How to Cook Pinakbet

Two Parts:Making the BagnetCooking the Pinakbet

Pinakbet is a fragrant Filipino stew. It's flavored with fatty pork and salty shrimp paste, which is why the recipe below doesn't call for any extra salt. The vegetables are stewed together with garlic and ginger for a hearty, flavorful stew that's best served over rice. To make this recipe, you first need to make a Filipino-style pork called "bagnet," though you can also sometimes find it in international markets.



Servings: Enough for 1 pot of Pinakbet

  • 1 pound pork belly
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons salt
  • Vegetable oil[1]


Servings: 4

  • 1 pound bagnet (see recipe below)
  • 1-2 bitter melons
  • 2 tablespoons Filipino shrimp paste[2]
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced[3]
  • 1 cup red onion or shallots
  • 1/2 pound of Japanese or Chinese eggplant
  • 1/2 pound okra (or 8-10 pieces)
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 snake beans
  • 1-2 cups winter squash (such as kabocha)
  • 1-2 cups pork broth
  • Dash or two of patis (fish paste)
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of sugar

Part 1
Making the Bagnet

  1. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 1
    Slice the pound of pork belly. Cut the pork belly into thick slices.[4]
  2. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 2
    Place a saucepan on the stove. Add the pork, the two bay leaves, the 3 peeled cloves of garlic, the 1/2 tablespoons of salt, and the chopped onion to the pot. Pour in enough water to cover the pork.[5]
  3. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 3
    Turn the heat on high. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat. Let it simmer for about an hour. The pork should be fork-tender when done.[6]
  4. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 4
    Pour off the liquid. Place the pork on a baking sheet in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven. Let it cook for half an hour to dry out the pork.[7]
  5. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 5
    Deep-fry the pork. If you want the pork to crisp up, heat up oil in a pan. Let the pork deep fry until crispy.[8]
  6. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 6
    Chop the pork. Cut the pork into bite-sized pieces. Reserve for the stew.[9]

Part 2
Cooking the Pinakbet

  1. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 7
    Cook the shrimp paste. If possible, use the same saucepan you cooked the bagnet in from the recipe below. Place the 2 tablespoons of shrimp paste in the pan, and let it cook for a couple of minutes to release its flavor.[10]
  2. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 8
    Add the 4 to 6 minced garlic cloves, the inch of sliced ginger, and the cup of shallots or onions. Pour in a splash of oil to keep the ingredients from burning. Let them cook until the onions are lightly translucent.[11]
  3. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 9
    Toss in the tomatoes, sugar, pepper, and patis. Add the three tomatoes in large chunks, the pinch of brown sugar, a dash of pepper, and a dash or two of patis. Stir it around for a few minutes.[12]
  4. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 10
    Add the pork and the rest of the vegetables. If you think some of your veggies, such as the eggplant, is too tough, you may need to add it in ahead of the other vegetables.[13]
    • Note that some recipes say to add the pork at the end rather than with the vegetables.[14]
  5. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 11
    Pour in some broth. Only add enough broth to give the vegetables some moisture. You don't want to cover the vegetables with broth.[15]
  6. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 12
    Cook for about 15 minutes. Cover the pot tightly, and let the stew cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can toss the vegetables by shaking the pot, but leave the lid on.[16]
  7. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 13
    Check for tenderness. At 15 minutes, check to see if the vegetables are tender. If they are, remove the pot from the stove.[17]
  8. Image titled Cook Pinakbet Step 14
    Serve over white rice. Plate the rice with the stew poured over the top.[18]


  • If you find the bitter melon too bitter, you can cut down the amount in the recipe. You can also salt the bitter melon prior to using it. Spread out the sliced melon, and sprinkle salt over the top. Leave it for half an hour. The salt should pull out some of the water and bitterness. Rinse the salt off before using.[19]

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Categories: Food Preparation