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Variations Of Adobo, a Top Filipino Favorite Dish

Updated on June 17, 2011

Adobo-the Filipino Classic

Adobo is a cooking method in the Philippines that involves the use of vinegar as a primary marinade ingredient. The dish is usually served with steamed or garlic fried rice. A lot of articles could be read about the origin of Adobo. Some articles would say it is a Spanish dish, while some say it is indigenous to the Philippines. My grandmother says adobo in Spanish means preparation or marinating food in a prepared mixture of spices, thus giving the dish its Spanish name. Whatever it is, whether it was originally Spanish or unique to the Filipino cuisine, Adobo remains one of the top Filipino classics in cooking. It is not only delicious, but it also keeps well without refrigeration. It is worth noting that "adobo" is not a term used for cooking alone. It is now common to see "adobo flavour" on the label of canned tuna and Filipino snack products, usually on nuts, corn chips and the like.

What makes Adobo so yummy

Vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and black peppercorns are the basic ingredients for adobo. However, in some regions in the Philippines, other ingredients such as coconut milk, bay leaf, brown sugar or even pineapple chunks are added to give the dish a different twist. I prefer adding bay leaf and pineapple to chicken, and coconut milk to seafood or pork adobo.

There are many other variations of this dish. I know of friends who cook adobo with mushed chicken liver, some add ground peanuts. Experiment any way you want to, and have fun doing it. Below are 3 ways I usually cook this dish. I have also listed some links for other Filipino recipes.

The Basic Adobo

Ingredients:

1 lb pork cut in cubes (or chicken; better yet, a combination of both)

¾ cup soy sauce

½ cup vinegar

6 cloves garlic, crushed

½ tsp freshly crushed peppercorn

2 cups water (for pork, 1 cup if you are using chicken)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan. Marinate 1-3 hours. Cook over medium fire until almost dry. Add water and simmer until meat is tender. Continue cooking until meat is browned.

Bay Leaf Adobo with Boiled Eggs

This happens to be my kids’ favourite! Bay leaf gives a unique flavour and aroma to the dish, thus there is no need to crush the peppercorn. Aside from being extenders, the boiled eggs will also add a new texture and flavour to the dish. Note that while the basic adobo is browned and almost dry, bay leaf adobo is best served with its sauce thickened.

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken, cut into pieces

3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

¾ cup soy sauce

½ cup vinegar

2 pieces bay leaf

1 tsp whole peppercorn

2 tbsp brown sugar (optional)

½ cup pineapple chunks (optional)

1 cup water

Directions:

As in Basic Adobo, mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan and marinate for 1-3 hours. Cook over medium fire until the marinade is absorbed. Add water, simmer until meat is tender and sauce thickens. Serve over steamed rice.

Crispy Adobo Flakes

Use the same ingredients as in bay leaf adobo, leave out pineapple and brown sugar. Marinate and cook as directed above until sauce is completely dry. Continue cooking over low fire. Using a fork, crush or cut the meat into thin flakes while cooking. Make sure to brown all the meat flakes by stirring/turning. Cook until evenly browned and crispy. Serve hot over garlic fried rice.

What's on your mind?

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    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      ang sarap naman. i like adobo. i use lemon juice instead of vinegar. now, i am hungry. i am invited to have lunch with other filipinos in the community. hopefully, they have some adobo today, thanks for your mouth-watery lens.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Never thought about Filipino dishes as an inspiration. You changed my point of view!

    • alesxandrea profile image

      alesxandrea 6 years ago

      Adobo with bayleaf and hard boiled eggs + lots of black pepper.. yum yum yum! My favorite!

    • alesxandrea profile image

      alesxandrea 6 years ago

      Adobo with bayleaf and hard boiled eggs + lots of black pepper.. yum yum yum! My favorite!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Looks delicious!

    • gypsyman27 lm profile image

      gypsyman27 lm 6 years ago

      I will try this recipe, makes a good lens. Thanks for sharing. See you around the galaxy...

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Can't wait to try these dishes, they seem so yummy, I have never tried Phillipino food before. Featured this on Holiday Cooking

    • Chris-H LM profile image

      Chris-H LM 6 years ago

      Ohhhhhhhhhh this looks yummy!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      Oh! Boy! I have a lot to learn from Filipino dishes...

      Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Ahh, looks delicious!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      I will have to try making this adobo as it looks simple enough and looks yummy.

    • profile image

      quyenngo 6 years ago

      Wow! Delicious!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Adobo looks and sounds delicious and is a taste treat I have not experienced. I wonder if you know about the recipe module that lets us have a printable version.

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 6 years ago from Washington KS

      I've never eaten adobo but it sounds delicious!!

      I think my husband would love the pork adobo so I hope to try it.

    • Nimsy LM profile image

      Nimsy LM 6 years ago

      The adobo looks yummy. I'm going to try to make the chicken adobo and see if it tastes as good as it looks!

    • momscorner profile image

      momscorner 6 years ago

      Hi there Marckq, thank you so much for visiting and liking my income report lens, and thanks, too for featuring my "the yummiest philippine desserts ever" lens. i'm deeply honored. i appreciate it. nice to meet you here. this adobo lens of yours is very filipino. everybody just loves the very relible adobo.

    • momscorner profile image

      momscorner 6 years ago

      Hi there Marckq, thank you so much for visiting and liking my income report lens, and thanks, too for featuring my "the yummiest philippine desserts ever" lens. i'm deeply honored. i appreciate it. nice to meet you here. this adobo lens of yours is very filipino. everybody just loves the very relible adobo.

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 6 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Masarap! Nice lens. Making me hungry just looking at the great pictures and the recipes! I've liked, favorited, thumbs-upped, and lens-rolled your masterpiece! Congrats on a great job!