Variations Of Adobo, a Top Filipino Favorite Dish
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
1 lb pork cut in cubes (or chicken; better yet, a combination of both)
Â¾ cup soy sauce
Â½ cup vinegar
6 cloves garlic, crushed
Â½ tsp freshly crushed peppercorn
2 cups water (for pork, 1 cup if you are using chicken)
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.
Best Filipino Recipes on the Web
- Arroz Caldo (Chicken Rice Soup)
Arroz Caldo is a hot porridge-like dish. Delicously filling. Best with finely chopped spring onion.
- Shrimp adobo in coconut milk
A seafood version of the classic adobo.
- Bicol Express
A spicy Filipino favorite.
- Kare kare
Meat cooked with vegetable and peanut sauce. Delectably different.
- Pansit bihon
Traditional Filipino rice noodles with vegetables. Best with kalamansi (Philippine lemon)
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.
1 lb chicken, cut into pieces
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Â¾ cup soy sauce
Â½ cup vinegar
2 pieces bay leaf
1 tsp whole peppercorn
2 tbsp brown sugar (optional)
Â½ cup pineapple chunks (optional)
1 cup water
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.