Pinakbet is a Filipino vegetable dish made of eggplant, okra, ampalaya, and pork (baboy) stewed in tomatoes, and bagoong. It can be salty, rich, bitter, and naturally sweet with the addition of kamote or sweet potato and other root crops.
2tablespoonsbagoongI used alamang, add more if preferred.
Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Fry boiled pork until brown. Add onions and garlic stir-fry until fragrant and translucent. Add chopped tomatoes. Cover with lid and let it cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes and fish sauce. Let it simmer with the juices for about 5 minutes. Add bitter gourd (ampalaya) and bagoong. Continue cooking over low heat until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add green chili and pork broth. Cover with lid and let it boil until the sweet potato is half-cooked about 10 minutes.
Stir in the okra and eggplant or your other choice of vegetables. Cover with lid and continue cooking for another 5 minutes in medium to high heat. Once the okra and eggplant have slightly softened, remove the lid and let the residual heat finish the cooking. Serve with rice and enjoy!
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Use two spatulas to avoid mushing the vegetables.
Some like their pinakbet mushy while some like it to be crunchy. So adjust your cooking time based on your preference. I personally like it to be cooked just right except for the amplaya. I intentionally overcook it to lessen the bitterness so I often add it together with the root crops (see video).
To prepare ampalaya or bitter gourd, trim both ends. Cut in half lengthwise then scrape off the seeds with a small spoon. Cut into ¼ inches or thicker if preferred. If you are not a fan of the bitterness, there are a couple of ways to lessen it.