The traditional adobo eel (called palos by the Filipinos) is given a new look and variety when served with the leaves and tender stalks of kangkong (water spinach) and hard-boiled eggs.
When we discard skins or hard stalks of vegetables, like “discard the hard stalks” of the kangkong, or “discard the hard core” of the cabbage or the chayote, or “discard the hard stems” of the black mushrooms, I only mean that they are not to be included in the dish. But, in our house, we don’t throw them away. They make great feed for our hamsters. Even the carrot skin and lower portions of leeks and onion leaves are not thrown away. Why feed the hamsters with pellets everyday when they can have fresh vegetables? We accumulate less garbage too.
1/2 kilo of eel (palos)
1 head of garlic, crushed
1/4 c. + 1 tsp. of vinegar
1/4 c. of light soy sauce
6 peppercorns, pounded
1 bay leaf
1 bunch of kangkong (water spinach)
2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
1/2 c. of cooking oil
How to :
To clean the eel:
Place the eel in a glass bowl. Boil 2 c. of water with 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of vinegar. Pour boiling water over the eel. Let stand for 2 minutes, rinse under tap water, drain well and dry with paper towels. Cut crosswise into 1-1/2″ slices.
Wash the kangkong well. Pick the leaves and tender stalks. Discard the hard stalks.
Place the eel slices in a skillet. Pour over the vinegar and soy sauce. Add the peppercorns, crushed garlic and bay leaf. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute; turn the eel slices over and cook the other side for another minute. With a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the eel slices to a plate and cool. Reserve the liquid.
Heat another skillet. Pour in the cooking oil and heat until it starts to smoke. Lightly fry the eel slices until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Pour off the cooking oil from the skillet until only 1 tsp. remains. Reheat and stir fry the kangkong. Pour in the reserved cooking liquid. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Arrange eel slices on one side of a plate. Place the kangkong on the other side, leaving the center free. Place the hard-boiled eggs between the eel and the kangkong. Pour the sauce over. Serve hot.