Nothing takes me back to child memories like this Ilocano vegetable dish does. I grew up on this dish and my parents and grandma would use the vegetables from my dad’s garden to make it. The vegetables that my family usually used to make this dish are eggplant, kalabasas (squash)and it’s flower, saluyut (jute leaves), marunguey, okra, ampalaya (bitter melon), long beans, lima beans…the list goes on. The thing about this dish is that there are many variations and this is based on what vegetables you have on hand. In my family’s case, they basically made dinengdeng based on what vegetables they had in the backyard. The vegetables are basically boiled in bagoong, tomatoes, garlic, and sometimes ginger, which is basically the soup base. Then shrimp and grilled fish is usually added to the dish.
For my version, I used a vegan fish sauce instead of the bagoong and did not add any seafood to mine. This was my first time cooking the dish. I used the vegetables I had in the fridge but I’m definitely going to remake this dish and include kalabasa, okra, saluyut, kalabasa flower, and ampalya.