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Pakbet Tagalog and Some Awards

Whenever I cook, I am always reminded of the Philippines...not just because I got my love for food and cooking from there, but also because I miss the fresh produce that are always available in local public markets. Filipinos aren't used of stocking food in their refrigerator because any time of the day, even if you don't have your own backyard vegetable garden, you can surely get fresh and naturally grown fruits and vegetables at a not so expensive price. Fresh meat and seafood are also available all the time. I can say, getting the freshest products is truly one of the simplest pleasures you can get in the Philippines...and that's something I miss now that I'm here in TX!

Filipinos love combining fresh produce to create delectable meals that could surely satisfy anyone's palate. One of the most popular dish that is a combination of vegetables that are rich in color and nutrients is the Pinakbet or Pakbet which originated in the Ilocos region. It came from the Ilocano word Pinakebbet which means "shrunk" or shriveled". It was named that way because in the original Pinakbet, the vegetables are boiled over low heat until almost dry and shriveled. The authentic pinakbet cooked in Ilocandia is simply boiled vegetables  with fish bagoong (fish paste) topped with either bagnet (deep fried pork belly chunks) or dried fish. It became popular in the whole Philippine archipelago that other regions came out with their own version. One of them is the Pakbet Tagalog. Unlike the original pakbet, Pakbet Tagalog is sautéed vegetables with shrimp paste and has kalabasa (kabocha squash) which is not commonly used by the Ilocanos in their pinakbet.

Whether Ilocano or Tagalog version, pakbet is a vegetable dish, packed with vitamins and minerals that makes it really worth trying.
* I'm linking this up on Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Mangia Mondays, Hearth and Soul Hop Hub, Delectable Tuesday, Tuesdays At The Table and Made From Scratch Tuesday. 
Prep Time: ~25 mins               Cook Time: ~35 mins                Servings: 4            

  • ½ lb pork belly, sliced in 1/2 “ thick rectangles
  • 10-12 pcs shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 2 pcs eggplants, bias sliced
  • 12-15 pcs string beans, cut into 2 inches long
  • ½ medium sized kabocha squash, cubed
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, crushed
  • 2 pcs tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp bagoong alamang (shrimp paste) – I used 2 Tbsp sweet shrimp paste and 1 Tbsp salted shrimp paste
  • 1 ½ cup of water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or pork oil
  • ½ cup dried sardines (In a skillet, dry roast the dried sardines until crunchy then set aside.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
You can also add 10 pcs okra (cut into 1 ½ inch length) and 1 sliced ampalaya (bitter gourd). My daughters aren’t fans of these vegetables so I usually don’t use them for my pakbet.

1. Sprinkle pork belly with salt. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
2. Cook sliced pork belly in ½ cup water over medium heat until water evaporates and oil starts coming out.

3. Turn heat to low and while constantly tossing, cook pork until golden brown. Remove pork from pan and set aside. 

4. In the same pan, using 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or the oil produced from cooking the pork, saute the tomatoes, ginger, onions and garlic until the tomatoes are soft. 

5. Add shrimp paste and sauté for a minute.

6. Add squash and string beans and sauté for about 5 minutes. 

7. Add eggplant. Saute for 3 minutes.

8. Add the remaining 1 cup of water. Mix well. Cover and cook until vegetables are almost done. 

9. Add the shrimps and simmer until the shrimps turn pink. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste.
10. Add pork and dried sardines, saving some for toppings. Simmer for another minute.
11. Remove from heat. Serve with hot rice.

And now, for the awards...

Rachel Joy of Cool Bean Mommas gave me The Stylish Blogger Award.

Though this is the third time I got this award, I still feel so honored for having been chosen by Rachel for this. Rachel Joy is a Filipina blogger who grew up in the US and is now in the Philippines. She has an awesome sense of humor and a truly delightful way of sharing her adventures as a wife & mom which truly amaze me. Check out Cool Bean Mommas for you to see what I'm talking about! 

I've already done the Stylish Blogger Award before so I'd rather not do this again. For those who are interested to know 7 things about me, check out my previous post on this. :) To Rachel Joy, thank you so much for passing on The Stylish Blogger Award to me! I'm truly grateful to you for thinking of me! :-*

I also got two awards from my dear friend, Manu of Manu's Menu:

As some of you already know, I started Pinay In Texas Cooking Corner just 4 months ago...Jan. 14, 2011 to be exact. I must admit that at that time, I really didn't know anyone from the blogging world, and though I tried my best to make friends with other bloggers, I just find it so hard to build a personal connection with them, thereby making me feel I don't belong. Then Manu came...Manu is one of those few food bloggers who first made me feel that there's room for me in the blogosphere. Despite the distance between us, she has her special way of making me feel her support. Thank you so much, Manu! I really feel so lucky to have known you!

Though there's no rule that goes with these awards, I want to pass it on to five wonderful bloggers. I have known them just recently but I fell in love with their beautiful blogs, and what they do to make the blogosphere a whole lot better.

Adora of Adora's Box
Nami of Just One Cookbook
Rachel Joy of Cool Bean Mommas

They are truly awesome with what they do! You can see from their blog how much dedicated they are not only in sharing what they got, but much more, in helping other bloggers despite their very busy life. Though the only connection we have is the blogosphere, I consider them my new friends! Drop by their pages. You won't regret it when you see what they have to offer...


  1. Hi Tina! Congrats on these awards! This shows that all your hardworks and everything you did here despite your busyness are recognized in the blogosphere! :D
    Tks for passing the 2 awards to me and truly appreciated, happy, more than happy that you regards me, accepting me as your friend. You too make me feel that I belong here! Tks! :D

  2. Your Pakbet looks delicious and all those veggies, ingredients and pork belly are my favourite! :D
    I shall go to the supermarket tommorrow to buy both the sweet & salty shrimp paste to try out this dish! :D

  3. Congrats on your awards! Truly, you deserve them for your terrific, healthy food, beautiful blog, and hard work. Your meal looks so delicious. After reading the ingredients I could almost taste all those amazing flavors!

  4. Congratulations on your awards, Tina, and thanks for sharing them. Your pakbet looks so scrumptious and very Tagalog, just like my Mum used to cook it. It makes me feel homesick.

  5. Congratulations Cristina! You really deserve this award. Your site is fantastic, organized, and very clean. Your photos are fantastic and makes me just feel like eating in your kitchen!

    Take Care!

  6. Oh that meal is such a delight! I love it, nicely done!
    Congrats on the deserve them and I couldn't agree more about Manu, she is such a sweet person.
    You def. belong here and you are loved by everyone!!!
    Have a wonderful day!!!

  7. congrats on your awards, wishing many more to come. Meal looks super delicious.

  8. Wonderful looking dish! Love the colors and flavors you combined. I don't think I can easily find some of the ingredients where I live, although maybe the asian market further away will carry some. Congrats on more awards= can identify with getting started in the blog world. You are one who truly shows us what support and friendship is. Thanks for being that friend!

  9. Hi Tina, the shrimp paste that you used for this dish is it violet purple color for the salty one and black color for the sweet one? Went to the supermarket just now to look for these but wasn't sure if they're the correct ones coz I've never use shrimp paste for my dishes before... LOL

  10. Nice to learn about the pakbet too, and it looks like a lovely vegetable dish:) It's like that, we are always reminded of our country when it comes to food, as we are just so used to them as our comfort food from home;)

    Congratulations on all your awards!!:D

  11. Tina you are too kind! The pakbet in an of it self is a wonderful surprise....and passing along these awesome awards to me is like icing on top of a cake, or a more suited analogy...Pakbet on top of rice =)

  12. Tina, thanks for sharing the very tasty Filipino dish! I love the story behind the dish. Yes I know what you mean by getting fresh produces etc. Here farmer's market is only on the weekend. Imagine that happens all day long everyday. Sounds so wonderful! Congrats on your awards Tina. And you pass them to me....! Thank you sooo much! You are so sweet!! I kindly accept your awards. Thank you very much. :-)

  13. Oh Tina! Thank you so much for your words! I truly feel blessed to have met you through blogging and I am really happy that we can be friends even "beyond" blogging! <3 You are a special person and I do mean that! :-) Thanks for being so supportive too!

    BTW, this recipe is fantastic... I love the colors and I am sure it tastes amazing! :-)

  14. Congrats on your awards! That pakbet looks so delicious with all the colorful veggies! Sorry to hear that you're missing the fresh veggies. I'm adding a link party to These Chicks Cooked each Wednesday. I'd love for you to come link up.

  15. i love eggplants. i love green beans. i love pork belly. we usually use pork belly for fresh spring rolls with lots of veggies and herbs... but back to you... that dish looks wonderful! thanks for sharing. :)

  16. Lovely dish with plenty of ingredients inside.

  17. wow!! this looks delicious!!! and congrats for your award!! :)

  18. love the flavours in this! wow why is your shrimp paste a bright magenta! and i nv knew there were 2 kinds- salty and sweet! thanks for the tips(:

  19. I just cooked pinakbet for dinner and it was so yummy...tks for ur step by step instruction w/ included pics...u made everything simplified. My hubby n in-laws luv the food! Tks again.... This weekend I'll try your bibingka recipe. More power to you and God Bless!