Adobong Kangkong

Barring any department emergencies or facility events, I work Monday to Friday from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM. By the time I reach home, I will be so lucky if there is even a snippet of good light in the small patch of the patio I am set up for food photography. I do have a pair of Lowel Ego lights for evening shoots but I haven’t gotten the hang of them yet. I do most of my cooking on Saturdays and Sundays when I have a full day’s worth of sunlight. I prepare about 7 to 9 dishes to have as fresh materials for my two blogs the rest of the week. These two days of rabid chopping, sauteing, frying, roasting, baking and picture-taking can be exhausting so I try to maximize my time and smartly coordinate my tasks. For instance, the day I made bulalo, I simmered about four pounds of bone-in beef shanks. When ready, I divided the stock and the meat into two portions. One went to making the bulalo and the other half I prepared as bulalo mami. Both soups have the same starting base and by cooking in bulk, I saved myself the grief of tenderizing beef for three hours twice. When I re-did my pork afritada photos a few weeks ago, I made mechado as well. They both use potatoes, carrots and bell peppers so I fried double the amounts of these ingredients in one pan. Since I was going to re-take photos of my laing today, I diced enough pork belly for two dishes and did adobong kangkong also. By planning wisely, I am able to make my weekend cooking less stressful and more fun.

Adobong kangkong is a vegetable version of the cooking process, adobo, wherein swamp spinach simmered in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic take center stage. The Filipino adobo represents everything sinful and delicious. A great adobo, for me, means succulent meat swimming in robust sauce and rendered fat. So while this adobong kangkong can be prepared healthier sans meat, with tofu or lean pork cuts, I prefer fatty pork belly strips for best flavor. How about you? How do you cook adobong kangkong?

Adobong Kangkong
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Author: Lalaine Manalo
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1 bunch kangkong
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion peeled and sliced thinly
6 to 7 cloves garlic peeled and minced
1/2 pound pork belly cut into 1/4 inch thick strips
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
pepper to taste
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Trim about 2 inches from the kangkong stalks and discard. Cut kangkong into 3-inch lengths, separating the sturdier stalks from the leaves. Wash thoroughly and drain well.
In wide skillet over high heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until limp. Add pork and cook, stirring regularly, until lightly browned.
Add vinegar and bring to a boil. Continue to cook, without stirring, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add soy sauce and water. Bring to a boil for about 1 to 2 minutes. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until pork is tender and sauce is reduced. Season with pepper to taste.
Increase heat to high. Add kangkong stalks and cook, stirring regularly, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add kangkong leaves and cook, stirring regularly, for another minute or until just wilted and covered with sauce. Remove from heat and garnish with fried garlic bits, if desired. Serve hot.

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