Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pork Adobo, Pride of Filipino (Ver. 2)

As promised in my Pork Adobo post sometime in July, I will now provide the second version (Ver. 2) of the regarded Philippine national dish that is Adobo. Apart from the many approaches to cooking the dish, say pork adobo, there are also several ways by which it could be finished off, depending on whom the dish will be served. In my case, if it is for my family who love to slather the sauce on their rice, I make it saucy. If it’s for me and some male friends who like it crunchy and dry then the liquid has to be reduced which is called “iga” in the Philippine language. Some even like the sauce to be rich and creamy rather than light and thin. Whatever the preference is, it’s just a matter of final adjustment at the end of the cooking process.

Adobo can be eaten in many ways as well. While of course, the best way is with either steamed rice or better yet, garlic rice (Philippine fried rice), it is also wonderful with “pandesal” (Philippine bread rolls), Chinese steamed bun and even “puto” (Philippine rice cake). I sometimes use them as filling or spread with sliced bread for a tasty adobo sandwich. I have been using it as toppings for my pizza with impressive results (I will be posting it sometime later). Probably we can do more, just a little imagination and the next variation in enjoying our favourite dish is ready for discovery.

The method of cooking Adobo that I will be doing now is the one I’m familiar by heart. It is my everyday adobo which I have been cooking since I started messing up our kitchen. Sometimes I made really delicious ones and sometimes a not-so. The difference is first, in the vinegar, a little less or over will have an obvious disparity in the resulting dish. So familiarization with the many types of vinegar is essential. Next is in the meat cut, for pork, the belly (“liempo”) or loin near the shoulder (“kasim”) with a little fat are best for me.

The fat portion is important; a true lean meat for adobo simply doesn’t work for me. We can cook it yes, but I won’t find the special taste we love about Adobo as served to us our parents and grandparents who keep the fat portion of the meat intact. But of course you can always avoid it for health consideration.

To prepare this version 2 of pork adobo, we shall need about a kilo of pork, cut up to around 1 x 1 inch cube and well drained. The pork cube we usually have here in Sri Lanka does not contain much fat, but we can’t do anything. We have to proceed with our adobo using quite leaner meat. Good for the body but probably inferior in taste. :-(

The other ingredients are 8 gloves garlic, peeled and crushed, 2 pcs bay leaves, 1 tsp whole peppercorn, cracked, 1/3 cup white vinegar (adjust it depending on the type you are using), ½ cup soy sauce, 1 tsp salt or to taste and about 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into serving sizes.

In a large mixing bowl or casserole, place the meat and add all the ingredients except potatoes. Stir to properly combine the meat and the ingredients.

In a large thick casserole or wok put the meat and the marinade and heat on medium flame. Don’t add any water. Let the liquid boil and simmer on low heat. Let the meat render some of its own juice and fat. Give it a gentle stir and simmer on very low heat until the liquid is reduced and meat is just tender. If you have the right heat all along (very low just enough for the water to gurgle), you will not need any water yet.

Add the potatoes and about half cup of water, cover and continue simmering until the potatoes are cooked through.

Remove the casserole from the heat. Using a colander or slotted spoon, separate the meat and potatoes from the sauce. Gather all the garlic pieces and small bits of the meat that remains on the casserole and from the sauce, set aside. Remove the excess oil that will float on the surface of the sauce. Set aside as well for later use.

In a wok, heat about 1 tbsp of the oil collected and fry the garlic pieces and small bits of meat. When it’s sizzling, add the meat and potatoes and fry for about 2 minutes, slightly searing the sides. There will be some meat part that will stick to the pan, don’t worry; we need that to happen for a gorgeous thick sauce. When the meat is seared and smelling really good, return the sauce back. The sauce will soften all the meat bits and drippings stuck in the bottom of the pan. Scrape it and let to combine with the sauce to make a rich slightly creamy consistency. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt level according to your preference.

At this point, adjust the sauce quantity to your liking. Add water if you want a saucy adobo or cook further for a dry-type adobo. Otherwise, transfer to a large plate and serve with the slightly thick sauce. :-)

Hot steaming rice is all you need now. But some chopped tomatoes and salted egg on the side will make the meal even better. It’s so tasty, the Filipino way. :)

Cola drinks? I won’t advise, but yes, it’s amazingly good with it. Enjoy! c“,)


  1. SARAP!!! YUM, yummy yummy for my tummy!!!
    thanks for this recipe...

  2. good morning. i would like to ask permission to use your photo for a menu i am doing. it will be printed but for only a small quantity. i would really appreciate it if you grant my request. thank you. gary

  3. hi Anonymous, thanks for asking .... your request is granted ... :-)

  4. i love your recipes! i printed some and will try it.



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