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Easy to Do Filipino Adobo
Adobo is an all-time favorite Filipino dish and without any doubt the Chicken and Pork combo rules the Adobo Kingdom.
This dish is best paired with steamed white rice or fried rice which compliment each other well.
Ingredients for Chicken and Pork Adobo
- Chicken - 500 grams
- Pork - 500 grams
- Soy Sauce - 1/2 cup or Oyster Sauce (if preferred over sugar for sweetness)
- Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Garlic - 3 cloves crushed or more (depending on preferred taste)
- Bay leaf
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar (optional) 1 tablespoon
- Crushed Pepper
- Water - 1 cup
- Cooking Oil - 2 tablespoons
Preparation of Ingredients and Utensils
To ensure a hearth-warming Adobo that one would surely crave for more, inspect all ingredients carefully. Choose only the freshest ingredients for best results. The fresher the better!
Personally, I prefer to use a properly cleaned meat bought on the same day from thawed frozen products.
Don't forget to check the expiration date on bottled or canned products.
All utensils (pan, ladle, spoon, cup etc.) and specially the cooking area must be clean before use as a health precaution.
The very first step in cooking Adobo is to combine all ingredient in a cooking pan except for the chicken, vinegar and cooking oil (set aside for later use). Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Add water as needed because from my personal experience, frozen meat cooks longer than fresh ones.
Once pork is fork tender, add the chicken and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Chicken meat is softer and cooks faster than pork, it is why it was added on a later time.
Next, add vinegar and bring dish to a proper boil. Make sure that the vinegar is well cooked because dishes with an uncooked vinegar smells acid-like and has a strong sour taste. You definitely don't want that in your Adobo, right?
How to know if the vinegar is thoroughly cooked.
For those who are just new to cooking, some may find it hard to determine when vinegar is properly cooked in a dish. I'll teach you how. One simple trick I've learned is to smell the food fumes while it simmers. To do this you don't need to put your face directly above the cooking food but with just the use of your hands. Carefully stroke your hand from the evaporating liquid forming the fumes or wave your hands above the pan directing the fumes to your nasal area. From here you can judge whether or not it is still acidic in smell, signifying if the vinegar is already cooked.
Remember: As a safety precaution, never smell fumes by putting your face directly above the cooking pan while cooking. The fumes might be too hot, potentially causing serious burns to your face or neck areas.
After a good smelling comes the second best part, tasting. Taste the sauce and adjust it to your preferred taste. A traditional Adobo has thick sauce with a sweetness to saltiness balanced ratio plus the garlicky pepper taste to it. From here it is up to you to decide if you're going for the dried or sauced Chicken and Pork Adobo.
Dried or Sauced? (Totally depends to your liking.)
Remove the remaining sauce and put temporarily in a bowl leaving the meat and other solid ingredients like the garlic, bay leaf and pepper in the pan on medium heat. Add cooking oil and fry meat constantly mixing to avoid sticking until meat turns dark brown in color. Add the remaining sauce, scrape the bottom of the pan for stuck residues from frying and properly incorporate this in the sauce (this is where the flavor is) by simmering until sauce is reduced, thick and *broken in low heat. Taste again and adjust to preferred taste before removing from heat.
*Broken means the oil separates from other liquid ingredients.
*If the taste is too salty, you can add water and simmer again until reaching the desired taste.
Simmer until liquid sauce is totally reduced and absorbed by the meat. Use low heat once cooking oil is added Constantly mix to avoid burning the sauce and for meat to cook evenly. You can add a teaspoon of soy sauce to revive the color then fry to a dry until meat is brownish or until the oil acts as the sauce of the dish.
Whether dry or sauced, both are best served with rice and enjoyed with family and friends.
Treat yourself to a Filipino gastronomic delight, try these other popular types of Adobo.
© 2017 Jaime Cabotaje Jr