pinakbet

i used to hate vegetables. i used to hate them with a passion. i guess it’s because as children we were forced to eat them, and so they took a negative image as far as i was concerned. i started eating them in college, right about the time i went on a drastic diet. since then, they were hated no longer. in fact, i’ve developed quite a taste for kangkong, camote tops, and squash blossoms. there’s one i still don’t like though – ampalaya (bitter gourd/bitter melon). it’s supposed to be one of the best in terms of nutritional value, but the bitter taste still turns me off. so everytime we have pinakbet (mixed vegetables cooked in fish paste), i usually leave the ampalaya slices out. i get most of the string beans and the squash instead, sometimes the okra (lady fingers), and of course the shrimp and pork bits too.

we usually use baguk (shrimp paste) when we have this, but for the dinengdeng version of this dish we use the bagoong ilocano (fish sauce/puree) that the northern provinces are famous for. man, that stinks like hell, but there’s nothing quite like the taste of it. i’m sure if you cook that in your apartment, your neighbors will call 911 to report a rotting dead body πŸ˜€

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Guagua Girl says:

    HA HA HA, i could have written this post β€” especially the first three sentences. i learned to eat vegetables in college, as well, and i still hate-hate-hate ampalaya (even when my mom stuffs them with torta). i actually have a similar post planned πŸ™‚

    i wish i could take you to penang (malaysian restaurant in NYC) right now. you'd totally enjoy this dish called belachan. the restaurant serves three versions; my friends and i love the homestyle one. this is how it's described on the website: sauteed okra, string beans and baby eggplant with spicy Malaysian shrimp sauce. it's like our bagoong, but not exactly like it. i think it's better for this kind of a dish. i tried making it once at home (when i was still in poughkeepsie) but never got it right. fortunately, my old apartment and this one both have exhausts right above the stove πŸ™‚

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  2. Betis Boy says:

    ah. sambal belachan! that's a potent mix of mostly chili, garlic, onions, galanggal (cousin of ginger), shrimp paste, fish sauce, lime, sugar and other spices. got almost addicted to that when i stayed in singapore. they eat everything (well, almost everything) with it. at the end of the cafeteria counter there's a big container (think ladies' choice mayonaisse industrial-size can) and you can help yourself to it. but i haven't had it cooked into the dish like you were describing. i bet it's good. ha. there are actually cheap flights from here to penang/georgetown and kota kinabalu. hmmm. one of these days… πŸ˜›

    have you tried frying danggit even with the exhaust fan? i bet that will create a commotion πŸ™‚

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  3. Guagua Girl says:

    believe me, it's really good. i wouldn't eat okra unless it's in belachan and cooked by penang! LOL! what's danggit again? is that the fish? i don't think i'll be testing my neighbors' olfactory senses anytime soon as i'm not a big fan of fish.

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  4. Betis Boy says:

    yup. it's the dried, stinky fish πŸ˜€
    now i'm craving for a curried dish 😦

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