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Blog - Republic of Adobo: A Recipe to Delight Everyone

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Pork Adobo, or known as Adobong Baboy in our local language, is one of the most popular recipes in the Philippines. This Filipino staple food is basically pork stewed in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic.

I would bet that every household would know how to prepare this dish, and even have their own version by adding up a special ingredient or some may alter methods to create a special twist in their adobo. It is actually a mainstay in our house menu, as it is relatively easy to prepare and the ingredients are easy to find in the neighborhood supermarkets, and that most likely, you will already have them ready in the pantry.

Adobo is great filling meal for dinner, lunch and even breakfast at home or restaurants. It is a staple,yet,  it is also a favorite when served in special occasions like birthdays, Christmas, town fiestas, weddings, family reunions and other important gatherings. It also perfect for packed lunch to school or office, to picnics or even for long road trips.

I would like to share with you here my Pork Adobo version, not following any recipe book, as this was how I learned cooking it as a little girl watching my Mama stir it up in our kitchen.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 kilo Pork Belly, preferably with skin, cut into 3-4 cm. cubes

  • 1 cup Soy Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt

  • 1 teaspoon crushed Black Pepper

  • 4 pieces Laurel Leaves (Bay Leaves)

  • 10 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced, divided into 2

  • 1 cup Water

  • ¾ cup Vinegar (I use cane vinegar for the sweet tang)

  • ¼ cup Cooking Oil for sauteing (I use canola oil)

And here’s how:

  • Marinate pork slices in soy sauce, sea salt, black pepper, laurel leaves, half of the minced garlic for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  • In a deep saucepan, saute the other half of the garlic in oil, put marinated meat and boil in low heat until meat is tender for about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not stir. Meat is ready when you notice that some pork oil is surfacing and sauce is becoming thick in consistency. Stir, making sure it does not dry up, you may add  a bit of water when it does.

  • Add the vinegar, do not stir, and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Perfect when served with hot steamed white rice. Since I am a garlicy person, I sprinkle fried minced garlic on top for more flavor, sometimes, even a fried sunny side up egg on the side.

 

Some variations are having it dry and tender (frying or adding more cooking time) or sauced up (adding more water and soysauce). Cubed potatoes, hard-boiled eggs may also be added as some sort of  extenders.

Chili peppers may favor those who would like the spicy kick, while sugar may be added for some who desire that sweet-tangy twist. Pouring coconut milk into the stew makes the sauce rich, creamy and thick is how they do it in the Visayan and Bicol region. Some have their own preference in the vinegar they use, you may adjust the garlic quantity or make it more peppery according to your likings. Pork mat even be substituted with chicken, seafood or even some vegetables for those who prefer it healthier. Oh well, some even combine chicken and pork in one adobo pot!

It is said that Pork Adobo is more tasty the day after as the flavors have already sinked in the meat. On an upcoming busy week, I cook up a pot of Adobo during the weekend and store it in the fridge. Adobo has a long shelf life when kept in the fridge, thanks to vinegar which is one of its main ingredients that preserves the stew and prevents it from spoilage. And it’s perfectly fine to have an Adobo meal daily for the rest of the week for breakfast… or lunch… or dinner… or for a romantic date… or your birthday.. or why not right now?!!

(written on May 2013)