Here Are 7 Delicious Ways To Make Pinakbet

Pinakbet is a savory, umami-packed vegetable dish that you can cook in many ways.

IMAGE Lilen Uy

Pinakbet is a well-loved vegetable dish. It's a recipe that combines homegrown vegetables -talong, okra, ampalaya, kamatis, and sitaw-into a vegetable stew whose flavor is bolstered by a good amount of bagoong isda.

Many of us may know bagoong more popularly as a fermented shrimp paste but it's not the only kind. 

Bagoong isda, or a fermented, liquid fish paste, is also known as bagoong Balayan or Balayan bagoong. Its flavor is similar to the shrimp version but with the big difference being the main flavor. Here, it's fish that's used instead of small shrimps to give the bagoong its delicious flavor.  

Photo by Riell Santos

Pinakbet Recipe 

Before we get to the complicated recipes that feature the pinakbet, we need to know what the original pinakbet tastes like. There's no better way to determine that than by cooking a basic recipe for the dish and trying it out before we decide to experiment and make it taste and look different. Use this recipe below as a great basis for what it tastes like if you haven't already tasted it.   

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Apr 9, 2015

Photo by Patrick Martires
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2 Grilled Pinakbet Recipe 

Once you know what a traditional or classic pinakbet should taste like, you can now get creative and go crazy with the ingredients and even the cooking method! Here, pinakbet isn't cooked in a pot. Instead, each vegetable that goes in the dish is charred, grilled over flaming hot charcoal before being tossed together into a chargrilled stew. You get amazingly smokey flavor with the salty, delicious flavor of the bagoong.  

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Photo by Patrick Martires

3 Baked Pinakbet Recipe

If you want to make your pinakbet interesting while being able to serve it family-style, this lasagna-like version of it makes for a fantastic recipe. Not only does it still have the umami-flavors you associate with pinakbet, but it is also made with ground pork so it's fat and easy to cook, too. 

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Photo by Lilen Uy

4 Pakbet Ilocano with Chicharon Recipe

Just like adobo, certain regions of the Philippines have their own version of a particular dish. For the Ilocano, it's called pakbet and this is the version they're more familiar with: the same vegetables but with the addition of large shrimps, kalabasa, and topped with chicharon. We think it's a genius move and know it's going to be just as delicious. 



5 Bagoong Vegetable Rice Recipe 

If a simmered vegetable stew isn't what you want, then maybe a savory and delicious fried rice meal is. This fried rice recipe is a really just a simple bagoong rice that's topped with all the vegetables that make up a pinakbet-but each vegetable is instead cooked just until tender or while still crisp. It's the pinakbet rice for those who don't like their vegetables cooked until it's limp.

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Photo by David Hanson

Pinakbet Rice with Lechon Kawali Recipe

The classic pinakbet recipe is seriously lacking in meat and for some, that may be the ingredient that makes this not their favorite dish. Change their minds with this recipe! A super flavorful fried rice is made using the flavors and ingredients you use for a pinakbet: think of a binagoongan rice recipe but with lots of vegetables stirred into it! It's topped with a hefty slab of deep fried pork liempo or lechon kawali. If this hearty meal doesn't lure those meat eaters to the table, we're not sure what will. 


7 All-Vegetable Pinakbet Recipe 

What makes this different from the previous pinakbet recipe is the addition of kalabasa and the omission of pork. Instead, the Ilocanos have this other recipe that's vegetarian-friendly. It uses baby versions of the ampalaya to help tame its inherent bitterness. 

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Jan 21, 2016

Vegetables make delicious and nutritious meals! For those who can't stand it simply steamed or cooked, this flavorful recipe made of local vegetables may be just the recipe you need to help you appreciate the many ways to enjoy this stew.

For more regional dishes, see if you like any that are featured here:  




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