When I was younger, we'd have pinakbet for dinner from time to time. The simplest way for me to describe pinakbet is a medley of vegetables and pork, simmered in a fish broth.
It always had bittermelon in the mix. I felt like the bitterness always seeped through to the other vegetables. I hated bitter melon, so didn't like pinakbet.
As I grew older, I became more open to new flavors and health benefits of various foods. I learned that both the bitter melon leaves and fruit had health benefits for a variety of ailments. I don't exactly know what the benefits are, but a quick internet search will return a lot of results.
I actually tried bitter melon tea and will eat a piece or two if it's already in the pinakbet. But ultimately, it will never be my favorite.
Anyway, here is the recipe for my version. I didn't add any bitter melon and it was delicious!
- 1 kabatiti (gourd), peeled and sliced
- 1 eggplant, cut into 3-inch segments
- 10 long beans, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 4 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup patis (fish sauce)
- 5 cloves roasted garlic
- 1/4 large onion, sliced
- 3 ounces chicharron, sliced
- Prepare ingredients as indicated above (i.e. slice, cut, etc.)
- Bring water and patis to a boil.
- Add everything else, except the chicharron.
- Cover and let simmer until vegetables cooked through (about 15 minutes), stirring halfway through.
- Add chicharron.
- Cover and let simmer to let the flavors mingle together (about 5 minutes), stirring halfway through.
IG post of this video: Pinakbet