I grew up with Adobong Labong -Bamboo Shoots with Pork and Shrimps served often at dinner. Mom cooked this at least once a week. I remember she used fresh bamboo shoots for this dish. When I go back to the Philippines and to my childhood home in Tarlac, this dish is still prepared by my sister who also learned it from mom. It’s still plated in the same vintage glass Pyrex 8 x 8 container. And the tangy, garlicky flavors instantly bring me back to my childhood.
Adobo is a Filipino cooking method of stewing and braising meats, fish or vegetables in a broth of vinegar, garlic and black pepper. The tart flavors adobo renders to any dish stays on and gets more intense as time goes by. The vinegary taste lingers even days after in leftovers and gets more bold.
This Adobong Labong was no exception. My modern version was easy to cook because I used canned bamboo shoots. Now there are some folks who have issues with bamboo shoots or labong being slippery even after it’s cooked. Therefore it’s best to soak the bamboo shoots in water before cooking.
The garlic aroma coming from the saucepan gripped me when I sautéed the pork and shrimps together in the skillet with the onions, vinegar and soy sauce. As I mixed the light yellow strips of bamboo shoots around the saucepan so that the vinegary-garlic-soy sauce coated the “labong”, then I knew this was a near replica of what mom used to cook for us. I couldn’t wait to put this on our dinner table and pair it with steaming boiled rice. It’s the familiar dishes like this that bring the reassuring comfort to any day, whether it’s a difficult one or one we should be grateful for.
Adobong Labong - Bamboo Shoots with Pork and Shrimps
- 1 can (20 oz./565 g.) sliced bamboo shoots , about 2 cups, drained
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 to 8 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1 whole white or yellow onion chopped
- 1/4 pound pork shoulder cubed
- 1/4 pound fresh shrimps peeled, deveined, tails removed
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach stems trimmed, washed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
- boiled rice for serving
- In a medium-sized bowl filled with water that’s room temperature, soak the bamboo shoot slices for about 30 minutes. This is to remove the slippery feel of the labong. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the vegetable oil. When oil is hot enough, sauté the onions and garlic. Cook till onions are transparent after 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the pork cubes. Then add the shrimps. Mix ingredients and cook for 8 to 10 minutes till meat turns brown and shrimps are pink.
- Pour the vinegar, soy sauce and broth.
- Take the soaking bamboo shoots and discard the water. Add the bamboo shoots to the skillet and combine with other ingredients. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes more till labong softens.
- Add the spinach. Season with salt and black pepper. Combine everything well. The spinach will cook in 1 to 2 minutes. Serve warm with rice on the side.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.