Pinangat a la Josephine


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! :)


27 Responses

  1. Minus the rice, a very healthy dish in fact. Achuete/annatto is a rich source of tocotrienols, antioxidants that are similar in structure and function to vitamin E. The leaves used are great roughage and the medium-chain triglycerides of fresh coconut oil help to raise metabolism and burn fat apart from numerous other benefits.

  2. not exactly the pinangat this bikolano is used (swimming in rendered coconut oil? yipes indeed) to but the images posted has me salivating already

  3. I’m from Naga, MM. And looove pinangat. My Mom
    makes a really good one. The filling consists of
    finely chopped coconut meat – in between and
    mature coconut -, garlic, onion, ginger and
    freshwater shrimps . We
    don’t saute. We wrap in fresh natong or gabi leaves
    And boil them in coconut crean with the shrimp essence.

  4. The pinangat in Albay has meat (and no
    coconut meat I think). But it’s delicious as well
    but I’m not familiar with how it is cooked.

  5. In Bicol, when we cook gulay ( a term we used
    to refer to vegetables cooked in coconut milk)
    we don’t saute. My guess is because the essence
    the ingredients come out during boiling ( which
    takes a while really) and coconut milk has a lot
    oil already.

  6. And may I add as well that while many like/cook
    Bicolano “gulay” dishes with pork, it’s not really a
    standard back home. Yes, pork can be used as
    “bangot” or “sahog” but more commonly preferred are
    tinapa, badi or daing, fresh balaw or fresh alamang
    and dinailan (a kind of processed alamang that
    you can buy in a cake form. )

  7. My father spent his childhood in Albay and he cooks a mean version of this! But as what the others here said, there’s no sauteing involved, which results in the dish not having all that oil. :D Sometimes he uses roughly chopped shrimp (no coconut meat), but most of the time he just halves medium-sized tilapia (filled with chopped ginger, onions, and tomatoes) and then wraps each part in taro leaves. He also does not use twine – he places the bundles in such a way that there won’t be any unraveling. :D

  8. i love this! in a small carinderia in camalig (albay), i had some pinangat stuffed with crabmeat, tender shredded buco and lots of calamansi. really yummy! a bicolana friend makes her pinangat with grond pork, chopped shrimp, buco shreds and chopped oregano (the type with the big, succulent leaves, not the italian type). tanglad stems make good “strings” and add even more flavor and fragrance.

  9. i’m sorry, i just remembered, the pinangat with the crabmeat-buco-calamansi stuffing is called “tinilmok” or “tinumok”

  10. Totally off topic but, I’ve tried accessing your HSBC post for 3 days now and still get a malware alert which refrains me from reading it. Tried your other posts as well but it seems to be having problems with only that specific post.

  11. Have access to Swiss Chard since it is a perennial…so I use Swiss chard in place of taro leaves. For leftovers, I turn it into lasagna…you have got to try it, MM! But don’t go overboard on the pinangat …just a few on random places…even better if you put binaggongan on the next layer…just little bits of it again so it is not nakakasawa! Added bonus if you have leftover button mushrooms, make duxelle minus the liver pate! Use it as filling for next layer…top layer , pinangat again, topped with keso! The binaggongan and duxelle will offset the richness of the pinangat!

    it is always a hit at Pinoy potlucks!

  12. Most of the “pinangat” recipe I saw on YouTube were like the “paksiw” or “sinigang” version of cooked fish. The one that most resembles your recipe was called “laing”. So is “pinangat” also otherwise known as “laing”?

  13. I always enjoy reading the comments when readers chime in with their family or local version of dishes.

  14. I grew up eating pinangat. I remember helping my mamays (aunties in bicol) chopped lots shrimps….oh how I wish to taste it again.

  15. Hahaha. This post will inspire me to make my own pinangat, pork-filled of course, when I’ll be home on break.

    Question: Do gabi leaves contain irritants? Will these be lost with just plain cooking?

  16. Lee, yes, they are oaxacalic? acids that can cause an allergic reaction in some, enough to constrict one’s throat to the point of… but most of the acid is killed off by either drying in the hot sun, or cooking. When you use the fresh leaves as a garnish, it can be quite disconterting to some folks.

  17. My mother and aunts made this once (just once! we’re Tagalogs!) and I have never forgotten it. Will do my best to find whole fresh gabi leaves here in Melbourne so I can make this!

  18. can we use collard greens as subsitute? leaves are sturdier than swiss chard. would like to make this tonight.

  19. I am not sure about the etymology of “pinangat” of the Bicolanos. I guess the “pangat” or “pinangat” of the Tagalogs could have come from “pinaangat” or elevated/put over some souring and other ingredients. Ideas, please? And also on “paksiw”.

  20. psychomom…curly kale will do as well, trim the rib other side, quickly blanch in salted boiling water with a pinch of baking soda…Do not use lacinato kale though…it is like shoe leather! the rib portion, chop them and add to your stuffing pAra walang sayang!

    made it the other night, added bruised lemon grass stalks, lime leaves, red curry paste with TEH coconut milk in the pot….MAKANIN!!! …Thai pinangat!

  21. thanks bettyq, made it with swiss chard, next time i will add more veggies as my family loves laing.

  22. what a coincidence, i was just thinking about this and went to google it then i thought of checking your blog and there it is a recipe for pinangat yuhooo! i will use this recipe. It’s been years since the last good pinangat I ate… thank you for sharing!

    Just one question, do you need to dry, de-hydrate, hung the leaves before you use it?



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