various vegetables, including eggplant Okra, bitter melon, bitter melon long beans, bitter melon, and the calabasa. It’s incredibly nutritious and delicious to serve as a main dish or complement fried fish or grilled meat.


  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon oil from canola
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 8 okra, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon Shrimp paste
  • 2 Roma tomatoes and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced and peeled
  • 1/2 small kalabasa cut and peeled
  • Salt and pepper according to your preference
  • 1/2 pound of pork belly, divided into cubes of 1-inch size
  • 1 . Large eggplant. The ends are cut to a 1-inch thickness
  • 1/2 bunch of beans long with ends cut and trimmed into lengths of 3 inches
  • One large ampalaya (bittermelon) Seeded in a halve, then cut into 1-inch thick


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add garlic and onions, and frequently stir until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the pork and let cook, often stirring, until slightly brown.
  3. Add the shrimp paste and cook it with a stirring until it starts to brown.
  4. Add tomatoes to the pot and cook, smashing them with a spoon, until they are soft and juices have been released.
  5. Bring the water to the temperature of. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes until the meat is cooked as you want. Add additional water increments of 1/2 cup according to the need to keep around one cup of liquid.
  6. Add the squash and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until it is almost soft.
  7. Add long beans, and continue cooking until they are tender-crisp.
  8. Add ampalaya, eggplant and Okra. Continue cooking for approximately 4 – 5 mins or until the vegetables are soft but not mushy.
  9. Add salt and pepper according to your preference. Serve hot.

Pinakbet Tagalog

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