Adobong Sitaw (String Beans)

This non-traditional adobo recipe avoids squeaky and droopy beans by cooking the sitaw and the sauce separately.
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1–2 servings
Prep Time
10 Mins
Active Time
20 Mins

Inspired by Chinese dry-fried beans, this adobo recipe cooks the sitaw in a roaring hot wok until blistered and charred, making them crisp and smoky. Next comes a thick adobo sauce: the classic combo of soy sauce, vinegar, and a whole head of garlic, cooked separately to help the beans maintain their texture. Sliced pork belly adds some bonus protein, which you can safely leave out for a vegetarian version.

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped sitaw (string beans)
  • 130g pork belly, sliced
  • cloves from 1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ΒΌ tsp whole black peppercorns
  • β…“ cup soy sauce
  • β…“ cup white vinegar
  • 1 large bay leaf

Blister green beans: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or pan on high heat. Add sitaw and cook, stirring constantly, until blistered, around 5 minutes. Season with salt, stir for the last time, then remove from heat. Transfer blistered green beans to a bowl and set aside.


Make adobo sauce: Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced pork belly, smashed garlic, and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until pork is browned. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and bay leaf to the pan. Reduce sauce until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.


Toss green beans in sauce: Drizzle the adobo sauce over the sitaw, then toss until beans are evenly coated. Transfer tossed beans into a serving bowl or plate. Serve as a side or as a main with steamed rice.

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