What is Adobo?
Adobo is a Philippine savory dish of meat or seafood that is usually marinated and cooked with soy sauce, garlic and vinegar.
The word “Adobo” is borrowed from Spanish word adobar which means “marinade”. It is a popular dish in the Philippines and is considered by local culinary experts as the National dish of the Philippines.
What are the different types of Adobo?
There are different types of Adobo and you may use any meat you like whether it be chicken, pork or seafood.
The most commonly known Adobo are:
- Classic Pork Adobo – Pork marinated and cooked with soy sauce, garlic and vinegar
- Adobo sa Gata or Adobo cooked with coconut milk
- Adobong Dilaw or Yellow Adobo which is cooked with turmeric that is why the dish has a yellow color
- Adobong Sitaw which is Pork Adobo with string beans
- Adobong Manok sa Patis or Chicken Adobo cooked with Fish sauce, vinegar and garlic
- Adobong Pusit or Squid Adobo – my favorite!
- Chicken and Pork Adobo with Toyomansi – Toyomansi is a Filipino word which means mixture of Toyo or soy sauce and mansi, from the word calamansi.
My very first taste of Pork Adobo cooked with soy sauce and calamansi was when my college friend served it in our get-together party. I liked the taste better than the Adobo I grew up eating with which is the Adobong Manok sa Patis that’s why I didn’t skip the chance of asking my friend for her mom’s recipe.
In this recipe, I had mixed Chicken wings and Pork belly and replaced the vinegar with calamansi. If you haven’t heard about or tasted calamansi, it is a small Philippine lime which has a sweet lime and sour orange taste to it.
I like the taste of calamansi better than lime or lemon. It has a unique taste that enhances the flavor of Adobo. Most Asian stores in Canada sells calamansi.
You may substitute with lemon if calamansi is not available.
How to cook Adobo?
As there are different types of Adobo, there are also different ways to cook it. With this version of Adobo, we marinate the chicken and pork in the soy sauce mixture for at least half an hour or overnight.
The soy sauce mixture that I used for marinating had garlic, soy sauce, black peppercorns and calamansi. I usually put the marinade sauce first in a large freezer bag. Then, I put the meat in, close it and mix ensuring all of the meat were drenched with the soy sauce mixture. Put the freezer bag in the fridge and marinate the meat for about half an hour or overnight. Marinating is an important part of the preparation for the meat to absorb the flavor of the marinade mixture.
After marinating, boil the chicken and pork in a pot. Add some bay leaves and black peppercorns and simmer covered for about 30 minutes. We will then fry the meat and garlic in a frying pan to lock in the flavor. We don’t want to overcook the chicken so after frying, separate and place the chicken in a bowl. Put the lightly fried pork and fried garlic back in the pot, cover and simmer uncovered until the meat is tender.
Put the pork in a bowl together with the chicken. Continue simmering the sauce until the liquid is reduced. This process will thicken the sauce. Pour the sauce over the pork and chicken and serve while hot.
Adobo can also be served with hard boiled eggs.
Best to eat the Adobo with warm steamed white rice and banana. The sweetness of the banana and the savory taste of the adobo sauce complements each other. So delicious!
Try this recipe. I’m sure you’ll love it!
Chicken and Pork Adobo
- 1 lb Chicken Wings or any part of the chicken
- 1 lb Pork belly Cut into 2 inches cubes
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce I used Marca Pina Soysauce
- 1 Tbsp Calamansi juice or lemon juice
- 10-12 cloves Garlic crushed
- 1/2 tbsp Black peppercorns
- 2-3 pcs. Bay leaves
- 1 Tsp Black peppercorns
- 3-4 cups Water Just enough to cover the meat in the pot
- 1/4 cup oil for frying, Canola or Vegetable oil
- Mix the marinade mixture: soysauce, calamansi or lemon juice, black peppercorns and crushed garlic straight in a large freezer bag. Set aside.
- Wash the chicken and pork belly and put in the freezer bag. Close and mix well ensuring all parts of the meat are drenched with the marinade mixture.
- Place the bag in the fridge and marinate for half an hour or overnight.
Boil and Simmer:
- Place the chicken and pork belly together with the marinade in a big pot
- Add the bay leaves and peppercorns
- Pour water in the pot just enough to cover the meat
- Cook over medium heat. Let it boil.
- Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes
- Heat up the frying pan. Pour the cooking oil once the pan is hot.
- Fry the garlic and meat. Fry the garlic until golden brown. Fry both sides of the chicken and pork belly. Cover the pot to avoid oil splatter.
Simmer to tenderize meat and reduce sauce:
- Place the chicken on a serving bowl or plate. Put the lightly fried pork belly back into the pot to simmer until tender and until liquid is reduced.
- Pour the thickened sauce over the chicken and pork belly. Serve hot.