Chesa’s Smoked Tinapa Pasta with Kangkong Leaves

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI have to admit, I was a little shocked when this photo of my simple Sunday lunch got almost 150 likes on my Instagram feed.

Many of you asked for the recipe, so I asked my dear friend Chesa if I could share her delicious 30-minute dish. Aside from being an awesome cook, Chesa owns awesome co-working space, Co.Lab. Please feel free to check out their site to learn more about taking your business to the next level.

Smoked Tinapa Pasta with Kangkong Leaves (serves 2)

  • A handful of pasta noodles of your choice boiled al dente
  • a few glugs of olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • A splash of vinegar
  • 1 head of garlic finely chopped 
  • Half a jar of smoked tinapa in olive oil (I liked the sweet chilli smoked tinapa from Blue Kitchen. Chesa prefers to use garlic tuyo. Both work just fine)
  • A splash of vodka (optional) 
  • A tablespoon or two of sour cream
  • Two bunches of kangkong leaves (remove the large stems)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Some grated parmesan cheese and chilli flakes


1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook noodles till al dente. 

2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, sauté chopped onions in olive oil.

3. When they’re halfway cooked, give them a little splash of vinegar to bring our their sweetness.

4. When onions are soft and translucent, throw in chopped garlic till soft but not brown.

5. Throw in half your jar of smoked tinapa with some of its oil (feel free to add as much as you see fit).

6. Stir everything till combined well. Pour a splash of vodka and let evaporate for a minute. 

7. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste. 

8. When everything is combined and tasting fabulous, lower heat and put a dollop or two of sour cream (not too much!)

9. Once stirred well throw in kangkong leaves bunch by bunch till softened with the sauce (I personally put as much as the sauce can take).

10. Pour your sauce on top of your noodles and stir well. 

11. Sprinkle with some grated parmesan and serve with chilli flakes on the side for your guests. 

* This pasta goes perfectly with a roasted tomato+garlic soup recipe I found here.

Please promise to let me know if you try this! Happy cooking!