This is a week overdue, anyway I kept it in mind. I gave a hint that I’d post how I cook pinakbet previously. This is it. Note that the pictures were taken not just now, I took it the 1st time I posted about pinakbet. Off we go.
– pork (part with some skin fat is good)
– egglant, ampalaya (bitter gourd/bitter melon), okra, string beans, squash
– garlic, onion, ginger
– fermented fish sauce (bagoong)
– pork skin cracklings (chicharom, more below)
You can forego chicharon if your pork has lot of skin fat, like pork belly. Also, if you can find chicharong bulaklak, you can do without pork and forget chicharon.
Take note that I am not specific of the proportions. I’m not a chef per se, and I found recipes with specific proportions making cooking a very technical thing, instead of an enjoyable, adventurous experience. That scares many from even trying. Even I write proportions and measurements here you’d still end up your own way after a few tries.
You want much pork in it? Go ahead. You like squash and want to put more, so be it. Be wary of too much bitter gourd though, or your pinakbet will be bitter. Common sense will dictate how much garlic, onion, and ginger you’ll use. Use ginger sparingly, Pangasinenses aren’t fond of ginger in veggies. Consider your audience. I once had an embarassing experience serving some Pangasinense guest and I heared “agi! walay agat” murmors. It loosely means “omg, there’s ginger in it”. I did not know then.
Slice pork, vegetables, onion, and ginger. Slice and lightly smash the ginger. Crush the garlic bulbs.
You may or may not peel the squash, ginger and garlic. If you opt not to peel, wash the skins thoroughly, the ginger in particular. I did not peel the ginger.
Elder Ilocanoes do not peel garlics. Its peeling adds a different flavor itself. If you are kind of squeamish (read that “uninformed”) read about the British Cook Jamie Oliver using unpeeled garlics. There’s a flavor difference between peeled and unpeeled garlic. I kept the garlic unpeeled.
I’m not lucky when I visited the local grocer as there is no okra. You should have ingredients as the pic above, plus okra. And, the pork cracklings? Im lucky It’s available in Taiwan, although not Philippine made. It’s from Vietnam, it does not matter.
Take a few chunks, make a course powder out of it by grinding, mortar
and pestle, or simply gently smashing with a laddle against a chopping board.
Next up: let’s cook it.