Pinakbet or pakbet is a popular vegetable dish in the Philippines which originated in Ilocos Region, the word pinakbet is derived from the Ilocano word pinakebbet, meaning “shrunk” or “shrivelled”. It is cooked with a different variety of vegetables such as bitter melon, string beans, eggplants, okra, tomatoes, lima beans, etc. (the list can go on) and flavoured with bagoong. It is a good dish on its own but it is better when paired with meat usually fried fish or grilled pork. My version would be a simplified version as it’s hard to find bitter melon in where I live and it is seasonal as well.

So for the veggie lovers try this one out, it’s the Filipino version of the Ratatouille.

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-5
  • 2 small Asian eggplant, sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch string beans, sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • 300g okra, sliced into 2 inch pieces
  • ¼ squash or buttercup, sliced roughly 1 inch
  • 1 large bitter melon, sliced
  • 150g shrimps, shelled and deveined (optional)
  • 150g pork belly, cubed
  • 2 pcs tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ head garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp bagoong monamon
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional, some love this with a hint of sweetness)
  • fish sauce or sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • oil
  • 1 cup water
  1. In a pan sauté garlic, onion and tomatoes in oil.
  2. Add pork pieces and brown evenly.
  3. Add squash and okra continuously pan frying for 2 minutes, bring the heat to low and cover for 5 minutes
  4. Add string beans, bitter melon and eggplants pan fry pan fry for additional 2 minutes.
  5. Add water, sugar, shrimps and bagoong monamon, cover and simmer for 5-8 minutes in medium heat until vegetables are cooked.
  6. Season with pepper add fish sauce/salt if needed.



30 Responses

  1. peachkins says:

    what’s bagoong monamon? is that bagoong isda?

  2. Oh okra. I’ll be coming back for this one this summer, I’m sure.

  3. I had to look up bagoon monamon, but now that I know it’s a fermented shrimp paste, suddenly the recipe seems more “familiar” in the spectrum of seafood-seasoned dishes. I wonder if the fermentation makes the flavoring safe for people with shellfish allergies.

  4. I’m yet to try cooking with bitter melon and okra, so this might be the dish to try. Funny name too 🙂

  5. nors says:

    Panalo yan pre ha… Alala ko tuloy probinsya namin… Terno ng pritong bangus yan e sa pangasinan

  6. Yay for another new Filipino dish! It’s my first time to learn about this recipe and it looks really gooooood! I like how you serve with the pan, too. It’s really nice casual style!

  7. What a gorgeous dish – may not be able to recreate it exactly, but could adapt!

  8. Dear Raymund,

    This dish looks really interesting to me because I love the combination of okra and eggplant and the pork would certainly add heaps of flavour too!

  9. not my favorite vegetable dish.. 🙁

  10. Kristy says:

    This looks like one Mike and I would enjoy immensely! I know we’d like it with pork as well. 🙂

  11. meri says:

    I would love to try this with just the veggies alone!

  12. I LOVE all the flavors in this dish.. especially the eggplant. I am such a eggplant fan

  13. Simply Tia says:

    Wow! I learn something new every day. I’ve never seen or heard of pinakbet but it looks delicious!

  14. This big splatter of veges and meat inside is enough for the day. Simply nice to go with our white rice. I can imagine the taste of the soup, lots of flavors and yum.

  15. What a great dish – I am always looking for something different so this definitely falls into that category.
    🙂 Mandy

  16. rgen77 says:

    The light absolutely great!
    My only recipe comment though, your pinakbet needs a chicharon topping to put it over the edge 🙂

  17. foodjaunts says:

    I love, love, love pinkabet. I think it’s the bagoong that makes the dish for me. I’m going to try your version for next time since I can’t get bitter melon either.

  18. Really lovely use of local vegetables !

  19. Pinakbet says:

    i love pinakbet… yummy

  20. marvin says:

    the other version like pinakbet with tomato sauce

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