Pinakbet without bagoong

The title of the entry sounds sacrilegious, I know. Pinakbet without bagoong. Well, tough. I am allergic to bagoong (shrimp paste) and even its fish version. In fact, there are certains brands of patis (fish sauce) that do not agree with me as well. Ironically, I love the Ilocano classic dish called pinakbet–not for the bagoong-flavored sauce but for the wonderful mixture of vegetables. And I always felt a little deprived when, growing up, everyone in the family could enjoy a hearty meal of pinakbet except me. pinakbet without bagoong

When I learned to cook, I would make pinakbet by substituting patis (the milder varieties) for bagoong. It satisfied the craving in a way but it lacked something. Then, two weeks ago, I bought a bottle of tuyo (salted dried herrings) soaked in olive oil intending to use it as one would use anchovies. I used a few pieces of tuyo with pasta (wonderful–will post the recipe within the week) and then wondered what I would do with the rest. Why not cook pinakbet? So, I did. :)

The cooked dish is less pungent though it has that distinct fishy aroma that characterizes the traditional pinakbet. The best part was that I could actually eat it without fear of getting a bum stomach afterwards.

If you’re one of those Filipinos living abroad who want to introduce your partner or your friends to the more exotic side of Filipino cuisine, you might want to break them in by using tuyo in olive oil in lieu of bagoong when introducing them to pinakbet.

Ingredients :

1/2 kilo of boiled pork belly or kasim (I think kasim is the shoulder), cut into 2-inch cubes
a bunch of sitaw (string beans), cut into 2-inch lengths
2 medium-sized eggplants, cut into 2-inch cubes or roughly the same size as the pork
6-8 pieces of okra, trimmed
1 whole garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 shallots, thinly sliced or diced
6 tomatoes, diced
3-4 pieces of tuyo in olive oil, flaked
3-4 tsps. of the oil in the bottle of tuyo
1 c. of fish broth

Cooking procedure :

Note: To make fish broth, just boil the head and bones of a large fish in water. When I have the fish filleted in the market, I always bring home the head and the bones precisely for making fish broth. If fish broth is not available, you may substitute meat broth. Worst case scenario–use water.

Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed cooking pan (a wok or the traditional carajay is best for even cooking). Add the pork cubes and cook over high heat until lightly browned. For a more authentic pinakbet, you might want to use cubes of bagnet or lechon kawali. Add the garlic, shallots, tomatoes and the flaked tuyo. Cook for about a minute. Add the vegetables and pour in the fish broth. Season with patis. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the mixture is almost dry.

Serve at once with hot rice and enjoy! :)


  1. Leah says

    Connie, kapampangans use tinapa as flavoring for pinakbet or any similar vegetable dish. They also use grilled fish (mudfish or catfish specifically). Try it. You will not get the ‘bite’ of fermented or dried fish, but still have the savory fish flavor.

  2. Gena cockerell says

    Hi Connie,
    You really a creative person i salute for you.At least now you can enjoy your own pinakbet version.Loved pinakbet but where we are is can’t get ingredients for pinakbet.Like okra,small aubergine,snake etc.Nagugutom tuloy ako sa pinakbet mo.

  3. says

    Leah, wow, tinapa sounds wonderful! I love tinapa!

    Gena, creativity borne out of desperation hehehe perhaps you can use other veggies for your own version of pinakbet too!

    RR, the bagoong is stirred in before adding the vegetables.

  4. LES says

    hi Connie: great idea! I live in Manhattan, and the best substitute I could get would be anchovies in olive oil. wow, I love pinakbet, and I will try your version, but with anchovy fillets instead. T H A N K S !

  5. Gina says

    Hi Connie, pinakbet looks yummy..

    Although, more intrested in your anchovies pasta, hmmm how did you do that dish??

    Cheers, Gina

  6. Rose says

    A little off topic – but I really like the new blog design you have at the moment :) Are you going to place links to your other blogs on this one? (or am I just not finding them…)

  7. says

    Thank you, Rose. Looks fresh and bright, doesn’t it? Actually, I didn’t change the layout, just the background images. Re links to other blogs. The photos on the sidebar links directly to the latest entries in Pinoy Food Talk. Let’s see if there’s enough space to add links to the other blogs. :)

  8. says


    just want to know…

    this is good for how many people? we’re only 2 at home and sometimes we cant even finish a single dish… i find it hard to cook just for 2 people… receipes that i want to cook is always good for 4 or 6.

    i want to try this one sana…

  9. says

    I’ve been doing the bagoong-less version lately too since my youngest won’t touch anything with fish or shrimps in it, and you can’t fool her either. She’ll smell it even if you tried to hide it :lol::lol:

  10. says

    She’s your challenge, JMom.

    Celo, that kind of mentality is something that keeps cooks from becoming creative adventurous. I suggest you get over it.

  11. Alfred Punzalan says

    Hi Connie, I live in London and I bought a bottle of anchovy sauce a few weeks ago na hindi malansa (siguro dahil british made). I bought it in Sainsburys if you’re familiar with it. Kung gusto mo padalhan kita next time na I’ll send a package home. By the way, your blog is really useful and sincere on food cooking. – Love it!

  12. Celso says

    Hi tukayo, I am connie too. My wife went to Philippines for vacation and she left our youngest daugther with me, she said she missed mom’s pinakbet but I don’t know how. So I search the net and found your site. I tried your recipes, add ampalaya cause my daugther likes it. it’s perfect we love it!!! gugulatin ko na lang si misis pagdating nya I will cook for her. :)

    Thanks for your delicious recipe.

  13. james says

    hello to everyone, i am new sa website na to, me and my family are vegetarians > i heard something about TVP (textured vegetable protein) o meat substitute kung tawagin ng iba> san ba ko makakabili nito sa metro manila and how much?

  14. Graxia06 says

    Mam c0ni,i’m s0rry! rude of me to post & post,n0t even asking ur permissi0n.Na excite lng po msyado!..-So hapi i’ve f0und y0ur blog!..M0re p0wer!

  15. Rush says

    Contemplating on what to cook for dinner, I googled for Pinoy recipes and luckily came across your website. This blog entry in particular caught my eye – the pinakbet looks so yummy!

    I grew up in the Ilocos region where bagoong is the base of the majority of our dishes. My grandmother would have thought pinakbet without bagoong is blah. I, on the other hand, think it’s adventurous.

    I give kudos to your willingness to defy culinary norms!

    *since I don’t have all the ingredients to cook pinakbet at the moment, lemme browse through your recipes and find something to cook hehehe.

  16. JOEY TOSINO says

    hey hey
    meron na naman akong i-try na bago from Connie.
    mahilig ako sa gulay at sa pinakbet at nung nakita ko ang pic ng pakbet mo, naalala ko yung sa gawa ng nanay ko(na kaka-skype ko lang kanina, hehe).
    so sa pamamalengke sa lunes, isasama ko to sa mga bibilhing ingredients. thanks sa tip sa pampaalat.

  17. Dona says

    hi Connie,
    natutuwa talaga ako dito sa site mo..very useful esp sa katulad ko na trying hard maging cook..
    etong pinaket, ok lang ba kung walang string beans? ayaw kasi ni hubby ng mga beans kasi aatakihin sya ng gout.. ano pang vegetable ang pwedeng idagdag? thanks..

  18. leng says

    connie, i was drooling when i saw this. kaya i went to the market agad. im gonna make it tonight heheh! fiesta ito harhar! salamat for being so creative!

  19. celeste sy says

    HI Ms Connie! I tried this recipe last week. super sarap !! :) love it talga. i added squash too. i think i like this na more than the real ilokano pinakbet. :) i’m ilokana by the way but never really tried cooking pinakbet because my dad always find something wrong with it. e kasi i cant cook pinakbet the way he does so…. i’ll just stick to your version and pag nag comment i’ll just tell him my dish is not “pinakbet” but “pinakbet without bagoong”.. heheh :) thanks for sharing your recipe!

  20. Nimfa Veneracion says

    It was my first time to cook Pinakbet. I just used patis and it was yummy. I want to know if I’m related to you. My family is from Nueva Ecija Philippines.

  21. says

    I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this recipe. My mom used to make a similar dish – she’s from Pampanga – a pinakbet w/o shrimp paste. She only uses our left-over fried frish and season with patis…. Thank you for sharing. I’m drooling and I’m going to make this soon, for sure!

  22. MP says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been wondering how I can take out the bagoong, since I’m a gout sufferer. I’m learning ways to make traditional Pinoy foods into gout friendly foods, but I’m not succeeding, yet. I’ll give this a try, and let you know what happens. Lol!