Chicken, Duck & Turkey

Adobong balon-balonan (gizzard) at kangkong (water spinach)

I don’t know why kangkong (water spinach) is so good with adobo; it just is. I’ve tried it with eel, pork and now with balon-balonan ng manok (chicken gizzards).

Adobong balon–balonan (gizzard) at kangkong (water spinach)

Adobong balon–balonan (gizzard) at kangkong (water spinach) is comfort food

What exactly is balon-balonan or gizzard? Hyperdictionary,, defines it as “thick-walled muscular pouch below the crop in many birds and reptiles for grinding food.” If that doesn’t make sense, I wrote a full post about gizzards including instructions on the basic way to tenderize them.

The most popular traditional way of cooking balon-balonan in the Philippines is as adobong balon-balonan at atay (gizzard and liver adobo). A current popular street food is the balon-balonan barbeque.

Adobong balon–balonan (gizzard) at kangkong (water spinach)

Cook the gizzards using the basic Filipino adobo recipe, then add kangkong

I have tried cooking balon-balonan with kangkong before with a rather sweetish sauce. But for lunch yesterday, we opted to use the same combination for an adobo dish instead. And using soy paste too instead of the usual soy sauce.

Adobong balon–balonan (gizzard) at kangkong (water spinach)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Connie Veneracion
  • 400 grams chicken gizzards
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 6 cloves garlic crushed and peeled (it’s easier to peel them after crushing)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons soy paste
  • 1 bunch kangkong (water spinach)
  1. Trim all visible fat from the gizzards. Rinse well.
  2. Cut each gizzard into three or four pieces.
  3. Place the gizzards in a medium-sized non-aluminum saucepan or skillet.
  4. Pour the vinegar over them. Add the garlic, bay leaf and cracked black pepper.
  5. Set over high heat and bring to a boil without stirring.
  6. Let boil for a minute or two before stirring and adding the sliced shallots.

  7. Add about 2 cups of water, lower the heat, cover and simmer for an hour or longer until the gizzards are tender.
  8. Add more water, if necessary, but the remaining liquid should only be a few tablespoonfuls by the end of the cooking time.
  9. Meanwhile, wash the kangkong and trim, discarding the tough lower portion of the stalks. Cut into two-inch lengths.
  10. When the gizzards are done, turn up the heat and add the soy paste. Let boil for about 30 seconds before adding the kangkong. Don’t worry if the adobo looks quite dry at this point; the kangkong will expel water after a few minutes.
  11. Toss the gizzards with the kangkong. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Serve hot.
Adobong balon–balonan (gizzard) at kangkong (water spinach)

Lovely, comforting adobong balon–balonan (gizzard) at kangkong (water spinach)

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