On Making Pinakbet and Finding My Soul

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Pinakbet is my favorite dish. Period.

I’m not speaking in general terms, like it’s my favorite Filipino dish, no.  I really mean that Pinakbet–the illest of Ilocano dishes–is my most favorite food in the whole entire world times infinity!  Even by Filipino standards, this is a curious choice (I think) on my part as I know of many Pinoys who can’t stand this vegetable medley.  I’m sure it has to do with the ever-present ampalaya, but as you may remember (or not), I loves me some bitter melon.

Despite my fondness for Pinakbet I had never attempted to make it.  I was happy enough getting my once-in-a-while-fix whenever I would visit my grandparents or my parents.  My grandmother and mother can both whip up a batch with a purse of the lips (psssst, hoy!).  Soon enough though, I started hankering for the stuff on a more regular basis.  I started making up excuses to visit my parents just so I could relieve my jonesing for Pinakbet:

Mother: What are you doing home?

Me: Uh, I was in the neighborhood.

Mother: You live an hour and a half away.

Me: Uh, what’s for dinner? Pinakbet?

Dad: Goddamn it! Can’t you make your own!

My dad’s a really good guy (he’s just really mean [I’m kidding {not really}]).

Anyhoo, I finally realized that I needed to figure out how to make Pinakbet for myself (otherwise my dad would start charging me for groceries).

As recently as a few months ago, I had no idea how to make Pinakbet.  I knew that its
basic components generally consisted of tomatoes, squash, long beans,
ampalaya (bitter melon), okra, eggplant, patis or bagoong
(my mother and grandmother use patis), and a nice bit of fatty pork (if
you so desire).  And according to the wisdom of my grandmother and mother, all I would have to do with these ingredients is throw them in a pot with a bit of water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes until tender.  Easy right?

Somtimes I think my mother and grandmother tell me things just to mess with me.

My first attempt at Pinakbet ended horribly. So horribly in fact that I considered changing the name of this blog from Burnt Lumpia to Piss Poor Pinakbet:

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To the untrained (non-Pinakbet eating) eye, the mess in the red pot is exactly that–a mess.  Whatever I made, it wasn’t Pinakbet.  It had everything that was supposed to be in Pinakbet, but it definitely wasn’t Pinakbet.  It was bland and boring. It was odorless and tasteless, like Ghost is faceless.  It was soulless.  It was the Kenny G of Pinakbet.

In fact, as I forced myself to eat my sorry excuse for Pinakbet, I’m pretty sure I heard the dulcet tones of Kenny’s sax blowing to the tune of "neener-neener-neener".  Damn you Kenny G!  Damn you straight to hell!!!

So, defeated and embarassed by my Pinakbet failure, I went back to my mother to snatch the proverbial Pinakbet pebble from her hand.  This time though, I didn’t merely ask her how to make Pinakbet because I knew she’d only give me some obtuse answer like, "Just put it in the pot and cook it!"  And although I’ve eaten this dish many times, I’ve never actually seen how it is made.  So I stood by mother’s side and watched her make Pinakbet, step-by-step.

As I found out, my first mistake was that I used too big of a pot.  I used a huge 7-qt dutch oven on my first try (I can hear all the Filipinos laughing at me right now).  My mother just used a little soup pot and literally filled it to the top with vegetables.

My next mistake was that I paid too much attention to chopping and measuring and having everything so perfect. My mother just hacked everything willy-nilly into pieces.  She didn’t even cut her tomatoes, she just stuck her thumbs in the stem-ends and ripped them tomatoes apart! I, on the other hand, made sure to slice all my veggies into nice uniform pieces (seriously, stop laughing at me).

And the final mistake I made was in my choice in pork. I used a single, lean pork chop (ok, you can laugh at that one, it is pretty pathetic).  My mom used Chicharron, or what is also known as Bagnet in the Phillipines.  It’s basically a piece of pork rind, fat, and meat that is deep-fried. I found my chicharron at my local Latin market.

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As you can see from the chicharron picture above, that hunk of meat and fat would provide a lot more flavor to Pinakbet than a measly pork chop would.  I am an idiot.

Armed with the secrets of Pinakbet, I headed back home to my own kitchen and attempted to recreate what I learned from my mother.

I started with a smaller pot and lined the bottom with tomatoes that I tore apart with my hands:

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I then started to layer pieces of squash, ampalaya, long beans, okra, eggplant, onions, and more tomatoes, until I filled the pot:

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I then added a tiny bit of water (maybe about a quarter cup) and some patis (maybe 2-3 tablespoons, you can add more later to taste), clamped the lid on and brought everything to a boil.  After the pot reached a boil, I reduced the heat and simmered for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, I hacked apart some chicharron into bite-sized pieces:

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After the pot simmered for 15 minutes, I added the chicharron, covered again, and simmered for 10 more minutes to let some of the pork fat melt off into the veggies. Also notice that not once do I stir or disturb the contents of the pot.

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And then?  It was done.
Easy right?

Even though my house smelled GLORIOUS at this point, I was still a bit afraid to have a taste.  Failure does that to you.  Despite this initial apprehension, I spooned some of my newly made Pinakbet over some rice and had a bite.

And another bite.

And another.

Holy crap, I made Pinakbet!  The vegetables were tender but not mushy, and there was just enough liquid (I prefer my Pinakbet to be a bit soupy) rendered from the tomatoes, water, patis, and pork fat.  This was no Kenny G version of Pinakbet.  This was James Brown, the Soul Brother Number One version of my most favorite dish.

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I would normally provide an exact recipe here, but there is no exact recipe for Pinakbet.  You just throw everything in a pot and cook it! πŸ˜‰

I got soul! Ha! And I’m super bad!

  • Fran August 21, 2007, 3:43 am

    Hey BL, I found your blog through a link from Tastespotting (or was it Slashfood?) to your bananas foster post. Anyway, I’m enjoying your blog. Pinakbet is also one of my favorite dishes. For me it has to have okra and kabocha. When my husband and I make it we start by rendering some of the pork fat and then sauteing some garlic in the fat before adding the other vegetables. Yum!

    Reply
  • elmomonster August 21, 2007, 8:28 am

    I love this post! LOVE IT! Especially this part:
    “…I spooned some of my newly made Pinakbet over some rice and had a bite.
    And another bite.
    And another.
    Holy crap, I made Pinakbet!”
    I too love pinakbet. And I’m not even pinoy!

    Reply
  • TeddyKim August 21, 2007, 10:35 am

    I will probably never make Pinakbet since I hate bitter melon, but I did enjoy your post. Nice RZA reference btw. Wu-Tang!

    Reply
  • Janice August 21, 2007, 8:42 pm

    bleh…not a fan of pinakbet…
    i showed my baby sister this post and she said, “OMG!!! I LOVE THAT STUFF! that’s all we ate in California [while staying with relatives]!”
    i tried eating bitter melon again when my mom put it in her paksiw na bangus…i loved the bangus (except painstakingly picking out bone after bone after bone) but i still can’t stomach bitter melon…i think my mother lies when she says that i loved it as a child.
    in other non-food-related news, have you heard of http://www.happyslip.com? it’s a Filipina-American chick making skits of her family but she performs all the characters…even my mom got a kick out of it!

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia August 21, 2007, 9:37 pm

    Hi Fran, thanks for stopping by. Mmmmm. Garlic and pork fat. I’m gonna have to include that step in my next attempt at Pinakbet.
    Thanks Elmo! You are slowly convincing me that you have the best taste in all the land.
    Teddy, I am very, very impressed that you caught that. I didn’t think anyone on the planet would catch that RZA gem.
    Hi Janice. Yeah, I figured there would be some pinakbet haters;) And I had never heard of Happy Slip before you mentioned her. I went over to her site and became an instant fan. I’m adding her to my blogroll NOW. Great find Janice, thanks for that!

    Reply
  • caninecologne August 21, 2007, 10:12 pm

    Hi there! Great blog by the way! Pinakbet is one of my favorite dishes!I don’t make it too often because my husband doesn’t like bittermelon, eggplant or okra!
    Anyways, loved your post on the ube (very Prince!) – so much so that I plan to make it really soon for the first time! Keep up the great posts!
    ps
    Kenny G is the antiChrist

    Reply
  • Ed August 21, 2007, 10:33 pm

    Dad: Goddamn it! Can’t you make your own!
    Yup – it’s funny, all the Filipino guys I know (most of my brothers, their friends, my dad, myself) know how to cook something well – we could never leave the house until we knew how to make a decent pot of rice without the aid of a rice cooker. Was this your case? And I’m still amazed how many non-Asians are astounded by the taste of well-cooked rice…
    And pinakbet – I’m half Ilokano (southern Ilokano, to be exact – my dad and that side of the family pronounce their “e”‘s as “euhhhh”) and I really like this dish. I don’t like too much liquid, though.

    Reply
  • joey August 21, 2007, 11:28 pm

    I so know what you mean…that moment when you realized you have made, with your own two hands, that Filipino dish that you’ve loved but had only decided to make now…it’s magic! :) Your pinakbet adventure was a wonderful read! Inspiring :)

    Reply
  • oggi August 22, 2007, 5:43 am

    I also learned making pinakbet watching my mom cook it but never tried making it until last year, although I used the recipe from the cookbook of Via Mare restaurant owner Glenda Baretto. I didn’t know there are several versions of pinakbet depending on the region.
    BTW, I loved the comparison of the first attempt to the dreadful KennyG!:D

    Reply
  • Jago August 22, 2007, 8:55 pm

    I think Kenny G’s Christmas albums are nice. Do you hate Christmas? I’ll bet you do!

    Reply
  • Wandering Chopsticks August 22, 2007, 9:24 pm

    There you go adding the bittermelon again. Ack!
    I never really learned to cook from my mom b/c she’s always telling me to add a bit of this and a bit of that. Yeah, that’s for the precise directions!

    Reply
  • Krizia August 23, 2007, 1:10 am

    I’m seriously convinced that the secret is in the torn tomatoes πŸ˜€ I always tear me up some tomatoes whenever I make adobo, sinigang, pinakbet, etc. I also add shrimp to my pinakbet. I think Filipinos are the masters of partnering pork and seafood in our cuisine :) Always such a harmonious concoction!

    Reply
  • Christine August 23, 2007, 1:30 am

    Like you, pinakbet is one of those dishes I take for granted that my mom or the cook will always make for me so I haven’t bothered learnin to make it on my own. I did attempt a couple of times in London,using the Nora Daza cookbook, but they were not full fledged versions, just okra, squash and other veggies with bagoong and patis. BTW, did your have bagoong? The addition of the chicharon sounds perfect! I can just imagine the flavor it imparts on the whole thing. Entertaining post as usual, Marvin. :)

    Reply
  • Mila August 23, 2007, 6:08 am

    You need bagoong for your pinakbet. I don’t know if I agree with your definition of chicharon as bagnet, but while travelling through ilocos (norte and sur) this summer, I ate a lot of pinakbet with tons of bagnet incorporated into the dish. My nanny is from Ilocos norte, so I grew up eating a lot of pinakbet, it’s my favorite pinoy stew. I normally skipped the ampalaya but it does give the sauce a necessary twist. My favorite parts were the okra, and the sauce full of bagoong spiciness.

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia August 23, 2007, 8:40 am

    caninecologne, there was a time when I thought I didn’t like those veggies either. I finally came around though. And I hope my ube pancakes are not a bust if you do make them.
    Hi Ed. I think I grew up the complete opposite of you. None of the men in my family really cook much. My dad is good on the grill though.
    Thanks joey! I’m still surprised at how good it turned out. I really wasn’t expecting much based on my first try.
    Hi oggi, yes there are many versions, even within the same region there are many versions as each household will do something different.
    Jago, I love Christmas, just as long as Mister G is not involved.
    Dub C, bitter melon is delicious once you get used to it.
    Krizia, I agree about the tomatoes. It never even occurred to me to use my hands.
    Christine, I didn’t use bagoong because neither my grandma nor my mom use it in pinakbet. They eat bagoong with many other things, just not in Pinakbet.
    Hi Mila, my mother and grandmother are both Ilocano, so I’m pretty comfortable with their bagoong-free version of Pinakbet. Everyone will make this dish differently, which is part of the reason I didn’t give an exact recipe.

    Reply
  • Katrina August 26, 2007, 11:32 am

    Count me in as a pinakbet hater. πŸ˜‰
    The Kenny G analogy is hilarious!

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia August 26, 2007, 6:10 pm

    Another Pinakbet hater? Et tu, Katrina? πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  • maybahay August 31, 2007, 4:49 am

    hi, i just discovered your blog via 80breakfasts and am enjoying reading it. then i come across your pinakbet adventure which was posted exactly the same day as i posted mine! am new at blogging and it amazes me how many kindred spirits one finds on the net when it comes to food.

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia September 3, 2007, 10:29 pm

    Hi maybahay. What a coincidence that we both post about pinakbet on the same day! Yours looks delicious!

    Reply
  • :) September 8, 2007, 12:57 pm

    My grandma always used to make this one dish with bitter melon and shrimp paste and it always made the house smell interesting for the next few days. But hey, memories right?
    Love your work, keep posting!

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia September 9, 2007, 8:04 pm

    Thanks mysterious happy face! I’m glad you like my writing.

    Reply
  • marisa September 13, 2007, 2:00 am

    you forgot the pounded ginger…

    Reply
  • Just a Plane Ride Away September 23, 2007, 9:08 am

    OMG! This post was so funny, I had tears in my eyes!!

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia September 25, 2007, 7:46 pm

    hello marisa. I will try it with ginger next time I make pinakbet.
    Hi Plane Ride! I’m glad you found it funny!

    Reply
  • Mik October 18, 2007, 3:02 pm

    I, too, love my pinakbet and beg my Mom to make it every time she comes to visit. My husband and kids don’t eat it so I freeze it in individual servings to eat whenever I get the craving. I don’t like bittermelon but I know it is essential to the flavor of the pinakbet. For all you bittermelon haters, you might try blanching it separately and then adding it to the pinakbet when it’s almost done. It diffuses some of the bitterness. Love the blog!

    Reply
  • toni October 18, 2007, 5:44 pm

    Your Kenny G comment was so hilarious. *L*
    Congratulations on finding that soul! W0000t! I’ve never attempted to cook pinakbet but am now inspired by you. I’ll try to follow your recipe! Let’s see how it turns out.
    Kenny G, stay away!!!

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia October 20, 2007, 9:10 am

    Thanks Mik. That’s a great tip about the bittermelon!
    Hi Toni. Making pinakbet is super easy, just adjust everything to your tastes and you should be fine.

    Reply
  • Butch November 12, 2007, 10:25 pm

    I’m pure tagalog growing up in laguna but I love pinakbet, when I was in the service some of my friends are from Ilocos and they cook these often and now I tried to cook it and it turn out real good. Thanks a lot

    Reply
  • sue March 25, 2008, 1:31 pm

    hallo marvin!sarap naman nito,salamat for the recipe.

    Reply
  • chris April 6, 2008, 8:19 am

    Now, I missed home. One tip I’ve heard from somebody regarding bitter melon, is to slice it then soak it with salt and then squeeze the juice out. It will remove some of the bitterness. Not sure how it would look with the pinakbet though.

    Reply
  • mmmelissa October 12, 2008, 10:44 pm

    oh. my. god.
    i lub, lub, lub, LUB your blog!
    so glad I found you!!

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia October 13, 2008, 9:37 am

    Thanks butch, I’m glad you liked the recipe.
    Thanks sue.
    Hi chris, I’ve heard the same tip before. But I like the taste of bittermelon so I don’t mind the bitterness.
    Hello mmmelisa. I’m glad you found me too, and I hope you visit often.

    Reply
  • JM October 19, 2008, 6:15 pm

    Thanks for your post about Pinakbet. It is MY favorite!! I am from a Tagalog family, but my mother raised us to savor the special occasions when we get to eat it. I never liked it too much as a child. It is a dish you have to have a set of adult taste buds. Please continue with your great work. Someday It will be served in mainstream fancy restaurants. I may be the one who does so.

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia October 26, 2008, 4:54 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog, JM. If someday you do serve this in a fancy restaurant, I hope I’m there to taste it.

    Reply
  • JMom October 27, 2008, 7:02 am

    found your pinakbet post from Joey’s at 80 breakfast. I hadn’t read this one before and thoroughly enjoyed reading about your pinakbet adventure.
    “Kenny G of pinakbet” that made me LOL! πŸ˜€

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia October 28, 2008, 10:21 am

    Thanks JMom. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Reply
  • toninoname November 19, 2008, 12:45 am

    Congrats on finding your soul in cooking and letting us know how to cok pinakbet. Your post is amusing. I found this video on how to cook Pinakbet on http://www.filipino-foods.com. Enjoy! :)

    Reply
  • James Aragon November 21, 2008, 8:43 pm

    Great posting. My wife makes great pinakbet as well… she is Visayan and has slight different take. She uses pumpkin, okra, Chinese long beans, bitter melon, onion, garlic and tomatoes along with Philippine soy sauce. And you are right, no measurements needed, just soul and attitude.

    Reply
  • Burnt Lumpia November 29, 2008, 4:10 pm

    Thanks for the link toninoname.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, james!

    Reply
  • Hoz February 17, 2009, 5:29 am

    My Dad (from Ilocos Sur) gave me some Amplaya seeds about 20 years ago. I STILL have the original strain growing in my garden.
    We grow, cook and enjoy our own Pinakbet here in Indiana! In a bumper year we also freeze it for winter use. Not as crunchy after the freezer but the taste is still there.
    I like mine with bagoong (another acquired taste) but I often leave the eggplant out. For me the EP just gets all squishy and not much taste.
    Thx for the blog and keep finding your soul.
    Get DOWN with your BAD SELF!

    Reply
  • T Fabrizo February 20, 2009, 1:39 pm

    I want some. God that looks so so so good!

    Reply
  • lavaflow May 16, 2009, 3:18 am

    “Just put it in the pot and cook it!” That is such a Filipino parent type of cooking comment. I once asked my mother how long it took to cook pinakbet and she replied, “you cook until it is finished.” Yup, thoroughly obtuse but she was totally serious. This cooking experience reminds me of a really funny thing I read about an older Pinay teaching a younger one how to cook pinakbet. You can read the short story, “The Chicharon Widows” at
    http://www.spiritofaloha.com/features-11-marapri-08.html

    Reply
  • Vicky May 28, 2009, 10:30 pm

    My dad was a pinakbet master. He made his own bagoong and grew all of his own vegetables. He also used the same technique of not disturbing the contents of the pot. To get the juices to reach the top layers, he would hold the pot by the side handles, lift up, and shake it up and down so as to force the liquid from the bottom layers onto the top layers.
    I just discovered you today, and I am already a big fan!

    Reply
  • Jopin August 8, 2009, 9:54 pm

    OMG! Mouthwatering! Thanks to Tarcs for sending me your blog.

    Reply
  • lee jen August 13, 2009, 11:23 am

    ..wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.nag imaw ayta unay…mabisinakon!!!

    Reply
  • Leela@SheSimmers November 5, 2009, 11:53 am

    Thanks, Marvin, for directing me to this post. This looks very delicious and I can see why this is your favorite dish in the entire world times infinity. Doesn’t look difficult. Maybe I should give it a shot this weekend.

    Reply
  • Jasmin December 6, 2009, 1:01 pm

    Amen to that! Sometimes with aramang, sometimes with pork, or shrimps, or ampalaya leaves…You must have that Ilocano “papaitan” gene πŸ˜‰ I know I do!

    Reply
  • littlecupcake July 30, 2010, 4:57 pm

    Awesome blog! I love love love love love pinakbet, too…and congratulations on finally making it! I can totally relate to you because my dad used to be the only one in my family who made it. Now that he’s gone, I was lucky enough to continue making it for my family. Only difference is we make it with ginger and he used to always tell me…”Anak ko/Baruuk, neber neber stir…you shake de pot to plip de ingrejents!” Haha…I miss my dad!

    Reply
  • Lisamaroo August 10, 2010, 7:02 pm

    So funny! I’m cooking some up now, hoping to channel some of my dad’s cooking skill. I can so relate to the overly general cooking instructions. My attempt to cook chic. adobo in college with my dad’s instructions included comments like: Me, “how much garlic?” Dad, “Enough.” You can imagine how horribly that experiment went! I’m hungry, can’t wait to try this.

    Reply
  • Lhenny Greene April 5, 2011, 1:17 pm

    Love your blog bro.! Fortunately for you, you didn’t seemed to get raised by “strict” grandparents and Uncles. I remembered since I was 4 -5 yrs old getting forced to eat “guisadong ampalaya”, kare-kare, dinuguan, paksiw with ampalaya & eggplant, various types of Sinigang w/kangkong leaves or any leafy vegetables when all I prefer to eat are fried chicken, lechon, pork barbeque and adobo. I hate vegetables like any other kids. But now, since I developed fondness of pinoy native vegetables, I craved them so much just like you do. Luckily, now they have all kinds Pinoy restaurants sprouting all over the US and no need for me to go through what you went through. LOL…but thanks for sharing it bro. and nice to hear that I’m not alone with the same experience. God Bless…

    Reply
  • Vania June 26, 2011, 1:58 pm

    The chicharron you used in this recipe looks more like lechon kawali. Thanks for this non-recipe! I’ve been kinda scared to try making pinakbet because I know it will never turn out the way my mom makes it, but your guide has given me hope.

    Reply
  • mfwrites November 25, 2011, 6:35 am

    Magnifique as we say where I live (French-speaking Switzerland). A writer who cooks, how fun to read you, enthusiastic gourmet. SOLD on your pinakbet. May I point out that it’s only in the Ilocos region that our chicharon is bagnet. Far far more delicious!
    No Latino shops here…I’m going to add porc laquΓ© from a Vietnamese shop instead of fried pork cracklings and see where that gets me.
    Way to go! thank you, the pinakbet story was great!

    Reply
  • emencee13 January 19, 2012, 9:46 pm

    just found this recipe while searching for ways to use up some celery. anyway, fatfreevegan tried something with pinakbet, but sounded like a fail, she posted a link to pham fatale, her site linked to you and i was sympathetic to your blog title. so, if pinakbet were made vegetarian, or, um, vegan, would it be better to fry up some tofu to add toward the end? i’ve been trying to change up some filipino recipes lately, and always struggle with switching out the meat. for pinakbet, i go with a vegetarian version of patis, and don’t use eggplant because i am allergic to it. love ampalaya, though, wish someone would sell it NOT wrapped in plastic and styrofoam, ugh.

    Reply
  • rocel felix January 25, 2012, 1:34 pm

    this is the way to do it! i don’t use squash though, i use kamote. but all else yeah, at times i use patani or broad beans. lots of tomatoes crushed with my bare hands! naggimasem! yum!

    Reply
  • Luz of Camiling, Tarlac April 10, 2012, 6:04 am

    Good Morning, Just read your blog. GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY, we may even be related (nee doubt it – but who knows). My nanang is from Ilocos and my tatang is from Tarlac, and I was born in Camiling, Tarlac. My fav foods are pinakbet, pinapaitan, dinardaraan, kilawen, liddeg, bisokol, etc., etc. and of course you have to eat with your hands to savor all these yammy pinoy foods. I can eat sinigang (all kinds), ummm Ilocano adobo – yammm. So long. From Woodbridge, VA.

    Reply
  • Kathrina (aka Katrina) May 21, 2012, 10:42 pm

    OMG! You’ve got me cracking up as I make my own Pinakbet. My hubby found your blog on the interspace. He’s like. “Hey Hurricane. I found someone else who loves pinakbet as much as you.” I’m Hurricane coz of my name – Katrina. And for other reasons… I learned to make Pinakbet because I haven’t found any good Pinoy restaurants near where I live. And I live in the Oakland/Berkeley area. Lots of gourmet foods. Nothing tho like homestyle Filipino food. So I got tired to going to SSF and learned. And yes, my mom’s instructions were similar to your mom’s. And like you, pinakbet IS my favorite food in the whole boondock!

    Reply
  • Sheila September 12, 2012, 7:48 pm

    Oh yummy pinakbet is the bomb!!! The smell makes me smile and think of my dad and lola!!

    Reply
  • Koreen April 10, 2013, 6:08 pm

    Oh gosh…loved your post. I LOVE LOVE LOVE pinakbet…but I never get to make it because my husband hates it and my kids have complained the they don’t like it and they also can’t stand the smell. I actually love it with shrimp paste vs. patis….so I guess extra stinky. Live in Seattle and I only get my real pinakbet fix when my mom comes to visit us. Love your blog!

    Reply
  • Rose July 30, 2015, 1:20 pm

    I’ve been away from the Philippines almost 30 years, but I still remember the delicious foods my late father-in-law would cook for me. (He really loved me so much more than his son did! Maybe because I gave him 12 grandchildren !) Ampalaya is very good for diabetes. I was diagnosed several years ago when I passed out while driving to work and crashed into a parked big red Lincoln Navigator. Have been very blessed to finally get the Big D under control with diet alone. Pinakbet and Sinigang na Baboy were always my favorites, but he also made a dish with ampalaya,tomato, onion, bawang and glass noodles. Sometimes he put shrimp, sometimes not. He also would make ube icecream for me so the babies would have plenty of milk. I wasn’t sure what all veggies to put in the pinakbet, it’s been so long. Glad to find your blog–thank you for the smiles.

    Reply

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