Pinakbet: How to Make Filipino-Style Pinakbet

Filipino-Style Pinakbet is a native Filipino dish from the Philippines’ northern regions. Pinakbet is made of mixed vegetables steamed in a sauce of fish or shrimp. The word is the contracted form of the Ilokano word pinakbet, meaning “shrunk” or “shrivelled.” Bagoong is a fermented fish that is used in the original Ilocano pinakbet for seasoning sauce, while bagoong alamang is used further south.

Most of these vegetables are easily accessible and grown in most Ilocano households’ backyards and gardens.

As its name suggests, it is usually cooked until it is almost dried and shrivelled; shrimp paste accentuates the vegetable flavours in the Tagalog version. Lechon, chicharron, or other meat is used in some situations.

Filipino-Style Pinakbet

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Filipino

Pinakbet is cooked with a variety of other vegetables including bitter melon, string beans, eggplants, okra, tomatoes, lima beans, and more. It’s a tasty dish alone, but it’s better if usually fried fish or grilled pork is combined with food. The whole preparation and cooking time is around 40 minutes. This recipe is suitable for at least four servings. 

Filipino-Style Pinakbet

Pinakbet is best paired with steamed white rice. Photo credits to: @discovermnl.

Filipino-Style Pinakbet Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb of lechon kawali sliced
  • 1 piece of Shrimp Cube, any product
  • 15 pieces of string beans cut into 2-inch length
  • 1/2 piece of squash, cubed
  • 12 pieces of okra
  • 1 piece of Chinese eggplant, sliced
  • 1 piece of bitter melon, sliced
  • 1 piece of sweet potato, cubed (optional)
  • 2 pieces of tomato, cubed
  • 2 thumbs of ginger, crushed (optional)
  • 1 piece of onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons of bagoong alamang
  • 2 ½ cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper

Filipino-Style Pinakbet Instructions

Step 1: Heat the oil in a pan. Saute garlic and onion. Remove ginger and cook until the onion is softer. Add kawali lechon. Soak 1 minute.

Step 2: Pour out the water. Let them simmer.

Step 3: Add the shrimp cube. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes at medium heat.

Step 4: Add alamang, tomatoes, and bagoong. Stir, fill the casserole, and cook for three minutes.

Step 5: Place the squash and the sweet potato in the pot. Cook seven minutes. Add eggplant, string beans, okra, and ampalaya. Stir. Cover the pot for 5 minutes and cook.

Step 6: Spray with black pepper on the bottom and apply remaining meat. Cook it for a few minutes.

Step 7: Switch to a tray for serving. Serve.

Filipino-Style Pinakbet Additional Information

  • Per serving has 1243 calories, 28g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 124g fat, and 45g saturated fat.
  • Although Pinakbet originally comes from the Ilocanos, its popularity has spread throughout the Philippines, and so Filipinos have come up with various versions of this dish. Pork is added to the mix in some versions. 
  • This recipe serves at least four.
  • Total cook/prep time is around 40 minutes.

About Filipino-Style Pinakbet Recipe

In the Philippines, there are plenty of vegetable dishes that are healthy and nutritious that are also easy to cook and less costly to buy. Take Pinakbet for example.

Pinakbet is a mixed vegetable variety saute in fish paste. Each ingredient in this deliciously nutritious dish has some health advantage.

According to many studies, Pinakbet is a healthy dish for those who are suffering from diabetes.


Today, Pinakbet stems out to several variations all over the Philippines and some parts of the world. For more international recipes, click here.

Featured Image: @ulamideas / Instagram, @pinay_foodtrip / Instagram