Apan-Apan Recipe (Adobong Kangkong water spinach with Pork)

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  August 31, 2020

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Apan-Apan is a best-loved popular food in the Visayan province and it is said that the dish is closest to Adobong Kangkong which is well known in Tagalog region.

It can be served as side dish, starter or main entrée.

The cooking method is almost the same as Adobong Kangkong but Apan-Apan is more appetizing and very pleasing to the sense of taste because of Ginamos or Bagoong and just like Adobo, the variations of this dish varies extensively but simple to make.

The procedure usually starts with the sautéing of garlic and onions and then by adding Ginamos.
Apan-Apan Recipe (Adobong Kangkong with Pork)

Apan-Apan Recipe Tips and Preparation

If you want to make it spicy in taste, you can add chili or even add slices of pork, beef or tofu for a tastier version.

I can say that this adobo kind is savory and goes perfectly with fried dishes such as fish or pork chop with plenty of white steamed rice.

It was believed that the word “Apan-Apan” came from the Ilonggo’s and Hiligaynon’s dialect which actually means Grasshopper.

During those times when rice fields were still pesticide free, farmers would catch grasshoppers infesting crops with their large nets and then they will cook these insects for finger foods being paired with their alcoholic drinks or sometimes as a dish for dinner with the family.

How it became associated with Adobong Kangkong is somewhat unclear except probably that grasshopper resembles the appearance of the Kangkong.
Adobong Kangkong
The leaves of these vegetables contain an abundant quantity of vitamins and minerals found to be very nutritious.

It is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and the stem is rich in amino acid.

It basically belongs to herbaceous aquatic plant which means that they have no persistent woody stem above ground or semi-aquatic perennial plant that can be found in tropical and subtropical regions.

Its leaves are also used in herbal medicine to cure fever, for the treatment of intestinal worms, liver problems as well as gestational diabetes in pregnant women.

It also treats ulcer because it contains flavonoids for increasing production of protective mucus that covers the body organs.

How can anyone call it a “poor man’s vegetable?” when there is nothing poor with its numerous health benefits!

Apan-apan recipe (adobong kangkong with pork)

Apan-Apan is a best-loved popular food in the Visayan province and it is said that the dish is closest to Adobong Kangkong which is well known in the Tagalog region. It can be served as a side dish, starter or main entrée.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Adobong, Pork
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 255kcal
Author Joost Nusselder
Cost $8


  • 2 bundles Kangkong (water spinach)
  • ½ tbsp Ginamos or Bagoong Alamang
  • 3 cloves Garlic (Finely Chopped)
  • 1 medium Onion (Sliced)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (Sliced into strips)
  • ¼ kg Pork (Cubed)
  • 5 pcs Shrimps (Sliced)
  • ½ tbsp Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • Cooking oil


  • Cut the stem or stalk of the Kangkong.
  • Wash and Clean the Kangkong
  • Saute Garlic and Onions
  • Add the Pork and the Shrimps until cooked
  • Add the Kangkong leaves and some softer stalks. Boil and simmer until the stalks soften.
  • Add the Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Sugar, and Ginamos or Bagoong Alamang.
  • Allow simmering until Kangkong is crispy.
  • Garnish with sliced bell pepper
  • Serve

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Also check out this Easy way to cook Adobong Kangkong, a Recipe with water spinach

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.