Adobong kangkong (water spinach)

Adobong kangkong (water spinach/swamp cabbage) is a popular vegetarian adobo.

Kangkong is considered a weed because it grows very easily in warm, swampy areas. Kangkong is under-rated in the Philippines, likely because it's considered a "poor man's vegetable". I personally like kangkong. Both its leaves and stalks are edible. It is very delicious and nutritious, and can be used in soups, salads, and stir-fried dishes. Kangkong is also very nice as an adobo. I like the crunchiness of the kangkong stems, and the vegetable easily absorbs the salty-sour flavour of the adobo sauce. It is best served with warm rice.

Kangkong is not available in Dutch supermarkets, so I once tried to use spinach but it missed the crunchiness of kangkong stalks.  So I was very happy to  find fresh kangkong in Asian supermarkets (and it's not expensive).

Serves 4 persons
Preparation time: 20 minutes


300 - 350 grams kangkong (sliced into 3-inch pieces, separate stalks from leafy part)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 medium-sized red onion (chopped)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tbsp freshly grounded black pepper


1. Heat oil. Over medium-heat, stir-fry the onion until soft (around 3 minutes), garlic and chili (until garlic is light-brown).

2. Add the kangkong stalks and season with black pepper. Saute for around 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and vinegar and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Add the kangkong leaves and simmer for 1 minute. We don't want to overcook the kangkong so that the stalks stay crunchy. 

Serve warm with white rice.