Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Filipino Pork Adobo (Adobong Baboy)

on August 19, 2012

One of the things I have come to love since I moved to the Bay area is Filipino food. I have always wanted to travel internationally but at the same time, I really hate to travel lol. So instead, I settle for eating internationally. Jene’s best friends are Filipino and I’ve been adopted into the clan. I think I forever won the hearts of the Aunties when I announced my love of Chocolate Beef. It’s a beef dish made with beef blood, giving the sauce a deep, chocolate brown color. Apparently most Caucasians find the idea of using blood somewhat off-putting. Now, since I don’t have any beef blood on hand, I’m making Pork Adobo today.

Adobo is a word that people are more familiar with in Mexican cooking. Chipotle chiles are packed in adobo sauce and Mexican Adobo is heaving on the cumin, garlic and onion. Filipino food has a lot of influence from when the Spaniards were sailing around and spreading Catholicism. However, Filipino Adobo has nothing to do with Mexican adobo lol.

Filipino adobo is marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. It is then cooked right in the marinade until the meat is falling apart. I love the succulence of the pork shoulder with the tang of the vinegar. If you think about it, this is very similar to the vinha d’alhos that the Portuguese make half way around the world from the Philippines.

This recipe comes from Filipino Cuisine: Recipes from the Islands by Gerry G. Gelle (1997) pg 4.


1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 T soy sauce

1 tsp salt

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 T sugar

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder or pork butt – cut into 2″ pieces

1 T vegetable oil

Combine all the ingredients except the meat and oil in a non-aluminum saucepan. Aluminum reacts badly with vinegar in case you were wondering. Add the meat and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Simmer covered for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Remove the meat and reserve the sauce.

Heat the oil in a skillet and brown the meat on all sides. Dream off the excess oil. Add the reserved sauce to the meat and heat for a few minutes, stirring and scraping the sides of the pot.

Serve with rice.

Now that you have the basics of the recipe you can play around with it. Once the meat has been cooked you can saute some onions and garlic and add that to the meat. You can add tomatoes and bell peppers, potatoes and plantains… it’s all about what you want to achieve. Today I’m doing just the very basic adobo although I might add some onion at the end šŸ˜€

The other thing I did was make a MUCH bigger batch than the recipe calls for. I’ve got about 9-10 lbs of pork in the pot.

Ā  Here you can see the big chunks of pork in the pot soaking up the yummy flavors. The meat starts to take on a caramel color as the soy sauce and vinegar interact with the meat. Because of the high vinegar content it’s fine to leave sitting on the counter marinading for an hour or so. If you want it to sit longer than that you should refrigerate it.

I also decided to caramelize some onions to stir in after the pork is done. Slow cooked with lots of butter, the sugars in the onions are released to bring to life a sweetness not found in a raw onion. I skipped the step of browning the cooked pork. It’s really a matter of personal preference. šŸ™‚

And to the right is the finished product. If you see the ring around the edge of the pot you can see that I let the sauce reduce a bit then thickened it with a butter/flour roux. I had some extra butter floating around in the pan with the onions and used that in the roux to impart some extra flavor. After thickening the sauce I returned the pork to the pot and added the onions. Ideally this would be served over rice but since we’re low-carbish we don’t have the rice.

Give it a try and enjoy the international flavor!


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