Pork Adobo is one of the most popular dishes in the Philippines. In this post, I will answer the most frequently asked questions. So read on, and I hope you'll discover something new or useful the next time you make it.
Adobo is the "unofficial" national dish of the Philippines. Pork adobo and chicken adobo are well-known versions. They are braised in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. It can be saucy or dry, and the sweetness varies between cooks.
Adobo is special to Filipinos because it is a dish we have grown to love. It is reminiscent of meals shared with family and friends. Every family, cook, or even those who do not cook prepares adobo differently.
Adobo is known as a cooking technique. It was derived from the Spanish word adobar or "to marinate," preserving the food in vinegar and salt. So, in essence, you can "adobo" anything.
Essentially, when you "adobo" something, you're likely marinating or cooking it in vinegar and soy sauce.
When you make adobo, you're likely to smell the vinegar and the bay leaves in it. To me, the smell of adobo brings back happy memories.
When refrigerators weren't available, vinegar (along with salt) was used to preserve food. The acidity of the vinegar balances the savory and sweet flavors of the dish.
Pork adobo and chicken adobo are the most common. Several types of adobo include adobong pusit with squid, adobong kangkong with water spinach, adobong sitaw with green beans, and adobong itlog with hard-boiled eggs. Some versions add in coconut milk (adobo sa gata) or skip the soy sauce (adobong puti).
Pork adobo is typically made with pork belly or pork butt. It is braised in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
Pork adobo tastes savory, tangy, and garlicky. The sweetness varies depending on who prepares it.
Adobo comes in many varieties, as do the ingredients. The most common type of adobo is pork adobo. It is braised in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, sugar, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Chicken adobo is prepared similarly, with ginger added.
You can use regular or light soy sauce. While a little dark soy sauce can be used for color, it should not replace it entirely in the recipe. Tamari (with no wheat) is a gluten-free alternative that is slightly thicker and stronger in flavor. Coconut aminos is a gluten-free and soy-free substitute. It is less salty and slightly sweet. Make the necessary adjustments when substituting.
The sauce reduces and slightly thickens by itself after low and slow cooking. A thickener isn't usually added. If you must thicken, you can add a cornstarch slurry. Start with a tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in an equal amount of water. Feel free to add more as needed.
It is recommended to eat cooked pork within three to four days if kept refrigerated. Since vinegar and salt (from soy sauce) help preserve the meat, it may take longer than that before it goes bad. In fact, adobo is one of those dishes that’s better the next day. I suggest using your leftovers to make Adobo Fried Rice, or freeze it to extend its shelf life.
Filipino adobo is a dish cooked in vinegar and soy sauce. Spanish adobo is a dry seasoning or a marinade with a different flavor profile. It has ingredients like paprika and oregano.
Just like any stew or braise, making adobo starts by searing the meat to build the flavor. It is then simmered until tender in aromatics and a mixture of vinegar and soy sauce. Bay leaves, peppercorns, and sugar are commonly added. The sauce is reduced and slightly thickened.
I hope that this post has helped answer your questions. If you're looking to try it, I have a simple recipe for Filipino Pork Adobo! You may be surprised at just how easy it is to make it.