It certainly didn’t look like your normal pinangat… but it tasted very, very good. :) I have never cooked pinangat before, and apparently, neither has Josephine. But she is Bicolana, and better suited to make her first attempt based on hundreds of pinangat she has consumed over the last 40+ years… She purchased fresh gabi or taro root leaves. For the “filling, she sauteed onions, garlic and chopped ginger. Added in some pork, bagoong alamang (homemade and colored with achuete, hence the orange tinge to this dish), fresh shrimps. Some coconut cream and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Once the filling was done, she laid out 3 layers of taro leaves, brushed in between with coconut milk and put some stuffing in the middle, wrapping it all up like a bundle and tying it with abaca twine (others use taro leaves or stems to tie this) and simmered it in more coconut milk/cream seasoned with onions garlic and ginger and a bit more bagoong.
For her spicy version, chopped finger chilies were added to the stuffing, and a whole finger chili tucked under the abaca twine signified increased spice factor. After about 30-45 minutes of simmering, this was plated up and served with hot rice and some other dishes. It tasted FANTASTIC! And if you let this sit and re-heat it several hours later, I suspect the flavors will intensify some more and the coconut cream will seem a little richer still. Smashed into hot rice and scooped up with a fork, this was NOT diet food. I have to do some research to see how more authentic versions are cooked, but for reference, this version was pretty darned tasty. And that orange stuff the pinangat is swimming in? It’s rendered coconut oil. Yipes! :)