Friday, February 10, 2012

Ilocano Pinakbet

This is the real version of Ilocano pinakbet cooked in Paoay, Ilocos Norte 
this was served in a party. Since there were other meat and fish dishes, it was cooked without the sagpaw (add-on meat). For Ilocanos they never used squash when cooking pinakbet.

It is very easy to prepare and cook. The traditional way of cooking is to put all the
cut veggies inside a clay pot, then with the most important seasoning - bagoong  or buggoong (fish paste), diluted in water serves as the broth to boil the veggies.

Pinakbraw - a literal watered down version of pinakbet with too much water akin to inabraw (vegetable stew), another famous and simple Ilocano dish.

The best pinakbet is when it is cooked well done with little water remaining in the dish, the bagoong should be absorbed mostly by the veggies. And specially when it is cooked and made greasy by slivers of bagnet.

Pinakbet or pakbet is a popular Ilokano dish, from the northern regions of the Philippines, although it has become popular throughout the archipelago. The word is the contracted form of the Ilokano wordpinakebbet, meaning "shrunk" or "shriveled"[1]. The original Ilokano pinakbet uses bagoong, of fermentedmonamon or other fish, while further south, bagoong alamang is used. The basic vegetables used in this dish include native bitter meloneggplanttomatookrastring beanschili pepperspardawinged beans, and others. Root crops and some beans like camotepatanikadios are also optionally added. The young pod of marunggay is also added. It is usually spiced with gingeronions, or garlic.
Tagalog version usually includes calabaza. Most of these vegetables are easily accessible, and are grown in backyards and gardens of most Ilokano households. As its name suggests, it is usually cooked until almost dry and shriveled; the flavors of the vegetables are accentuated with shrimp paste. In some cases, lechon,chicharon, or other meats (most commonly pork) are added. It is considered a very healthy dish, and convenient in relation to the harsh and rugged, yet fruitful Ilocos region of the Philippines.
The vegetable dish pinakbet is more than a regional cuisine. It is an enduring symbol of the Ilokano palate and a lucid display of the Ilokanos’ history of contestations and struggles with the physical and social environment. The recipe weaves intimations of the cultural productions of the Ilokanos' transaction to their arid and less productive land. (Caday, 2009)
Pinakbet is similar to the Proven├žal (French) vegetable stew ratatouille except for its sauce.
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