This morning’s activity was going to the grocery store, which is probably one of my favorite past times. I love just walking around and seeing if they have anything new. Usually, when the seasons change, I’m not left disappointed. Today I found dried lemon grass, and where I live, that’s a big deal.

That eventually prompted today’s post, which led me to my kitchen, recreating one of my Mom’s recipes.

Ginataang pinakbet is a Filipino dish… but it also just means Vegetables cooked in coconut milk.

Whenever my siblings and I are home, we usually ask for my mom to make this (along with 20 other dishes we missed while being away).

It’s always so simple, yet so comforting. Think, beef stew on a cold night, but in Manila.

My version of this recipe can be made vegan… or not. What’s great about it is you can use whatever vegetables you already have, in this case, I cooked up some fall veggies.

Doesn’t really matter, because either way, IT WAS AMAZEBALLS!



Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 stalks dried lemon grass
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or make your own vegan “fish sauce”
  • 1 teaspoon powdered anchovies, I use Bonggan (optional)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 bundles chinese cabbage
  • 2 cups spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste


I served/ate this with crab meat tossed in chili oil and crab fat (I used canned, because.. well… it’s easy!) Below is the Bonggan mix, chili garlic oil and crab paste… I got the Bonggan mix at an organic market in Manila. Crab paste, which is crab fat, I only get from Connie’s kitchen. They use 80% crab fat and 20% bread crumbs, and nothing else, which is VERY important to me.




  1. In a hot, deep pan, heat sesame oil. Sauté onion, garlic, tomatoes and ginger until fragrant.
  2. Add squash, coconut milk, water, fish sauce, and bonggan. Stir.
  3. Throw in lemon grass, spinach and chinese cabbage. Let simmer until the squash is tender.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, serve with prepared crab meat and rice. Enjoy!