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Ilacano pinakbet


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh okra, cut in half, ends trimmed
  • 2 cups long string green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup eggplant, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup edamame beans (no shell)
  • 1 cup bitter melon, seeded and cut into 1 inch bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup calabaza squash
  • 1/4 pound pork belly or pork shoulder, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (shell off)
  • 1/4 cup pounded ginger
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons anchovy sauce or fish sauce
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Cook the pork until golden brown.
  3. Add in ginger and garlic, then stir in with pork for one minute. Make sure your garlic doesn’t brown or burn.
  4. Add in the tomato and onion. Stir until the onion starts to sweat (about three to five minutes). 
  5. Add in the rest of the vegetables. Make sure to add your bitter melon last. Do not stir.
  6. Add in your anchovy or fish sauce with a couple of pinches of salt.
  7. Place the lid on top and let your pot simmer, for about five to seven minutes.
  8. Once the pot starts to simmer, lightly stir everything around. Tip: Instead of stirring, place a towel over your closed pot. Make sure the lid is fully closed tight and shake the pot, mixing everything together.
  9. Continue cooking until the vegetables are all al dente to the touch.
  10. Turn off your heat, leave the pot on the stove and allow the everything to cook from the residual heat. Leave the lid a little bit open (about 1/2 inch). Let it sit there for about five to ten minutes.
  11. Serve and enjoy!