These, typically, are the vegetable ingredients of the famous pinakbet, the basic of which, are tarong (eggplant), paria (bitter melon), kamatis (tomato), okra and the obligatory lasona/sibuyas (onion), bawang (garlic) and laya (ginger). These the basic ingredients of an authentic Ilokano pinakbet. Or may be even reduced to only paria, tarong kamatis, in some cases where no other vegatables are readily available to be picked in the garden when the bugguong broth is already boiling. These are the basic essentials, Ilokano-wise, period. Sweet chili (sili nga aruy-oy) may be an staple but it's only an add on, just like utong or kardis. And please, please, no karabasa (squash fruit), because a real Ilokano pinakbet has no karabasa in it but only in a Tagalog pakbet (which is usually sautéed, bagoong-alamang-flavored, and with broth akin to a soup, etc.). And only "native" round paria is used, not the hybrid longish ones which is not that any bitter at all. Pait (bitterness) after all defines Ilokano palate.
|Tarong. The longish, slender ones are preferred for pinakbet. Also the small green (white) round ones.|
|Kamatis, lasona, bawang.|
Some of the other optional ingredients:
|Kardis (kadyos, pigeon pea)|
|Bagas ti kamote (kaong, camote, sweet potato). This is used in an Ilokano pinakbet, instead of karabasa, to sweeten and thicken the broth.|
|Sili nga aruy-oy.|
|Bunga ti marunggay.|
|Bunga ti utong.|
|Pallang (winged bean)|
|Alukon (Photo by Leilanie Adriano)|
|Bunga ti Singkamas (Photo from Ilokano Food)|
And now, to the pinakbets!