how to cook adobo: National dish of the Philippines

How To Cook Adobo: National Dish of Filipinos

There are two variations of the famous Filipino Adobo: Pork Adobo and Chicken Adobo. Chicken is the most commonly used meat when making Adobo however Pork is also used by many. I will be sharing with you below the recipe on how to cook adobo. 

Adobo means “marinade”. Chicken or Pork meat can be marinade either in a liquid marinade or rubbing the meat with powdered ingredients. When I marinade the meat, I usually prefer the liquid marinade, to marinade the Filipino way. Liquid marinade is done by marinating the meat in soy sauce, crushed garlic and vinegar. The flavor of your Adobo can vary depending on the type of vinegar used to marinade i.e. coconut vinegar, rice vinegar and cane vinegar. I usually use the cane vinegar to add to my meat marinade. Also, If I want my adobo to taste a little sweet, I sometimes add a touch of sugar and or honey. There are also instances wherein I combined both the Pork and Chicken meat to make Adobo, that way you can get two different meat on a single dish. 

Do you want to try cooking the famous Adobo? Try this tested recipe to cook Pork or Chicken Adobo as one of the Top 10 foods to try in the Philippines

RECIPE ON HOW TO COOK ADOBO

In this recipe, I will be using Chicken meat to cook Adobo. Although the procedure and ingredients are basically the same as with Pork Adobo the only difference is what meat is being used. Ideally, to make it Pork Adobo more delicious, I recommend using pork belly and cuts of pork that are fatty.  Make sure to marinade the meat overnight to make it more flavorful. 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Totat: 40 minutes

Servings: 4 pax

Ingredients: 

  • 2 pounds Chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 8 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3 pieces bay leaves, dried
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn, whole
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 4 tablespoons cane vinegar (it is up to you which vinegar you prefer)
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, to sweeten. Optional
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, optional

Cooking Instructions:

1.Marinade Chicken pieces in soy sauce and crushed garlic. Marinating can take up to 3 to 12 hours but if you want it to be more flavorful it is recommended to marinade overnight if you are not in a hurry. This is the time when the chicken absorbs the flavors of both soy sauce and crushed garlic.  I’ve tried marinating for an hour, it guess it wasn’t enough as I barely taste the flavorness of the marinade Ideally, 3 hours if you are in a hurry is more than enough to marinade the chicken pieces. 

2. After marinating, remove the chicken from the marinade. Set marinade aside, do not discard it as it will be used later on. 

3. Heat the cooking pot, add a few tablespoons of cooking oil. When the cooking oil is hot enough, add garlic. Pan-fry the chicken pieces for at least 1 to 2 minutes on each side. This step cooks the outer part of the chicken partially. Also, if the chicken used has skin this will also make it tough, helping it remain intact in preparation for stewing later on.

4. Pour the marinade into the frying pot then add water. Allow it to boil. You can also add bay leaves and whole peppercorn during this time. Simmering usually takes about 15-20 minutes on low heat or until chicken is super tender.

5. Add Vinegar, stir and cook for another 10 minutes. You can also add vinegar during the process of marinating the chicken mean. 

6. You can add sugar if you want it to taste a little sweeter, if not adding salt is enough. Sometimes I add sugar or honey because I usually like my Adobo to taste sweet.

Make sure to taste your cooking before adding some seasonings. Stir once in awhile. 

7. Turn the heat OFF.

8. Serve Hot.

Adobo can be served with or without its sauce depending on how your prefer your adobo to taste. However if you want your Adobo without sauce, you can continue to cook the ingredients above until the sauce completely evaporates. Make sure the cooking pot in not covered while doing this. As for me, I usually eat Adobo with sauce since I put the sauce on top of my white rice. In the Philippines, the best way to eat Adobo to combine it with white rice. 

Cooking Tips:

  • If you are in a hurry, you can start marinating ahead of time. As for me, I regularly cook Adobo at home since its the easiest dish to cook for a meal. Given that, I usually marinade at least 3 batches and cook the first batch in the morning.
  • Marinated meat can be stored inside the refrigerator to be used later on. 
  • Add Vinegar to your marinade if you want to store marinade meat for more than a day. This will help tenderize the meat and prevents it from being spoiled. 
  • There is no particular part of the chicken to use when cooking chicken adobo. But the common parts that I usually use at home are thighs, breast and drumstick as these have more meat in it.
  • Soy sauce that is dark is most commonly used, but any sauce for your preferences is okay to use. Also, some like to add coconut to the mixture.
  • At home, I prefer to use cane vinegar but using White vinegar works for Adobo too.
  • There is no particular amount of garlic to use. Since it can actually help make your adobo smell tasty and delicious, you can use as many garlic as you please to marinate and cook.
  • When making Pork Adobo, you can use any cut but I strongly suggest to use pork belly or fatty parts get better results. Although in a healthier point, pork tenderloin is way better if you are trying to avoid fatty parts.
  • Some does not add bay leaves to their Adobo but I personally love the smell dried bay leaves leaves and I tell you adding some dried bay leaves when cooking Adobo can really make a huge difference in terms of its taste and smell. 

Interested in other recipes? Feel free to comment below. Also, let me what you think about this recipe. I look forward to hearing from you

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