This is also one of the Ilocano Foods that found its way spreading throughout the Philippines. It is also known as pakbet. Actually the term pakbet both refers to the cooking method and the dish itself. Pakbet is a cooking style where you cook the vegetables in bagoong (fish sauce) until the vegetables are overcooked and the soup evaporates. Personally, I violate the evaporating part of pinakbet, I prefer it somehow soupy, which results with an argument with my grandmother, who is conservative when it comes to cooking.
This is the most authentic pinakbet recipe I know, the most usual vegetables in this dish are tomatoes, string beans, ampalaya (the small variety) and eggpants. Sometimes, cigadillas are added if harvest permits it. Pakbet is most popular with pork but pork is optional, and you could cook this with just salt and water instead of bagoong, only that it will taste more of the vegetables not of the bagoong. Pinakbet with squash or kamote is an addition adopted by the adjoining Tagalog provinces to minimize the saltiness of the dish and to add some sweet taste to it.
I said pork is very optional (maybe this should delight vegans) but I personally like it with pork, either with sauteed pork or topped with the ever crispy bagnet. So that’s one use of bagnet: as pinakbet topping.
Most Ilocano kids I know were trained by their to eat vegetables. Pinakbet is the main culprit.