it has been mentioned (in the adobo book by alejandro and reyes-lumen) that the nation has at least 500 “official” versions of adobo; this is because (the book added) this family’s adobo is better than that family’s. every household has their own version – whether it be with pure vinegar, one with soy sauce, another with patis and the variations go on.
which is why, i think, if one should master a local dish and call it his/her own, it would have to be this one! unleash your inner adobo-ness haha or whatever.
yesterday was actually a culinary milestone for me because i concocted my first original recipe. though it may have others like it, what i did was as you would call it…purely “intuitional”. by intuition i mean, “a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and voila (while hoping it would still be palatable).” in short, there were no measurements involved; which is why i will not succeed as a baker.
sunday, day two of the community quarantine, we had to eat whatever my hands had to offer. i actually announced to my family the previous night that we will be eating adobo the next day because i planned to experiment haha. andre specifically said he preferred puti. puti or white in filipino, was a mixture that mainly relied on vinegar as opposed to the classic blend of soy sauce. and so, puti it was.
“yun yung niluluto sa sariling taba…” as my husband meticulously evoked.
any ingredient can go through the process of adobo – kangkong, squid, chicken, beef or pork. i chose pork because it was either that or chicken which we had too much of already.
before continuing with my recipe,
here’s a few notes on cooking adobo that i found interesting:
- pork liempo is best, tastiest and is better with skin-on. when cooked, become sticky and gelatine-y and helps thicken the sauce gloriously.
- simmer! cook meats in low fire from start to finish (till meats are tender) and sauce is reduced. (cook uncovered in last 10 minutes).
- cook chicken separately from pork. flavors come out better. then combine later when serving.
- always have salt in adobo. it helps balance the acidity.
- crush peppercorns at the last minute to retain its aroma.
- 1 medium-sized laurel leave can add flavor and aroma to 1/2 kilo or meat. if you have the chance, use fresh laurel leaves.
- garlic. crush only when about to be used. if left in the marinade overnight, it will lose its strong flavor. be generous with garlic.
- braise meats first in, first out till brown. then simmer till tender. for a better finish, bake at the last 15 minutes.
- do not stir vinegar till it has cooked. that is, when all the acid has evaporated. your nose will tell.
1/2 kilo of pork (i used our remaining pork sinigang cut; opt for pork liempo when cooking adobo), salt and pepper to taste
for the sauce: 1 sili labuyo, 4 cloves of garlic (mashed), 2 dahon ng laurel (the photo is for aesthetics only), 2 tbsp of peppercorns, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, (**optional: i added 2 tbsp of calamansi liqueur which i found in my dad’s wine cabinet, i do not know if it made any difference hahaha you can skip this one).
i mixed all of the ingredients (excluding the pork) and placed them in a bowl. after which, i washed the pork, then put salt and pepper on it. the difference with this adobo is that i did not marinate the meat in the sauce, i added it after i fried the pork in a pot. when it was cooked, i then mixed in the sauce that i prepared earlier. i allowed the adobo to simmer until the meat was super tender to eat. by this time, the sauce reduced in half or maybe even more. it was more of a dry dish than a wet one. 🙂
for an added extra, i made fried rice from the remaining sauce that was left in the sauce pot.
do you eat yours with burong mangga? we do.
i hope you find your version soon! 🙂