Filipino Food Fridays: Pinakbet

I used to go to lunch with the Filipino group at work–my parents retired to the Philippines and I don’t get Filipino home cooking anymore–and because my coworkers are organized, and because I just show up to eat and socialize, I don’t normally remember what we had for lunch. But Pinakbet is memorable, if for no other reason than that horrible vegetable, ampalaya.

I enjoy vegetables because I know they are important to include in my diet, so I met Pinakbet with open arms. The coworker seated next to me suggested I eat the ampalaya–I didn’t know what it was at the time–so I stuck a fork in it and brought it to my mouth. I think I spit it back out, into a napkin. That was a very dirty trick!

Never again would I make that mistake. Yes, Pinakbet is unforgettable, because of ampalaya. And no, this isn’t a positive memory, it is a very negative one!

Well, I decided to give Pinakbet and ampalaya another chance. I decided to cook the dish with hopes that I would fall in love with ampalaya. You’ll have to watch the video and decide if ampalaya agrees with me.

Check out the video below, subscribe, and keep the discussion going on Facebook!

Salamat!

 Filipino Food Fridays: Pinakbet

© 2012 – 2013, quiason. All rights reserved.


  • The dish, overall, was great! I hope I can take all the advice people gave me–on how to make the ampalaya less bitter–and have a more pleasant experience with Pinakbet, and specifically, ampalaya!

  • Grace villadolid

    I really like ampalaya one of my fave ,i will cook it 4 our dinner . . Soute in garlic and butter , w tomatoe pepper and salt for taste, a simple dish bt yummy,lol

  • “Magic Wok isn’t just my favorite Filipino ranaeurtst; it is one of my favorite ranaeurtsts. Ever.”Did I hack your blog and post this in my sleep last night? LOLIf I am ever in a coma in the hospital, I’ve already told my friends: don’t make photo collages to place by my bedside….don’t play CDs of music I like……..just shoot some pureed sisig from Magic Wok into my breathing tube, or put out a plate of Crispy Pata in front of a fan set on the highest speed. That top photo of the Crispy Chicken makes me want it. NOW. But I think they’re closed on Mondays. Monster Munching readers, trust me, among the greatest joys in life is having a Magic Wok waitress set sisig, dinuguan, crispy pata, etc. on your table. Magic Wok is the bomb!!

  • Minette Marquez

    I dont know 4u , guys, but here’s a quick tip that works for me. i’m not a fond of ampalaya myself, so here’s what I do. Slice the ampalaya into desired sizes. Put ample amount of salt on it and squeeze enough to juice it out. Wash with running water. Drain. This way, when cooked, it wouldn’t be much bitter anymore! hope it helps. I enjoyed watching ur vid, kababayan…cooking while having fun too!:)

  • Nova Joy

    I love ampalaya the best veggie ever!! try putting it in the freezer first before you cook it that way the bitterness of the fruit won’t be that strong… also i make it with eggs..and they are amazing.