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 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.
Very good, my husband called it “Crack Meat”, he could not get enough. Second time making it. Yum Yum.
Glad that your husband love this recipe. Take care!
So yummy and easy! I used pork chops, my husband couldn’t stop eating it! 😁
That’s awesome! Glad that he liked it. Take care and thanks for writing!
What brand/name of the “dark” soy sauce do you use? I bought some that was labeled “Dark Soy Sauce” but it was sweet!
I normally use the Filipino brand “Silver Swan” soy sauce to make my adobo darker. Hope this helps!
This has been my go-to for the last few years, had to comment how much I love this recipe! I serve it with some grilled pineapple and coconut rice, but it’s just so good on its own, too. Thanks for the excellent recipe!
You are welcome Lexx! I am so glad you were able to try and had success with this recipe 🙂 Take care!
I’ve used your recipe many times. My husband (who is Filipino) says that “my recipe” is the best he’s ever tasted! But I had to come clean one Christmas and tell his family that I found your recipe from the salu-salo website. My sister in law started coming to your site too for other recipes. Thanks to your recipes I’ve been accepted as an honorary Filipina! Lol Thank you for sharing all your recipes!
That’s awesome Gaby! I am glad that my recipe was able to help you become an honorary Filipina 🙂 Take care and thanks for sharing your story!
Jodi Paige Christou
Can you do this with chicken breast or chicken thighs?
I have a recipe for chicken adobo but I recommend using boned-in chicken thighs. Here is the link: https://salu-salo.com/chicken-adobo/. Hope this helps!
Wow~~!! Thanks for sharing. By far, this has been the best recipe! ^___^ I am gonna try this out!
John Eiell Domingo
I’m not into cooking since my mother and sister usually do the “cooking thing” at home. I never knew how to cook pork adobo my entire life until I tried your recipe. Thank you for this. It really helped me as a student.
That’s awesome! I am glad you chose to try my recipe. Take care and stay safe!
First time making Pork Adobe Ribs. The family loved it! Thanks for the easy to follow recipe. I used spicy white vinegar. I usually make it with Chicken. My daughter said she likes pork better! It was delicious!
I have pork belly in the freezer that needs to be used. I don’t have much experience with it. If I use pork belly does it need to simmer longer?
If you are using pork belly to make adobo, simmer them the same way you simmer pork shoulder. Hope this helps!
Hi! I was recently craving adobo and I found that this recipe was so easy to follow and it tasted just like home! Thank you so much 💓
You’re welcome Penelope!
Great recipe! Exactly what I was craving. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome Andrew!
I followed the instructions and the meat was tender but had very little flavor. I used low salt soy sauce. Not sure where it went wrong
Good recipe. I didn’t have time to marinade and found this useful.
Made your recipe several times. I don’t use any sugar. SUPER YUMMY! Thanks.
Is it okay to use this recipe if you have boiled your pork?
It is possible to use this recipe using boiled pork. Follow step 1 and 2 and then in step 3, reduce the cooking time. The pork has been boiled so it needs less time to simmer and absorb the sauce.
I don’t use sugar either, do you use the same amt of vinegar or do you decrease it?
Thank you in advance
I used to work with a lot of Filipinos, I remember them making this for me on my birthday!, so glad I found this as I cant remmber the recipe. Thx.
What brand of vinegar did you used?
I used Heinz white vinegar for this recipe. Take care!
Lisa what a wonderful adobo recipe. It is super easy and tastes great. The only difference was I used whole peppercorns in the mix. Thank you for sharing this excellent recipe! Loved it!
You’re welcome! Happy that you find this recipe easy to follow. Take care and thanks for writing 🙂
Have you ever used onion in the recipe? Also, What type of rice do you serve with this?
Hi Mrs E,
I have not use onion in any of my adobo recipes but it does not mean it can’t be done. I am pretty sure it will taste good as well. I always serve steamed white long grain rice with this recipe.
gumagamit ako ng mga sibuyas at masarap pa rin ito. Salamat po para sa iyong resipe po mangarap talaga
I have made this dish so many times in a short time frame! I’ve come to tell you Thank you!!
Also, I’ve been making this with white vinegar though because I couldn’t find where it specified what kind of vinegar. Did I miss that somewhere?
Sorry for the confusion. I normally use white vinegar to make adobo. Take care and thanks for the feedback!
Just made this for my Filipino bride of 34 years. Oh mama, she said, this is sarap! Thank you for the recipe! Salamat!
One other thing I forgot to mention, I’m Mexican! LOL
Funny.. but your last name is a Filipino word and it means “eye” in English.
You’re welcome Jerry! Glad your bride of 30 years liked it 🙂 Take care and thanks for writing.
Hi Liza, I’m a newbie in the kitchen and is eager to learn how to cook. I’m happy to have come across your website and the instructions are very clear. May I ask if you advise marinating the pork first before cooking to make it tastier? Thanks for this simple to follow recipe especially for beginners like me.
There are many ways to cook adobo. It depends on one’s personal preference. Others marinate the pork in the vinegar mixture and then cook them in the marinade. I prefer browning the meat first and then cooking them in the vinegar mixture. Browning the meat makes it more flavorful. Hope this helps!
Would this work if made in the crockpot ?
Yes, pork adobo can be cooked in the crockpot (slow cooker). Brown the pork first and then place in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Hope this helps!
I am making this today, can’t wait! Can you make this in an Instapot?
Yes you can make this recipe in an instant pot. Here is the link: https://salu-salo.com/instant-pot-pork-adobo/. Take care!
This was fantastic. I made as written but added some chopped green onion with the honey at the end. Exceptional recipe, thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome! Glad you liked it. Take care and thanks for writing.
I am looking forward to making this but reading through the comments, one stuck out. They mentioned “dark” soy sauce. However, the recipe only calls for light soy sauce. Am I supposed to use dark soy? And does that come as low sodium like the light soy? Also – you mention about simmering it for 45 minutes – is that with or without a lid? Thank you
I used less salt soy sauce (Yamasa brand) to make this pork adobo. In step 3, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer,covered for 45 minutes or until pork meat is tender.
Hi, Do we not have to marinade it for at least 3 hrs first?
There are many ways to cook adobo. Combining all the ingredients, marinating them for few hours and then cooking them in their marinade is one way. My recipe of browning the pork first and then cooking them with the rest of the ingredients is another version.
I love this recipe! It’s a lot like my mom’s, so I knew the basics. But I needed a different recipe for my school project and this is perfect! I can’t wait to cook this, it must be amazing!
I was looking for fish stew recipes when I came across your site. I’ve been making adobo for years the way my ninang (my Filipino godmother) made it. She used chicken and pork. I always have a problem with the chicken bones. I can’t wait to try your recipe! Although I’m not Filipino I grew up eating and cooking the food and my daughter and granddaughter now fix it for their families too. I think my hubby will like this better than mine! I am making your fish stew recipe tomorrow for the soup course of a progressive dinner party.
I am glad you found my site and was able to find some recipes to try. Take care and thanks for writing your story!
I didn’t understand what the honey was for at first but then I realize that it made it taste even better..thanks for such an incredible and easy recipe.
Do you know what sort of substitute I could use for the white vinegar? I’m struggling to find it in UK. I’ve noticed some recipes use Malt Vinegar and Some use Apple Cider Vinegar – would either of these work?
You can use apple cider in place of white vinegar. Take care and enjoy!
I’m sixteen years old and know only a bit in cooking. I was thinking of cooking adobo but I don’t know how not until I’ve stumbled upon your recipe which has a good rating. It was also my first time cooking this dish and it surprisingly went well ♡ I’ve added chili peppers for extra spiciness. I could say it was a very tasty meal for an amateur cook like me, thanks to you!
That’s awesome Xylene! Please continue browsing and hope you can find something else to try. Take care and thanks for writing your story:)
Delicious. Thank you!
You’re welcome Nia!
Is the sauce suppose to thicken up
Yes, the sauce is supposed to be thick. If you want more sauce, add more water at the last 5 minutes of cooking.
I just made this tonight for dinner and it was super. I tried 2 other recipes ,not yours, for chicken adobo and they were meh. I will try chicken next time with this one.
That’s awesome! Take care and thanks for writing 🙂
I decided to Stick in your recipe since the success of Pan de sal. Lol.
So, is it okay to use Silver Swan soy sauce? Thank you.
Yes, you can definitely use Silver Swan to make pork adobo. Most Filipinos use Siver Swan to make adobo.
Can I use centercut boneless pork loin instead of pork shoulder?
Yes, you can use pork loin. Pork shoulder takes longer to cook than loin so adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Excellent recipe, my whole family loved it.
What kind of pork did you use and what is the brand name for the dark soy sauce you used for this recipe?
I normally use pork shoulder and Yamasa (less salt) soy sauce to make pork adobo. Hope these help!
Are their different “Adobo” recipes? I was friends with a Filipino couple and the wife used to make Adobo for me, but it seemed way different from your recipe, though delicious as it looks.
Yes, there are many ways of cooking adobo. One example is adobo with pineapple: https://salu-salo.com/pineapple-chicken-adobo/, and another is adobo with coconut milk: https://salu-salo.com/chicken-adobo-coconut-milk/. Chicken adobo is also a popular one: https://salu-salo.com/chicken-adobo/.
Hope this helps!
I was looking for pork adobo recipe and chose yours because of the ratings. I am not at all disappointed as it turned out so good! Thank you!
You’re welcome Sharon!
My husband introduced me to pork adobo when we got married and we’ve always enjoyed it. Recently I couldn’t find my usual recipe so I looked online for one that sounded good. I found your recipe and made it without any changes. When he tasted it he said “Don’t lose this recipe!” Thank you!
Awww! Love your story 🙂 Take care and thanks for writing.
This sounds and looks delicious. I’m thinking of making it as a second meat for a Thanksgiving dinner party. Do you think it will go well with traditional turkey and sides? Also, can I add a red or green chili to make it just a little spicy and different taste to other dishes?
Thanks in advance for your reply.
Btw, your site is cheerful with lovely pictures and easy to navigate. I think your son has done / is doing a wonderful job on it.
The pork adobo will definitely go well with turkey and sides. We have been doing it for a long time. Yes, you can add red or green chili to the dish if you like. Yes, my son is not only a great help but also has done a great job with the site. Take care and thanks for writing 🙂
I made this last night and it was so delicious! My caucasian husband loved it! I made it gluten free and I used coconut vinegar and cooked in my Instant Pot. Thank you for your recipe! It’s just like how my grandma’s tasted! (the only other modifications I made were that I used about 8 garlic cloves because I love garlic and put 2 T of whole peppercorns). I am not really a black pepper fan (my husband is) BUT I love fresh ground pepper on the adobo put on after too. It really makes a difference! Thanks again for sharing!
Did you do the same 45 minutes in the Instant Pot or did you change the time? TIA
This sounds delicious. I’m going to do it in my instant pot. I will probably add onions.
I made this, this evening, Yummy, delicious.
Great recipe, for a variation I use apple cider vinegar and dice half an apple, usually a pink lady apple to add a bit of sweetness instead of sugar. I also always use dark soy, so it’s good to know it’s part of your recipe. I add a little cornstarch with the water as I prefer a thicker sauce.
ONO!! Thank you!
What if I don’t have low sodium? Just add more water or use less soy?
I am cooking 8lbs pork shoulder in crockpot and modifying it to make pulled pork style adobo for my son’s graduation.
Should I use 1C vinegar and 1C soy? Or more?
Hi Mrs Cruz,
Try using 1 cup vinegar and 3/4 cup regular soy sauce first and then adjust the taste near the end of cooking(add more water or soy sauce). I think 1 cup of vinegar is enough. Enjoy and let me know how it goes. Take care po!
If i’ll cook 5 pounds pork, what’s the exact measurement of vinegar and soy sauce should I put? And instead of brown sugar, can i put SPRITE soda ? And what’s the measurement of soda should I put? Thank you
If you are using 5 lbs of pork, you may use 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Using sprite instead of brown sugar might change the taste of the adobo.
C’est ni plus ni moins que des dry spare ribs asiatique sans les is
My mom cook the adobo in a different way… she deep fried the pork and chicken and it’s kinda dry. But it was taste sooo good.
Yes, there are different ways to cook adobo. I also cook my adobo at times the same way your mom does it and yes, it taste so good!
I definitely want to try this as I had adobo for the first time this week and it was excellent. Can you tell me what kind of soy sauce you use. Thank you
I normally use kikkoman (less sodium)soy sauce but sometimes I also use Yamasa (less salt) soy sauce.
I’ve made this as written before… delicious!!
Do you have Crock pot instructions?
Sorry but I have not tried making pork adobo on crockpot but will surely try one of these days!
Mahalo for your quick response! It came out delicious! Great easy recipe!,
Do you cover it while simmering?
Yes, you may cover while the pork mixture is simmering.
Just wanted to say this is a very simple recipe but very good! Good idea with the honey/brown sugar! Thanks again.
Can you use pork chops? I have some that I am trying to use up and the flavors in this sound fantastic!
Yes, you can use pork chops.
OMG! Thank you this recipe was so easy. I’m half Filipino but after cooking/eating this, I’m definitely a FULL Filipino now !!!
Lol! That’s great:0
adding water doesn’t weaken the sauce? also all I had was sugarcane vinegar , making it right now.
Hello, I tried it and we loved it. only one thing it did not come out as dark as the picture.
The color of the adobo depends on the kind of soy sauce used. I may have used a darker kind of soy sauce than you did.
Just like mamang used to make <3
My mom and mamang had many variations of adobo, this was my fav by far 🙂
Thank you for posting the recipe ! I loved it !
You’re welcome Michelle! It is my fave way of cooking adobo too 🙂
Very good and easy
Can you cook potatoes in with it?
Yes, you may definitely add potatoes to this dish. Add the potatoes after 45 minutes of cooking the meat. Just make sure there’s enough water to cook the potatoes. Hope this helps!
Because of the good comments, i just tried your pork adobo recipe. Delicious! Perfect proportions! After the pork became tender, I got some of the oil and fat from the fat and used this to refry the pork in a separate frying pan. After refrying, i placed the refried pork back in the pan. Thanks for this recipe. My children loved it!
Awesome! So happy everyone loved it 🙂
Wow!! My mother used to make adobo when I was a kid. I didn’t have her recipe, so I started searching the internet, but I found that there is a great variation in them. None of them sounded right until i found the one you posted. This one nailed it. Very good just like I remember it. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome Michael 🙂
Hi my name is Ronda, I came across your recipe for pork adobo! I’m a Chef here in LA. and it will be my first time ever making it on Sunday!! It will serve approx. 250 people!! I’m kinda excited to make it. As with any chef, I belive I will incorporate my own little twist to it! I love the fact that while you’re preparing a meal, fresh new ideas always arise!! That is the beauty of being a great Chef. Wish me luck 😉
Wow! That’s a lot of people to cook for. Good luck and I hope it goes well!
I made a half-sized batch of this with fresh (uncured) hog jowl strips (and added half of an onion) in a Dutch oven at 275 degrees for 100 minutes.
Served it with a salad consisting of napa cabbage, spinach, red bell pepper, carrots, pea sprouts, and crushed cashews with sesame garlic dressing.
It was incredible. Incredible! Especially with the meat mixed in with the salad. Thank you for this!
Yum! The hog strips adobo with salad sounds appetizing! I will definitely try making it. Thanks and take care 🙂
Wanted to add potatoes and onion
What kind of vinger did you use.
I used white vinegar.
Can you use apple cider vinegar
Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar.
Thanks for posting this recipe, can I ask if you could marinate the before cooking? If so how long for?
Yes, you can marinate the meat for 30 to 60 minutes before cooking. Take care!
I made his as written with low sodium soy sauce and thought it was great. Thanks for the easy to make ,tasty recipe Liza!
You’re welcome Shelley! Glad you liked it 🙂
Do u have to add Honey or Brown sugar? Does that make it less salty? Thank you!
Yes, adding honey or brown sugar makes the adobo less salty. If you prefer, you may omit the sugar and just use less soy sauce.
Made this tonight. It’s absolutely fantastic, easy and very filling. Will certainly make again. Thanks for posting this.
You’re welcome Richard! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂
Can you make this in a crock pot
Yes, you can cook pork adobo in a crockpot.