I just recently realized that I have not shared any traditional Filipino pork adobo recipe yet. I was surprised because I grew up eating different varieties of this classic dish, some of which were Filipino Pork Adobo with Tofu and Oyster Sauce and the Chinese version: Braised Pork in Soy Sauce. Traditional Filipino adobos consist basically of garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaf, ground pepper and water. Typically, one will simmer the meat in the sauce ingredients first until the pork becomes tender. Then, they will drain and brown the meat before serving it with the sauce.
What is Filipino adobo
Philippine adobo is a Spanish-influenced meat dish consisting of a tangy sauce of vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and black pepper. Vinegar is a common ingredient found in many Filipino dishes and it’s one of the main ingredients in any adobo. Some may regard Adobo to be the national dish of the Philippines because it is so popular. There are so many different versions of this dish around as people have adapted this dish to their own taste. One such variant is a more modern take that does not use soy sauce (adobong puti or white adobo).
How to make pork adobo
Pork adobo is a simple recipe but requires time to make. In this recipe, I moved away from the conventional way by browning the pork pieces first. After browning the pork, I add the rest of the ingredients and let the mixture simmer until the pork meat is tender. If you’re like me and like your meat super tender, you can let it simmer for longer. I found that at least 45 minutes works best to get the meat super tender. My preference is to use dark soy sauce in this dish to give the meat a darker color. After 45 minutes of simmering, the pork meat was dark, tender and very tasty. The addition of honey at the end made it taste even better. Yummy!
- 2 lbs pork shoulder or pork belly , cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic , chopped
- 1/3 cup light soy sauce
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup water or more as needed
- 1 tbsp honey or brown sugar
- Heat oil in a large skillet; rotate to coat sides of skillet. Add pork pieces and cook until meat is browned.
- Add garlic and sauté for a minute. Add soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaf, pepper and water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, covered, or until pork are tender. (Watch it carefully. Don't let it dry out.) Add water ½ cup at a time several times until pork meat is tender and the desired amount of sauce has been reached. Stir in honey or brown sugar.
- Serve over steamed rice.