Pinakbet Mixed Vegetable Stew Without Shrimp Paste
Pinakbet or Pakbet is an indigenous Filipino dish cooked with mixed tropical vegetables. Traditionally, it consists of eggplant, okra, bitter melon, squash, winged beans, and shrimp paste or bagoong (fermented anchovies).
Shrimp paste and bagoong are totally two different kinds. Shrimp paste is made from ground shrimp while bagoong is made from anchovies fish. But their fermentation process is almost the same. Neither of these two is included in this dish. It’s because, in western countries, the commodity of these ingredients are scarce.
The absence of the shrimp paste or bagoong did not interrupt the traditional taste. It’s because I added the fish sauce to have that seafood flavor. And, don’t worry, the fish sauce did not overpower the beef flavor. The taste is well-balanced.
This dish is very easy to cook, which is a good thing, and in less than 30 minutes, it’s ready. I recommend to always taste it before removing the heat. Add more seasonings if needed.
Pinakbet is a perfect viand to plain white rice. Here is my version and I hope you like it.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium eggplant, quarter sliced
- 1 cup fresh okra, cut the tip and top hard part off
- 1 cup squash, quarter sliced
- 1 tomato, diced or chopped
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 cup water
- vegetable oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Saute onion until soft, then add garlic.
Toss in the beef. Stir until brown.
Add tomato, squash, and water. Mix and cover. Cook for 3 minutes.
Remove cover. Add eggplant, okra, fish sauce and tomato paste. Mix well to blend. Cover. Cook for 7 minutes.
Uncover. Season to taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Cover.
Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Serve with plain white rice or your favorite veggies, like corn or potatoes.
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