PINAKBET (FILIPINO VEGETABLE STEW)
While this dish is a staple dish in Filipino homes, I think every household has their own version of this Pinakbet popular dish seasoned to their tastes. Filled with wonderful vegetables it is traditionally seasoned with a fermented fish paste or shrimp paste. Often made with pork, feel free to add it if you like. We are lucky here to have many Filipino vendors at our farmers markets who will often times have bags of mixed vegetables already cut ready for stew making.
2 bitter melons, seeded, 1 ½-inch slices 4 Japanese eggplants, 1 ½-inch slices 1 large onion, sliced 6 sweet peppers, seeded 6 fingers okra, discard stems 3 tomatoes, wedges 1/2 lb. long beans, 2-inch slices 2-inch fresh ginger, crushed 4 garlic cloves, crushed 2 TB bagoong (fermented fish paste/sauce) 2 TB Aloha shoyu 1/2 c. white wine ¼ tsp. white pepper 1/2 c. dried shrimp 1 c. bitter melon leaves, optional
In a large saucepan over medium heat, place all ingredients except bitter melon leaves. Simmer 15-20 minutes. Stir in optional bitter melon leaves; cook 10 minutes. Optional to add ¼ lb. cubed roast pork or begin recipe browning ¼ lb. pork, thinly sliced in 1 TB of vegetable oil.