pinakbet a bawang, young garlic stew

Pinakbet a naganus a bawang.
Some time before the maturing and uprooting season of garlic in the Ilocos provinces, the tiendaan or mercado publico (public/local market) is usually abundant with young garlic being sold alongside young onions. Although not as popular as the onion, when it comes to being used as a vegetable (specially raw, with the famous KBL or kamatis-bugguong-lasona trio which apparently is the Ilokano salsa of sort), green garlic is preferred by Ilokanos for a kind of aromatic stew called pinakbet a bawang (actually an inabraw), cooked in bugguong, kamatis, ginger just like the way an Ilokano pinakbet medley is done. A pinakbet with lots of young garlic is also a staple during green garlic times. A dinengdeng or inabraw with bits of young garlic bulbs and leaves is equally sumptuous. Naganus a bawang is also made into a great spicy appetizer called inartem a bawang--that is, fermented in suka ti basi (Ilocos cane vinegar) with chili and other spices.

Young garlic is exclusively abundant in the Ilocos, where bawang is a major crop, especially in the towns of Pasuquin, Pinili, Badoc, Sinait and others. But during the season, young garlic can reach the nearby towns of Cagayan, and even in Tuguegarao City. This young bawang, fresh from Pasuquin, I chanced at the vegetable talipapas along the highway in Nassiping in Gattaran town:

I "cleaned"some from the bundles:

Washed it thoroughly after which and diced it, ready for cooking:

The young bawang cooking (you boil some water and bugguong, put in the sliced tomatoes and crushed ginger, and then the naganus a bawang):

Boil for some time and then simmer. Because this is a pinakebbet, then it should be a dry stew. You can opt to retain some broth if you prefer, as a kind of "sauce" to your labay:

And it's done! The leaves will shed its green into a darker shade when fully cooked:

I can't tell you how delicious and aromatic it is, this solo bawang pinakbet, but with it I didn't mind consuming platefuls of rice to go with. You have to have it, partake it, relish it, enjoy it, to fully know and understand why Ilokanos have acquired quite a taste of it, and proudly so:

Next, my inartem a bawang.....



  1. wow! grabe nagsa-salivate ako just by looking at the pics here in your site! an aunt cooks this dish deliciously! grabe! nagutom tuloy ako! and to keep the phytochemicals, wag mo na lang antayin na magbago ang kulay ng leaves para mas healthy, madali namang maluto yan :)

  2. nakalag lagip dagita nga makan. makapa iliw ta PIlipinas. i am just hopng that when i come home for good, i could still eat those.

  3. adda kuma met makadanun nga naganus a bawang ditoy roxas isabela aya ta padasek met nga iluto daytoy

  4. aye sus, my mouth is watery.