Adobong Kangkong Recipe: A Classic Filipino Dish

Adobong Kangkong

Adobong Kangkong Recipe: A Classic Filipino Dish
Region / culture: Philippines | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Adobong Kangkong
Adobong Kangkong

Adobong Kangkong is a popular Filipino dish known for its simplicity, affordability, and delicious taste. This dish combines the tangy flavor of vinegar with the savory taste of soy sauce, creating a perfect balance that enhances the natural flavors of Kangkong (water spinach). It's a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish, making it a staple in Filipino cuisine.


The history of Adobong Kangkong dates back to the pre-colonial Philippines, where the method of cooking with vinegar was widely used as a means of preserving food. Over time, this cooking technique evolved into what is now known as "adobo," a term that encompasses a variety of dishes cooked in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and spices. Adobong Kangkong is a testament to the ingenuity of Filipino culinary traditions, adapting the adobo method to include locally available ingredients like water spinach.


How to prepare

  1. Wash and drain Kangkong tops (you can use okra or string beans as substitutes).
  2. Sauté garlic, pepper, onion, and pork until browned.
  3. Add water and simmer until the meat is tender.
  4. Add kangkong and soy sauce.
  5. Add vinegar when the kangkong is cooked.


  • 1. Adobong Kangkong with Tofu - Add fried tofu cubes for a vegetarian protein boost.
  • 2. Spicy Adobong Kangkong - Include sliced chili peppers while sautéing for a spicy kick.
  • 3. Adobong Kangkong with Coconut Milk - Add a splash of coconut milk for a creamy, rich flavor.
  • For a spicier version, add sliced chili peppers during the sautéing process.
  • Substitute pork with chicken, beef, or seafood for different flavors.
  • Add a tablespoon of oyster sauce for a richer, more complex flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and texture for your Adobong Kangkong, here are some tips:

- Use fresh Kangkong for the best taste and texture. Make sure to wash it thoroughly.

- Adjust the amount of soy sauce and vinegar according to your taste preference. Some like it more tangy, while others prefer it saltier.

- Adding the vinegar towards the end of the cooking process helps retain its sharp flavor, which is essential in adobo dishes.

- For a vegetarian version, omit the pork and use mushrooms or tofu as substitutes.

Serving Suggestions

Adobong Kangkong is best served hot, alongside steamed rice. It can also be paired with grilled or fried fish for a more substantial meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key to a successful Adobong Kangkong lies in the sautéing and simmering techniques. Sautéing the garlic, onions, and pork until browned helps release their flavors, while simmering allows the ingredients to absorb the savory sauce fully.

Ingredient Substitutions

If Kangkong is not available, spinach or Swiss chard makes excellent substitutes.

- Apple cider vinegar can be replaced with white vinegar or rice vinegar for a different acidity level.

- For a soy-free version, use coconut aminos or tamari as alternatives to soy sauce.

Make Ahead Tips

Adobong Kangkong can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The flavors will continue to meld, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Adobong Kangkong in a shallow bowl or plate, garnishing with sliced green onions or fried garlic bits for added texture and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Adobong Kangkong pairs well with a variety of dishes, such as grilled meats, fried fish, or other Filipino favorites like Lechon Kawali or Chicken Inasal. For drinks, a cold beer or a refreshing glass of calamansi juice complements the dish's flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a pan over medium heat until thoroughly warmed. Add a little water if the dish appears dry.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Adobong Kangkong contains approximately 150-200 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie dish that can fit into various dietary plans.


A serving of Adobong Kangkong contains approximately 10-15 grams of carbohydrates, mainly from the Kangkong and the small amount of sugar in the soy sauce. This makes it a low-carb dish suitable for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake.


The fat content in Adobong Kangkong is relatively low, with most of the fats coming from the pork. A serving typically contains about 5-10 grams of fat, depending on the cut of pork used and the amount of oil used for sautéing.


Adobong Kangkong provides a modest amount of protein, with about 10-15 grams per serving. The protein comes from the pork, making it a good source of high-quality animal protein.

Vitamins and minerals

Kangkong is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as iron and calcium. These nutrients contribute to the overall nutritional value of Adobong Kangkong, making it not only delicious but also beneficial for your health.


The primary allergens in Adobong Kangkong are soy (from the soy sauce) and potential allergens from the pork. Those with soy allergies should exercise caution or seek alternative ingredients.


Overall, Adobong Kangkong is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a healthy option for those looking for a flavorful yet nutritious meal.


Adobong Kangkong is a beloved Filipino dish that showcases the simplicity and richness of Filipino cuisine. With its nutritious ingredients, versatile flavors, and easy preparation, it's a dish that can be enjoyed by anyone looking to explore the tastes of the Philippines. Whether served as a main dish or a side, Adobong Kangkong is sure to be a delightful addition to any meal.

How did I get this recipe?

I can't forget the moment I stumbled upon this recipe for Adobong Kangkong. It was a warm summer day, and I was strolling through the bustling streets of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. The smell of sizzling meats and savory spices wafted through the air, tempting my taste buds and beckoning me towards a small food stall nestled in a quiet alleyway.

As I approached the stall, I noticed a small, elderly woman with a twinkle in her eye and a knowing smile on her face. She was busy stirring a large wok filled with vibrant green kangkong leaves, the crisp sound of the vegetables hitting the hot pan filling the air. Intrigued by the delicious aroma emanating from the wok, I couldn't resist the urge to inquire about the dish she was preparing.

With a friendly smile, the woman introduced herself as Lola Estela, a seasoned cook who had been perfecting the art of Filipino cuisine for over six decades. She explained that she was making Adobong Kangkong, a traditional Filipino dish that combined the earthy flavors of water spinach with the rich, tangy taste of adobo sauce. Intrigued by her description, I asked if she would be willing to share her recipe with me.

Lola Estela's eyes lit up with joy as she eagerly agreed to teach me the secrets of her beloved dish. She began by listing the ingredients needed to make Adobong Kangkong: fresh kangkong leaves, garlic, onions, soy sauce, vinegar, and a pinch of sugar. She explained that the key to a flavorful adobo sauce was in the balance of sweet, salty, and sour flavors, which would infuse the kangkong with a depth of taste that was both comforting and satisfying.

As we worked together to prepare the dish, Lola Estela shared stories of her own culinary journey, recounting the countless hours spent in her grandmother's kitchen, learning the time-honored recipes that had been passed down through generations. She spoke of the joy she found in sharing her love of cooking with others, and the satisfaction she felt when a simple meal brought smiles to the faces of her loved ones.

As the aroma of simmering kangkong filled the air, I couldn't help but feel a sense of nostalgia wash over me. The flavors and scents reminded me of my own grandmother, who had taught me the joys of cooking and the importance of preserving traditional recipes. I realized in that moment that food was not just sustenance, but a powerful connection to our past and a way to honor the memories of those who had come before us.

When the dish was finally ready, Lola Estela presented me with a steaming bowl of Adobong Kangkong, garnished with crispy bits of garlic and served alongside a mound of fragrant jasmine rice. As I took my first bite, the flavors exploded on my tongue, transporting me back to a time when life was simpler and meals were shared with loved ones around a table filled with laughter and conversation.

I thanked Lola Estela profusely for her generosity and wisdom, promising to carry on the tradition of Adobong Kangkong in my own kitchen and pass the recipe down to future generations. With a twinkle in her eye, she embraced me warmly and whispered, "Food is love, my dear. Remember that always."

And so, with a heart full of gratitude and a belly full of delicious food, I left Lola Estela's stall that day feeling inspired and renewed. The recipe for Adobong Kangkong had not only filled my stomach but nourished my soul, reminding me of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories that would endure for a lifetime.


| Filipino Recipes | Main Dish Meat Recipes | Pork Recipes | Water Spinach Recipes |

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