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[Recipe] Apan-apan

Apan-apan is an Ilonggo dish closely related to adobong kangkong. What distinguishes them is the addition of the guinamos or bagoong while cooking the onion and garlic. This imparts a distinctive flavor to the dish. It is also slightly sweeter than adobong kangkong. The way I usually cook it is with crispy fried dried dilis (anchovies) while others will top it with lechon kawali (crispy fried pork belly strips). I also added just enough ground dried chili to have that nice heat to the dish.

*Bonus information : "apan" means either locust or grasshopper in the Hiligaynon language.

**Disclaimer : no grasshoppers were harmed in the making of this dish.

2 big bunches of Kangkong, stalk cut into 2 inch segments
1 pc medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon guinamos/bagoong alamang
5 Tablespoons suka (white vinegar)
2 Tablespoons Toyo (salty soy sauce)
3 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional ingeredients: pieces of crispy fried pork belly or crispy fried dried anchovies as toppings
ground dried chilli to add a little heat if desired


This is a very quick dish to cook. In a large pan (Wok is preferred) fry the anchovies or pork belly until crispy and set aside. Using the same pan with the oil used in frying, sauté the garlic and onions until caramelized. Add the guinamos and continue stir frying until well mixed (the odor of the cooking guinamos will also be unmistakeable).

Place the kangkong in the pan and stir fry for about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in about 1/4 cup of water and place the rest of the ingredients. Let it simmer covered for another 3 to 5 minutes (this will depend if you want your kangkong stalks to have a bit of crunch when you bite on them).

Place the optional toppings on top when you plate. Serve as a side dish or enjoy it on its own.

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