Pinakbet With A Twist

piquant pinakbet

Pinakbet is the most talked about Ilocano dish. It is an inexpensive but savory vegetable dish. However, for the frugal Ilocano, it becomes a luxury when chicharon (bagnet),  another Ilocano specialty, is added to it. Authentic Ilocano pakbet is a mélange of eggplant, okra, sitaw,  pallang, siling mahaba, tomato, bittermelon and shrimp sauce. The last four ingredients give the stew its distinct piquant taste.

The glamorized pinakbet with chicharon is reserved for special occasions. It stands out among meat dishes — like dinardaraan, igado, kaldereta, kilawen, dinakdakan, sweet spareribs and lechon (the  pièce de résistance) — ever-present on the smorgasbord table. The pinakbet with chicharon, and  sometimes, with patani and tomato sauce or ketchup (instead of tomatoes) is a unique blend wonderful on the palate. I like it more than the original pinakbet.

Pinakbet ken Chicharon Recipe (makes 4 servings)


  • 1/2 kilo assorted vegetables ( sitaw, sili, talong, ampalaya, pallang and okra )
  • 10 pcs sliced camatis (tomatoes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly pounded
  • 1 small ginger, lightly pounded
  • 4 oz water
  • 3 tbsps bugguong (shrimp sauce)
  • 1/8 kilo chicharon, chopped into desired size
  • 1/2 pork cube (optional)


  1. Wash vegetables thoroughly, then slice ampalaya in halves and the sitaw and talong into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Put everything, including chicharon, bugguong, water and seasoning  inside the cooking pot.
  3. Cook until it boils, then mix lightly. Wait for another 2 minutes and remove from heat. Now, you can enjoy your pinakbet with chicharon.
*Recipe courtesy of Miss Aprill Lyn Calantes Coloma. Photographed by Blauearth

3 thoughts on “Pinakbet With A Twist

  1. Good day! I was looking for ilocano food recipes that I would like to try for my family and I ended up browsing your blog. I’m from ilocos, san nicolas ilocos norte to be exact but am staying in baguio right now. I feel delighted because you featured my uncle’s resto and his co-owners, herencia cafe. Im looking for a recipe that my family would surely love..and voila, i saw your blog post…thanks so much for posting your pinakbet or pakbet recipe.. God speed!!!

    • thanks so much for taking the time to post a comment, Aaron. my pleasure. take care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s