Adobo is Spanish for sauce or seasoning or marinade and is widely used in Latin American cuisine. It is also defined as a sauce or paste made from a variety of ingredients that may include chillies, salt, vinegar, garlic, and herbs. There are also dry adobos which are spice rubs for meat, fish or poultry.
Adobo is very definitely the Philippine’s national dish. Everyone has a take on how it’s made, every Filipino who knows how to cook it, has their own version, their own set of ingredients. There are versions with vinegar, versions with coconut milk, versions with pineapple juice, versions with boiled egg, versions with bay leaf. There are so many ways of adjusting (and readjusting) the ratio of soy sauce to vinegar, some people love it really garlicky, some people want only a smidgen of garlic in it. Some like it really sour, some really salty, some really sweet and some…somewhere in the middle of all of this. Some people love pork adobo, while some people will say chicken adobo is always best. When it’s a national dish, there are a million permutations. Maybe as many as there are Filipino households in the world!
This is my take on adobo. I’ve tried it with chicken and pork and it seems to work really well. So I’m going to brave the big bad world wide web, and put forward my recipe! If you’d like to try it, let me know how it works out for you please! 🙂 I’d really love for you to let me know what it was like!
- 1 kilo of pork or chicken
- 5 tablespoons of soy sauce + 1 tablespoon for cooking
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar + 1 teaspoon for cooking
- 3 large cloves of garlic crushed (or 3 teaspoons of garlic granules)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of whole pepper corns (or 1 heaping teaspoon ground pepper)
- 1 meat stock cube (chicken or pork, whichever meat you’re cooking)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 400 ml water
- In a ziplock bag, combine the soy sauce and the vinegar and the garlic. Add the meat (use belly pork if cooking pork as the fat makes the meat pieces more succulent and less dry, and if you are using chicken, wings, thighs and legs are the best parts to use because these chicken parts have more flavour) and marinade. I like using a ziplock bag because I like to be able to “massage” the marinade into the meat. The longer you marinade the meat the better, but a minimum of two hours (with a maximum of massaging!) will do.
- Heat the oil in a stir-fry pan and add the meat pieces, making sure that you keep the marinating liquid. Brown the meat on all sides. Once the meat has been browned, add the marinating liquid. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, pepper corns (or ground pepper), sugar, the stock cube and water. Make sure that the stock cube and the sugar are dissolved well and make sure that all the meat are covered by the marinating liquid. Tear the bay leaves and add to the pan. Allow the liquid to reach a rolling boil, turning the meat pieces occasionally. Cover with a lid.
- Allow the liquid to simmer for 30 minutes, at which time it would have thickened slightly (without you adding anything to thicken it!). This is my little step: after the 30 minutes are over, keep the lid on and keep the pot over the hot plate (if you’re using an electric stove, or over the ring, if you’re using a gas range) for 5 minutes without lifting the lid.
- Serve over boiled rice, and voila! You have my version of adobo! 🙂
Adobo by ISKAndals.com