So, what exactly is Pakbet Tagalog? I just called it as such because the traditional Pakbet is an Ilocano dish that is cooked using bagoong isda. I, however, used Alamang or Bagoong guisado which is what we Tagalogs prefer to use. And speaking of bagoong or alamang, it is of utmost importance that you use the brand that you like best as it is what gives this dish a wonderful taste. In my case, I make my own bagoong because I don’t like any of those bottled ones that are available in our local supermarkets.
By the way, this is not your usual “masabaw = soupy” Pakbet / Pinakbet but rather it’s “saucy or masarsa.” I’m sure all of you will love its tomato-bagoong guisado sauce, that is so sarap to drizzle over a top of hot, steamy rice. As they say, sauce palang, ulam na! Yum!
Please note that just like with the traditional Pakbet, it is best to put all the usual veggies such as okra, eggplant, bittergourd, and, string beans. It just so happen that I didn’t have any of those when I cooked this, so as usual, I just made do with what I have.
Here’s the recipe:
PAKBET TAGALOG ala CUCINA DE ENTERESO
Slices of cooked Lechong Kawali
1 lb squash, sliced into cubes
3-5 pieces large tomato, sliced
1 piece onion, chopped
½ head of garlic, crushed
2 bunch of kangkong
4-6 tbsp shrimp paste (I make my own)
¼ cup water
3 tbsp cooking oil
pepper to taste
- In a pan, cook lechong kawali then set aside.
- In another pan, par-fry the squash until almost cooked. If you have the other veggies pan-fry (except kang kong) as well but do it separately.
- In the same pan, heat some oil and saute the garlic, onion, and tomatoes.
- Put-in half the shrimp paste and cook for 2 minutes.
- Put in all the veggies including the kangkong then add a little water and bring to a boil until it’s almost dry but not totally. Around 2 minutes max
(Do not overcook the vegetables).
- Add the remaining alamang and lechong kawali. Season with lots of freshly cracked pepper and toss quickly just so the lechong kawali would get a bit of the sauce then
remove from heat .
- Serve hot with steamed rice. Enjoy!