Pinakbet ni Aiya (Pinakbet/Pakbet Ilocano Style)
1/4 kilo pork (menudo cut)
1/4 kilo eggplant
1/4 kilo ladyfingers / okra
1/4 kilo bitter melon / ampalaya
5 small tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
1 medium-sized onion
50 grams anchovies sauce / bagoong na isda
water (around 200 grams)
1 big sweet potato (although for me it’s a must since its sweetness balanxesthe saltineaa of the dish)
Seasoning like Vetsin or Magic Sarap
Alocon (they had it in the grocery store today so might as well add it)
Other optional vegetables you can add:
Sigarilyas (Pallang in Ilocano)
Prepare the vegetables:
1. Mince garlic and slice onions
2. Peel sweet potato and dice it. Make sure that it’s twice as big as the pork cuts.
3. Cut the ends of the bitter melon / ampalaya and cut it in half or fours depending on the size. Remove the white part if you don’t want it to be too bitter. You may also rub it with table salt and then wash it again to get rid of some of its bitter taste. Personally, I just remove the white part if the seeds are too big.
4. Cut the ends of the ladyfingers / okra and cut it in half diagonally.
5. Cut the eggplants in half and make quarter slices in it.
1. On a medium heat, put the pork in a pan and put a little water on it. Put a little oil when the water has evaporated.Cook the pork until it becomes brown. Set it aside (either literally put it at one side of your pan or take it out of the pan. I prefer the former).
2. On the same pan, put in the minced garlic. Cook it a little until its slightly brown then put in the onions. Cook it until it’s translucent.
3. Add in the tomatoes. Sauté the mixture. (Add in the pork if you took it out.)
4. Add the anchovies sauce and water. Add in the sweet potato. Cover it and wait for it to boil.
5. When it’s boiling put in the bitter melon, lady fingers, and eggplant. When arranging the vegetables make sure that the harder to cook are at the bottom. Cover and let it boil.
6. Add the seasoning and other easily
cooked vegetables like alocon or patani. Add water if needed but make sure not to put too much in. The Ilocano Pinakbet has very little sauce. Cover and let it boil for a few more minutes. Make sure to not overcook your veggies!