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14 March 2015

Vegetarian Recipe: "Kangkong Abbey" or Sautéed Water Spinach

Photo by Rob San Miguel
Kangkong or water spinach (ipomoea aquatic) is not usually considered a posh side dish, and some people consider kangkong as the poor cousin of the spinach; however, I have always found kangkong tasty. In addition, kangkong "has a moderate amount of purines," according to Dr. Oscar Novick of

"Purines (specific chemical compounds found in some foods) are broken down into uric acid. A diet rich in purines from certain sources can raise uric acid levels in the body, which sometimes leads to gout.” (Source: WebMDArthritis Health Center: Diet and Gout)

Here is one recipe to elevate the humble kangkong into a delectable side dish, or even main dish. I got this recipe from my niece and I just modified it a bit.

  • 1 bundle of kangkong (worth about 10 to 15 pesos in the wet market)
  • 2-3 tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 4-5 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste (optional, but must not be included if you are following a low-sodium diet)
  • Powdered oregano, ground sage and dried basil leaves
  • Using fresh basil leaves is better. Just tear each leave into small pieces. You just need about 2 tablespoons but feel free to add more if you like.
You may also add some other herbs that you fancy. Be creative.

  • Cut the kangkong into pieces. You choose how big you want them. Include the stalks as well. Wash them thoroughly and set aside.
  • Sauté the chopped garlic in olive oil, and once the garlic is done, put in the kangkong and cover.
  • Cooked it in medium heat for about 5 minutes or so;
  • Sprinkle powdered oregano, sage and basil leaves. Stir to mix and serve. 
Forget white rice, opt to have brown or any dark-colored rice instead.

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