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Pinakbet- Filipino Vegetable Stew in Shrimp Paste

The Pinakbet (say ‘pee-nak-bet’) is a Filipino vegetable stew of Asian eggplants, long green beans, okra, ampalaya (bitter melon), kabocha squash, tomatoes, shrimps, pork slices cooked in a saute of shrimp paste. The shrimp paste or ‘bagoong’ defines this dish and flavors it adding a salty spike to the fresh greens. This is easy to do and versatile to serve. Make it for an everyday meal or a family gathering and serve alongside lots of rice. This recipe was slightly adapted from the late Nora Daza's "Let's Cook with Nora" cookbook. This serves 4.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Vegetables
Cuisine: Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Pinakbet Filipino Vegetable Stew
Servings: 4 people
Author: Asian in America


  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1- inch piece sliced thin in slivers fresh ginger
  • 1/4 pound cut in small cubes, about 1/2 inch, fat trimmed pork belly or pork shoulder
  • 1/4 pound peeled, deveined, tails removed (about half a cup) fresh shrimps (uncooked)
  • 2 medium pieces sliced tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 large pieces sliced (about 2 cups), from Asian markets Asian eggplants
  • 1 large bundle cut in 2-inch pieces, about 2 cups long green beans (sitaw)
  • 8 pieces okra
  • 1 or 2 white membrane inside removed, sliced in 2-inch half circles ampalaya (bitter melon)
  • 1 cup broth or soup stock
  • 2 Tablespoons from Asian or Filipino groceries, bottled shrimp paste or Filipino bagoong
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup cubes sliced, scooped out from squash (from Asian markets) kabocha squash


  • In a large skillet, over medium high heat add the cooking oil. After oil has heated up in 1 to 2 minutes, saute the garlic, onions and fresh ginger. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes till soft.
  • Add the tomatoes, pork pieces and shrimps. Mix around the skillet for a good saute. Cook till the pork turns brown and the shrimps turn orange, in about 8 minutes.
  • Add the broth. When the liquid boils in about 5 minutes, add the squash, eggplants, long green beans, okra, ampalaya. Mix all the ingredients together. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 6 minutes or till vegetables are soft, but still crisp.
  • Pour the shrimp paste or bagoong on top and blend well within the skillet to coat almost all the vegetables. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Serve with boiled white rice.
  • Cook's comments: this is my version of pinakbet which is to saute it from the start. The traditional Ilocano method is to boil the pork, shrimps and all ingredients in a stock pot. The shrimp paste is added in the end.
  • Recipe notes: this is a versatile vegetable dish which can use other vegetables in season. The bagoong or shrimp paste are bottled and already pre-cooked. These can be purchased in most Filipino or Asian groceries or even online sources.

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