Pinakbet, an Ilocano pork and vegetable stew

Pinakbet, an Ilocano pork and vegetable stew

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 cup bagnet diced (lechon kawali or well-browned pork belly will do too)
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger chopped
  • 2 tablespoons shrimp paste
  • patis (fish sauce) (fish sauce), to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • pinch sugar for balance
  • 6 okra diced
  • 1 cup sitaw (yard-long beans) cut into two-inch-lengths
  • 2 eggplants diced
  • 1 to 2 cups squash diced
  • 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups bone broth


  • Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.
  • Add the pork, garlic, ginger, onion and tomatoes. Season with the bagoong, patis, black pepper and sugar. Toss around just until heated through.
  • Add the vegetables. The ones that take longest to cook go in first. There really is no hard and fast rule there as to which vegetable takes longest to cook because some vegetables are more mature than others. In short, I can’t say that, in strict terms, the sitaw and the okra should go on first. They should if they’re mature because they’ll need to cook longer than the eggplants and the squash. But if they are very tender, it is possible that they will cook in the same amount of time as the eggplants and the squash.
  • In my case, the okra and the sitaw were quite mature so I threw them in first. After adding the first batch of vegetables (or all the vegetables, whichever is true in your case), pour in the broth. How much? Just enough to wet the vegetables, not to totally cover them. You’re going to stew them, not make a soup out of them. The broth has to be just enough so that by the time the vegetables are done, you have a little sauce that has thickened a bit.
  • So, after adding the broth, bring to the boil and let boil, uncovered, for a couple of minutes. Lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer. Avoid stirring to prevent the vegetables from breaking apart. Rather, toss and swirl the pan from time to time.
  • When the vegetables are done, the pinakbet is ready to serve. Best with rice.