Today, I will teach you how to cook the best Filipino pork adobo in the easiest and simplest way. Pork adobo is one of the most well-known and loved dishes by everyone. In fact, Pork adobo is often included in every typical restaurant or carinderia here in the Philippines.
It is so famous that some of us consider it our national food. Pork adobo will always be best served with a bowl of rice as rice can neutralize the strong flavor of adobo.
In general, you can cook adobo with different kinds of vegetables such as long beans, string beans or banana flowers (Puso ng Saging), you may even add fried potatoes to your pork adobo if you like. There are lots of Filipino pork adobo versions that vary according to localities.
History of Pork Adobo
The history of Pork adobo was not recorded; however, the word adobo which is a cooking method here in the Philippines derived from the Spanish word Adobar which means “to marinade” as in 1613 during the spanish colonization, Filipinos would use vinegar to help them preserve their food in a warm weather of the Philippines.
The term, Adobo was first recorded in the dictionary Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala compiled by the Spanish Franciscan missionary Pedro de San Buenaventura. He referred to it as “adobo de los naturales” (“adobo of the native peoples”)
The original adobo was not black, and so we called it adobong puti – I’m sure our ancestors don’t know that we have been calling it adobong puti by this time. It was salt and not Soy sauce , which was the main condiment of adobo before, but when the Chinese introduced the Soy Sauce, we started using it, and that gave way to the birth of adobong itim.
Pork Adobo Varieties
We are living in a country with increasing number of islands! From 7,107 islands, we now have 7, 641, and just like that, there are emerging versions of our Pork adobo. Below are some of them that we currently have.
It’s one of the best adobo versions around the world! Maybe that’s just for me until you try one. I believe this idea was from a carinderia owner – Carinderia (eatery) is a small local restaurant. We owned one before, and it was a family business. We found out that some of our fellow Filipinos couldn’t afford to buy a single order of adobo, which was around 30 Pesos at that time (0.573 USD at the time of writing).
What we would usually do was we would boil eggs and add them to our Pork adobo, and then we would sell it for around 10 Pesos per piece(0.01921 USD at the time of writing) and it was a winner! Many of our customers liked it, they said that adding boiled egg was a great idea as the egg neutralized the strong flavor of Pork adobo, and the best feedback? It was very affordable and delicious!
This version is a must-try! I would suggest making it Spicy. The first time I cooked this dish, I was struck because I did not know that it would turn out to be my favorite adobo version. Honestly, I did not believe my mother back then, but to taste is to believe and so I did!
They say that pork adobo with Gata was originally from Bicol because Bicolanos love to add gata (coconut milk) and chilli to almost any of their food.
Pork Adobo sa Buko
Unlike Pork adobo with Gata, this one is unique because we add the coconut water and meat to our adobo. The taste? It is light, sweet and earthy. This unique recipe is also a must-try!
Yellow Pork Adobo
From the land of Cavitenos! I want you to experience a more visually enticing version of Pork adobo, which is the Yellow pork adobo! This adobo version is really famous in Cavite, a region in the Philippines where turmeric is abundant. They add turmeric to adobo, which adds a strong flavor to our pork adobo.
White Pork Adobo
This recipe is the mother of all Pork adobos, this is their favorite in the Visayas region. Technically, this is the original Pork adobo. Long ago, there was no soy sauce in the Philippines until the Chinese introduced it to us.
Pork Adobong Illongo
This Pork adobo was crafted by the history that the Spaniards left. This is very popular in the Visayas region and in Southern Luzon regions of the Philippines. They flavor the adobo with Achuete or annatto oil.
Pork Adobo with Fried Potato
Who does not love Potatoes? Adding a fried potato in your Pork adobo makes it really special! The fried potato itself is very tasty and even tastier with the sauce of adobo!
Pork Adobo with Sweet Potato
I thought that it could only be done with potatoes, but when we tried it with fried sweet potatoes, it went well. For me, it is much better than the one with potatoes.
Pork Adobo with Water Spinach or Kangkong
Kangkong is very famous here in the Philippines, and it has a major role in our cuisine. Adding Kangkong to your Pork adobo adds more texture to it, making it more palate friendly. Just like adobo with boiled eggs, this one will make you ask for more rice! The crunchiness of kangkong will surely make your taste buds satisfied!
Pork Adobo with Pineapple
If you are a fan of pineapple, this is a perfect dish for you. For this version, we will use Pineapple juice and chunk. Believe me, you will be amazed by its taste.
Spicy Pork Adobo
Well.. well.. Well..who would not love this version? It is very simple and straightforward. Actually, you can make all versions Spicy if you would like.
Pork Adobo Ingredients (Optional)
Sugar – Some of us like adobo a bit sweeter. I suggest trying this when you have already tried without one.
Onion – I rarely add onion to my Pork adobo as I always imagine eating steak whenever seeing onions on my pork adobo, but this ingredient can be added.
Health Buffs Ask: Is Pork Adobo High in Calories?
The amount of calories in a food, particularly in Pork Adobo, depends on the size of the servings. One serving of Pork Adobo has 454 calories which is a lot lesser than the human required calories per day: woman- 2000 calories per day, man-2500 calories.
There’s a reason why people are asking about ‘calories’ because they have the misconception that ‘calories’ are unhealthy stuff for the body. It’s a myth that most people subscribe to, and maybe today is the best time to bust this myth.
Are calories really bad for our bodies? The answer is a ‘yes’ and a ‘no,’ and it depends on how we use these calories. Calorie shows how much energy can your body gain from food or drink.
It’s good for our body because we can unlock their powers by doing physical activities, but it can be a liability if we don’t burn it. Without any activities to burn them, it stays on our body and adds on our weight. Now we can see that calories can be good or bad for us, depending on how we use it.
What To Do When Your Pork Adobo Goes Wrong?
Let’s face it; there are times when problems pop up, no matter how we carefully follow the recipe’s procedure. Sometimes, something will just go wrong, but this shouldn’t make us freeze on our tracks and feel helpless because problems that arise in the kitchen are somehow similar to how issues pop up in life, isn’t it?
When encountering problems in the kitchen, especially in cooking pork adobo, we need to be equipped with knowledge on how to properly handle them. Learn how to manage things when our pork adobo does not turn out the way we want.
Problem Number 1: Your Pork Adobo Turns Out To Be Salty
When your Pork Adobo becomes too salty, you may experiment on the ingredients that you can find in your pantry, but be very careful with experimenting because it might aggregate the problem even more.
You may add sugar, lemon, or olive oil in your pork adobo and conduct a taste-test in between. Do not haste to counter the very salty taste by putting large amounts of one of these ingredients, start with little pinches and dashes, until it gently counters the saltiness of your pork adobo.
Problem Number 2: Your Pork Adobo is Too Sour
One of the simplest ways to counter this problem is by adding 2 tbsp of sugar and water, but if this method cannot counter your Pork Adobo’s excessive sour taste, you may use ½ vinegar to ¼ cup soy sauce and 6 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, and 1 tbsp of black peppercorns. Again, do not haste in countering the problem, be patient, and do these solutions in a gradual manner.
Tips on Cooking Pork Adobo
- I always use Pork Belly for my Pork adobo, but if you don’t like fats, you can get the leaner parts of the pig. I suggest trying ribs too – it makes the sauce tastefully superb!
- Make sure to taste the kind of Soy Sauce and Vinegar you will be using; you would not want your adobo to become too sour or too salty. Always remember that the measurement may change according to someone’s taste buds, or follow the Proper Ratios. Following the ratio rules is one of the secrets in creating a satisfying Pork Adobo.
- When marinating, make sure that the meat is submerged. Then, combine ingredients such as Pepper, Vinegar, Soy sauce and Garlic when marinating.
- When seasoning the dish, do it during the last minute of your cooking. The sauce of adobo will get concentrated as it reduces.
Perfect Partners for Pork Adobo
Searching for the perfect pairs that can go with your special pork adobo? Then take a look at our list of the best side dishes for your dish:
a. Rice or Garlic rice
d. Spicy Dip (Preferably Fish Sauce with red chillies)
e. Soup (preferably sour, like Sinigang)
Let us know in the comment section below if you need help or if you have any questions.
For more recipes like this, please visit Eat Like Pinoy!
Pork Adobo Recipe
- Hot Pot
- 2 lbs Pork Belly Cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 Piece Onion (Sliced Thinly) Optional
- 1 Clove Garlic Peeled and Minced
- 2 Pieces Dried Bay Leaves
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tbsp Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1-2 Cups Water
- In a bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and pepper. Mix well and marinate pork belly for at least 1 hour.
- Heat the skillet and put in the marinated pork belly.
- Toss in bay leaves and onions. Cover the skillet and simmer for 40 minutes or until pork is tender already.TIP: You can add more water if the pork is not yet tender.
- Set aside the pork when tender.
- Heat oil in another pan, medium fry the pork. Transfer pork into a bowl and set aside.
- Remove some oil from the pan before pouring the sauce & pork into it.
- Simmer for the last 2 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!