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If there is one dish that I can say truly is my mom’s, it’s her Pinakbet. While my mom was born in Hawaii, she was raised in the northern region of the Philippines — Ilocos Sur. My grandfather was a landowner and a farmer and had his own fish pond and pig farm. Many of the dishes my mom learned to prepare included the Filipino vegetables that were grown on my grandfather’s land. So, when my mom prepared a meal, my mother cooked with lots of vegetables. Pinakbet is my favorite of all the Filipino vegetable dishes.

2 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 thin slices ginger root
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 lb. lean pork, sliced thinly
1 tomato, chopped
4 tablespoons patis
4-6 Asian eggplants, sliced
1-2 bitter melon, sliced
1/4 lb. okra, stems removed
1/4 lb long string beans, quartered

Heat oil in large pot. Saute garlic, ginger and onions until tender. Add pork and saute until browned. Add tomatoes and patis. Cook for 5 minutes.Stir in eggplant, bitter melon, okra and long beans. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add more patis to taste. Serve when all vegetables are tender.