Nayna’s Tofu & Kangkong Adobo Recipe – A Taste of the Philippines

tofu & kangkong adobo

Meet Traveling Spoon host Nayna. As a freelance food and travel writer, Nayna knows a lot about good food. While Nayna lives in Manila, she is also an avid traveler and adventurous eater, having grown up surrounded by the tastes and aromas of her grandmother’s kitchen. She loves experimenting with family recipes and adding new dishes to her repertoire, always ensuring that everything she prepares is made from scratch. Read on for her recipe on how to make a delicious dish of tofu & kangkong adobo, Filipino-style.

Photo Credit: Vegan Ilokana

Nayna’s tofu & kangkong adobo is the perfect vegetarian dish that packs flavor and complementary textures to satisfy any palate. In the Philippines, “kangkong” refers to the leafy vegetable, water spinach. The vitamin-rich kangkong is commonly used in cooking throughout tropical regions of Asia. Nayna loves to serve this dish over a plate of freshly steamed white rice – for an even healthier alternative, brown or red rice work great as substitutes.

Tofu & Kangkong Adobo


Makes 6-8 servings

6 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 head of garlic, peeled & roughly smashed
1 package (approximately 1lb or 500g) of firm tofu, cubed
8 tablespoons of soy sauce
4 tablespoons of vinegar (cane or rice vinegar, preferably)
4-6 peppercorns, freshly ground
4 bay leaves
1 large bunch of water spinach, or fresh spinach


In a medium pan, heat the oil. Next, add the garlic and sauté until slightly golden, being careful not to burn it. Set sautéed garlic aside in a separate plate.

Add the tofu to the pan. Toss around the pan until everything is browned and toasty (not burned!). The fried texture helps absorb the flavor better.

For the adobo, add the soy sauce, black pepper, bay leaves, and vinegar to the pan. Do not stir once you add the vinegar and let the flavor seep in. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Remove the pan’s cover. Adjust the seasoning to taste (it should be sour, salty and peppery. If needed, you can add 1/2 tablespoon sugar to round out the flavors).

Add the kangkong, with the stem pieces first. Toss to combine. Lower the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add bay leaves and cover for 5 minutes. Uncover, and at the last minute, toss in the fried garlic. Stir to combine and serve!

Serve hot, with a generous amount of rice.

Want to make a quick ensalada (salad) to complement this dish? Simply add these extra ingredients.

How to make a tomato ensalada:

4 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
half a handful of cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons of vinegar
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
a pinch of sugar
ground black pepper, to taste

Mix well and adjust to taste. Serve on the side of the tofu & kangkong adobo and enjoy.

Thank you, Nayna for this delicious and nutritious recipe! For more innovative Filipino dishes like this one, visit Nayna in Manila today.

Nayna’s Tofu & Kangkong Adobo Recipe – A Taste of the Philippines