Originating in Ilocos, a province situated at thenorthwest part of the Philippines, Pinakbet is a vegetable stew which means “shrunk”
or “shriveled” in Ilocano. Its most basic ingredients are includes ampalaya (bitter melon), tomatoes, ginger, okra, sitaw (string beans),
lima beans, chili as well as Filipino vegetables such as parda, winged beans, or kalabasa (squash). The original Ilocano recipe includes shrimp paste or bagoong or fermented fish to give it its signature salty taste. In some regions, meat or seafood is added to the dish.


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Pinakbet is considered to be a very healthy dish and is a symbol of the Ilocano palate and products – which are vegetables easily found the backyard of Ilocanos. Its colorful presentation and variety in texture and flavors makes it a favorite among Filipinos. In Ilocos Norte, a restaurant called Herencia Café, serves an modern twist to this Ilocano dish, the Pinakbet Pizza.

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