I never know that pork adobo is so easy to prepare. I have eaten a few times and I remember the first time I have eaten this dish during the time when I visited Manila many years ago. As I do not take beef, I always looked for pork dishes overseas. I saw some big chunks of stewed pork belly meat sold at the food stall. I ordered the dish because it looked like Chinese lor bak (卤肉）， I tasted the dish and it gave me a very good impression on the dish. The meat was very tender and it had a rather strong black pepper aroma and soya sauce taste.
Not long ago, I brought my family to have dinner at one of the Filipino restaurant in Singapore. The kids loves the dish too and that reminded me i must blog this delicious dish.
For those English educated readers, I presumed the word Adobo is not an unfamiliar term. It is such a common dish in Philippine restaurant and and it was derived from the Spanish word of adobar meaning sauce or marinating. In fact, this dish is a de-facto country dish for the Philippines. It is believed all Filipino families have a special recipe for this dish be it in chicken or in pork. I have also done my homework and reading many recipe before I tried out the recipe.
As usual, for famous recipes such as Pork adobo, there are tons of recipes in the internet. Every recipe is slightly different in term of sauces and cooking method and but there are some common ingredients that cannot be omitted beside the meat: vinegar, black pepper and bay leaves. Though the dish looked very much like the Chinese lor bak, it’s taste is different because of these three unique ingredients. Bay leaves provide a faint spice smell and the most obvious different in aroma is from the black pepper and vinegar.
I am unsure how many type of soya sauces there are in Philippines. I have decided to use dark soya sauce for this dish, however, it seems that the dark soya sauce used was too dark for my dish. May be it is the light soya sauce that most recipe called for. However, even if it is dark soya sauce, every brand have different shades. Having said that, lighter or darker shade will not hinder the deliciousness of the dish. On a side note, it was said that the very authentic and original adobo recipe do not use soya sauce, it is supposed to be beige in colour. The use of soya sauce is due to the influence of Chinese when they arrived in the Philippines.
Philippine Adobo (from Spanish adobar: “marinade,” “sauce” or “seasoning”) is a popular dish and cooking process in Philippine cuisine that involves meat, seafood, or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic, which is browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. It has sometimes been considered as the unofficial national dish in the Philippines. There are numerous variants of the adobo recipe in the Philippines.The most basic ingredient of adobo is vinegar, which is usually coconut vinegar, rice vinegar, or cane vinegar (although sometimes white wine or cider vinegar can also be used). Almost every ingredient can be changed according to personal preference. Even people in the same household can cook adobo in significantly different ways. A rarer version without soy sauce is known as adobong puti (“white adobo” or “blond adobo“) to contrast it with adobong itim (“black adobo”), the more prevalent versions with soy sauce. Adobong puti is often regarded as the closest to the original version of the Pre-Hispanic adobo. It is similar to another dish known as pinatisan, where fish sauce (patis) is used instead of vinegar. The proportion (or even the presence) of ingredients like soy sauce, bay leaves, garlic, or black pepper can vary. Other ingredients can sometimes be used; like siling labuyo(bird’s eye chili), jalapeño pepper, red bell pepper, olive oil, onions, brown sugar,potatoes, or pineapple. It may also be further browned in the oven, pan-fried, deep-fried, or even grilled to get crisped edges.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 4-6 adult servings
- 500 grams of pork belly, cut into big chunk
- 500 grams of chicken drumsticks, cut into big chunk
- 3 pieces of bay leaves
- 6 hard boiled eggs
- 5 garlics, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup of light soya sauce
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper powder
- 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
* There is no need to use both pork and chicken. Either one will do.
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Heat up a pan, put 1 tablespoon of oil, add the meat chunks, dark soya sauce and pan fry until the exterior is set . If you are using very fatty pork belly, the oil can be omitted.
- Transfer the pan fry meat to the pressure cooker pot, add vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, light brown sugar and hard boil eggs. If your soya sauce is not salty, you may wish to add pinches of salt. Add adequate water to slightly cover the meat item. Pressure cook the meat for 15-20 minutes. If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can continue to stew your meat over the stoves for about 45 minutes under medium heat or until your desired texture.
- Transfer the meat item to a plate, put all the meat broth in a frying pan, use high heat to boil the meat broth and reduce to 1/2 of the original volume. Put back the cooked meat and the dish is ready to be served. Best served hot with a plate of hot rice.
- Since I wanted to save some time, I have cooked the pork and chicken at the same junction. Theoretically, this is not very correct as chicken is easier to cook. Therefore, if you preferred, you can cook the pork for 10 minutes, release the pressure, add in the chicken and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. If over the stove, you can add the chicken at the later stage.
I am not happy with this set of pictures as it looks too dark. Again, I attributed this to the type of soya sauce used. In the next attempt, I will use light soya sauce and upload a new set of pictures. Remember that if you do not have pressure cooker, do not be deterred as you can always stew the meat over the stove. It is rather fast and will be able to yield you a nice dish for your dinner table. Lastly, as my daughter do not like to eat pork, therefore, chicken was added. However, you can either use pork or chicken to cook the dish.
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