Filipino Cooking: ADOBO

Article by Sherwin Funa, ASEAN-Korea Centre Blog Correspondent from the Philippines

One of the most interesting parts of travelling is food. I’ve been to several countries in Asia and every place, I make sure to never leave until I find that food that I can call my favorite. In Malaysia, I really enjoyed eating Roti Canai and in my recent Bangkok trip, I fell in love with their Phad Thai. Today, I would like to introduce to you a very popular Filipino cuisine. In case you will be visiting Philippines, you might want to try this out to pair with your hot steamed rice, we call it by the name ADOBO.

In the Philippines, you can’t claim that you are a good cook or your restaurant being the best Filipino restaurant if you can’t serve fantastic ADOBO. Philippines is composed of 7,107 Islands with 81 provinces, & each place may have its own version of ADOBO. Over time, the variety and ways of cooking Adobo continues to grow. Adobo is an inherited recipe from the Spaniards having the Philippines being colonized for more than 300 years. It is really a popular cooking process wherein you marinate the meat in sauce of vinegar & garlic. In the Philippines, the process & cooking of Adobo is more specific, in terms of ingredients.

In a typical Filipino family table, a simple gathering or even in special occasions, Adobo is served. You have an option to cook it using Pork, Chicken or a mix of both. Adobo is a very tasty meal with fusion of salty and sour taste and very easy to prepare. Also, having vinegar as one of its main ingredients, it became a very popular pack-food as well. Vinegar inhibits bacteria growth that gives Adobo a long shelf-life, so most often the not, this viand is always present during out of town picnics and outings.

Adobo is really one of my comfort food. My mom normally serves this when she knows that I am not in a good mood and would like to lighten up my day. So for today’s episode, I will unveil Philippines National dish that might capture your taste buds as well. So, let us now learn how to cook Adobo. Dish up something different on your table, cook something Filipino today!

Step 1:  Ready all the ingredients, you will need the following:

  • 1 kilo of Chicken or if preferred, 1 kilo of Pork (w/ skin and fat). Or you can combine the two, get ½ kilo of each kind
  • 6 cloves of medium size garlic: crushed
  • 3 Bay Leaves (Laurel Leaves)
  • Peppercorn
  • ½ cup of vinegar
  • ½ cup of soy sauce
  • A tablespoon of salt
  • A tablespoon of sugar
  • ¼ pre-fried potato

Step 2: Place meat in a heavy bottom pan.

Step 3: Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, cloves of garlic, black pepper and bay leaves all together.

Step 4: Stir to mix and bring it of a medium fire for 15 minutes.

Step 5: Stir once in a while to avoid burning the bottom. Cook until the vinegar and soy sauce boil and thickens. Lower the heat and allow the oil to simmer the meat for few minutes. You can add water if you prefer a saucy Adobo.

Step 6: Toss in the pre-fried potatoes.

Step 7: Simmer in low heat and stir to coat meat with the thickened sauce. Turn off the stove.

Step 8: Serve with hot steamed rice. You can garnish it with pineapple slices and/or with native pickle (atchara).

What really makes a good meal aside from its taste is having great company. Enjoy this with your family and friends! Happy Eating and hope you like it.

References: Photos courtesy of Yedylicious (Photo 1) & Skinny Taste (Photo 2).

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