I don’t think there is a Filipino out there who does not like or know Pinakbet, still I might be wrong so don’t take my word for it :p.
Pinakbet is a very simple yet very healthy and delicious dish. If you search for it in the internet there are probably different ways of cooking it depending on which part of the country that person was. One of the most important ingredient is probably “uyap” ( Bisaya dialect), “Bagoong” ( Tagalog) or in English, shrimp paste. Yes that very same stinky shrimp paste that every Filipino loves.
Shrimp paste is not very easy to find in the local stores in Japan. I usually get mine from my cousin or if I had the chance to visit a Filipino store. So anyway, I wanted some Pinakbet for dinner but I don’t have some stinky shrimp paste but I do remember I have some Taberu Ra-yu, hmm time to do some cooking experiment.
– meat ( chickent, pork , beef or u can use tofu ) – chopped/minced
– bitter gourd or bitter melon
– pepper, chili powder
– soy sauce
– mirin ( cooking sake if you have)
– a little vinegar or lemon
– 2 tablespoon of Taberu Ra-yu or Shrimp Paste
Marinating the meat ( optional). I really like to marinate the meat for a few minutes to add more flavor to. Just used soy sauce, vinegar , lemon , mirin ( if you have ) , pepper and chili if you like some spice to it.
1. Chopped all ingredients
2. Saute onion and garlic for a minute or two or just until onion is transparent.
3. Then add the meat together with the marinade and let it simmer.
4. Add the pumpkin and eggplant and let it simmer again. Usually you start with the vegetable that cooks the longest. If you need to adjust the taste, you can add some soy sauce or salt, but remember Taberu Ra-yu or Shrimp paste is already salty.
5. If the eggplant and pumpkin is soft enough for you, then add the bitter melon and okra. Make sure you do not overcooked this two vegetable. When the bitter melon or the okra starts turning into bright green then it’s about done. Mix in the Taberu Ra-yu or Shrimp paste. If you have more vegetable, adjust the amount of the paste( Taberu ra-yu or Shrimp Paste).
If you are using Shrimp Paste, make sure to taste the Pinakbet as you adjust the amount of paste since it is already salty.
6. Remove from heat and serve.
When I was young my mother always used fresh shrimp paste from the market but since I cannot find it in Japan, I usually get this brand in the Filipino Store.
Bon appetit 🙂