Takway are gabi or taro root tendrils or shoots, which I first wrote about here. I suspect, like okra or alugbati, takway are a love or hate ’em kind of vegetable, with texture the primary reason for falling on one side of the fence or the other… I liked takway the first time I tasted them, and since my host on this recent trip managed to get a kilo or so into our luggage, I decided to try and replicate the simple yet extremely satisfying “adobong takway” that we tasted on several occasions in Bacolod and the surrounding towns. The prep work to clean and peel the takway and wash it several times is the hardest part of preparing this dish.
Once the takway is cleaned up, cut it into two to three inch pieces, and make sure you wash it well in several changes of water. In a pan big enough to accomodate the takway you plan to saute, heat up some vegetable oil. Then saute some garlic, onions and pieces of pork. I suspect some Negrenses use a bit of fish guinamos at this point but I can’t be certain. Then I added the takway and sauteed for a a minute or two over high heat. I added some water, kikkoman soy sauce and some cane vinegar. Adjust the liquid so that there is enough to steam the veggies but not drown them. Add about a tablespoon of dark brown sugar for about every 6-8 cups of cleaned takway, to mellow the sauce. Simmer covered for some 7-8 minutes until soft. Season with ground black pepper and salt if necessary. Cook until soft but not mushy. Do not undercook as taro can trigger some allergic reactions in some diners if undercooked. But it must be a little softer than “al dente”… Taste to figure out if you need to adjust seasoning. Serve immediately with lots of steamed rice. Delicious. A perfect simple and economical meal. Serious yum factor.