Pinakbet (Filipino Mixed Vegetables)
I grew up eating the Tagalog version of Pinakbet. This is a mix of different vegetables consisting of chinese eggplant, okra, bitter melon, long beans, calabaza and tomatoes with the addition of shrimps. This is usually flavored with bagoong (shrimp paste). There is also the Ilocano version where they use fermented fish sauce and ginger as flavoring and everything is just layered and not sautéed. Note: Metro Manila where I came from is part of the Tagalog region. Philippine cooking is very much regional and each has their own way of cooking thus creating their own distinct flavor.
For this recipe, I sautéed onions, garlic and tomatoes in a little oil. Then I layered my vegetables starting with the longest to cook, calabaza, long beans, okra, bitter melon and eggplant. I added a tablespoon of shrimp paste to taste and ground pepper.
I let it simmer over low heat until veggies are crisp tender. I did not stir this but just shake the pan to evenly distribute the seasonings and mix the vegetables. This help the veggies not lose it’s shape and avoid getting mushy. No shrimps were added in this recipe since I did not have any on hand.