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Pinakbet is a popular vegetable dish in the Philippines, sometimes known as pakbet or pinakbet tagalog. This Filipino dish is considered a popular cultural food from the Ilocanos, and its texture and appearance make it a stew.

It’s made with a medley of locally grown vegetables and is typically flavored with bagoong alamang (fermented shrimp paste) and fish sauce. It may also be topped with crumbled pork crackling or chicharon for added flavor.

This dish is usually cooked in a clay pot (palayok) over an open fire. Nowadays, it can also be cooked in a regular cooking pot on the stove.

Pinakbet has a pleasant earthy sweet taste and a unique savory-salty flavor from the bagoong alamang.

The vegetables used in this dish are also known to have many health benefits. For example, bitter gourd (or ampalaya) is known to help regulate blood sugar levels, while eggplant is a good source of fiber and antioxidants.

This dish is also relatively easy to make, and it’s one of the people’s favorite recipes for home-cooked meals.

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This dish helps Filipino farmers because it uses vegetables as its main ingredients.

When consumers buy local veggies, they not only give their families a nutritious meal, but also support the livelihood of Filipino farmers who toil diligently to create high-quality vegetable crops.

So in many ways, cooking pinakbet is a patriotic thing to do. Not to mention, it’s tasty and nutritious too!


The origin of pinakbet can be traced back to the Ilocos region in the northern part of the Philippines.

The term pinakbet or pakbet is derived from the Ilocano word “pinakebbet”, which means “shrunk” or “cook until shriveled.” This likely refers to the way the vegetables are cooked until they become soft and their natural flavors have been concentrated.

The Ilocanos are known for being thrifty people, and this is reflected in their cuisine. They often use whatever ingredients are locally available and cook them simply to preserve their nutrients.

This dish is a prime example of their ingenuity in using whatever ingredients are on hand to create a delicious and nutritious meal!

Pinakbet was originally one of the most popular vegetarian Filipino recipes. Back in the day, meat wasn’t as readily available or affordable, and fish was commonly used instead when people wanted to add some protein.

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.