If Ratatouile is to French Pinakbet is to Philippines. I think this is the all time favorite vegetable dish among Filipinos. Each region have their own version of this delicious mixture of different fresh vegetables sautéed with shrimp paste. Since I grew up and raised in Tagalog region I’m sharing the version my palates have grown up with.
1/4 kilo of pork belly cut in cube
1/4 kilo of shrimps shells removed and deveined
3 cloves of crushed garlic
2 big tomatoes cut in cubes
1 big bunch of kangkong (you can replace this with spinach)
1 cup of squash (cut in cubes)
5 to 6 okra
3 egg plant cut in cubes (depend on size)
1 cup of string beans (sitao)
half a cup of bagoong alamang (shrimp paste)
3 tbsp of cooking oil
half a cup of water
Start by putting the pork in a casserole with half a cup of water. Cover it and let it boil until the pork becomes tender. Pour the pork broth in a bowl and reserve for later. Put back the pork and add the cooking oil. Fry the pork until it becomes golden brown and crispy. Once they are golden brown take them off but leave the oil on the pan. This pork oil will give flavor to your dish. Next, put the garlic , followed by onion and tomato. Add the shrimps and the bagoong pour the pork broth and let it boil. Then add all the vegetables starting from the longest one to cook (string beans, egg plant and okra). Put on the last the squash and kangkong. Simmer over low fire for about fifteen to twenty minutes. Serve it with fried pork on the top.