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“Be bold! Worth trying is Adobo, a dish showing Spanish and Mexican influences but with regional variations. Pork, or a combination of pork and chicken, is stewed in a mixture of vinegar, bay leaf, peppercorn and garlic over a slow fire”
Even before the Spaniards came, early Filipinos cooked their food minimally by roasting, steaming or boiling. To keep it fresh longer, food was often cooked by immersion in vinegar and salt. Thus, early Filipinos could have been cooking its meat in vinegar, which is the basic process in making adobo.
From the Chinese traders came soy sauce and thus this ingredient found its way into the meat being cooked in vinegar. Salt was slowly taken out from the recipe and replaced with soy sauce. However, there are adobo purists who continue to use salt in their adobo marinade.
The old Spanish word Adobar could be where the early Filipinos got the word for their most famous dish. In Spanish cuisine, however, adobo refers to a pickling sauce made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, paprika and salt. The word adobo is also used in Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. The Mexican adobo refers to a piquant red sauce made from ground chilies, herbs and vinegar sold canned or jarred. The Caribbean adobo usually refers to a dry rub of garlic, onion, oregano, salt and pepper.T he Filipino Adobo selected their favorite condiments and spices — vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves — used them to stew chicken and/or pork, and gave it a Spanish name…..
As a young child I have very little memory of my grandfather ( from my father’s side) but the memory is still clear and vivid in my mind. He was a typical half-Espanol in his height and stature..not so tall but his body was lean and muscular with pointed nose,fair complexion and the color of his eyes were light brown. I remember his visit to us while my parents were out. He usually bring fruits that were harvested in his farm. He would sit for a while, looked at us, then he would get his handkerchief in his pocket..inside were some coins and some cash…he would give us a cent or two… and he would return home. I remember a long dining table in his house during family reunion where we all sat and ate. I barely remember the food at all but there was a room full of stocks like oil, sugar, bread, corn etc. There he kept jars of preserved food and I remember pork meat in jars with great amount of salt inside. Pigs are slaughtered and preserved with a lot of sea salt. Oftentimes, they will get little by little to grill or mix with vegetables. I don’t understand then, how come it was salty..it was later on when I realized that they do that to preserve the meat because there was no electricity so there was no fridge. I remember also one of my uncle ( my father’s brother ),he was a great cook, typically meat dishes…
Oh my here I go again with my memory lane. Actually before my puberty, my grandfather was already old and bedridden so he would be shifted from different houses ( my father and his siblings’ houses) at a time so that his children and grandchildren might be with him and took care of him. and now here is my precious Adobo recipe. No one could actually tell the exact recipe of adobo. Our country was under the Spanish rule for 400 years.There was a story about a Spanish governor who has several Filipino staff in his house and he taught them to cook the Spanish way.Later on these people began to introduce the dishes in their household and that started the leaked…how Spanish food was brought down to our table and down to our palate and passed from generation onwards.
My version of adobo is actually a mix of traditional way how a Spanish adobo is cooked but I cant omit soy sauce because I learned to cook adobo with soy sauce. I tried the recipe without soy sauce and I don’t like it because it was so white…it looked raw to me and I cant take it. The best thing about adobo is that it could last for a week without refrigeration.Put it in a jar and let it stand in one corner and just get what you can eat and still it will not get spoiled. During camping or outing, Adobo is such a perfect food to go. The longer it last. the better it taste. Nowadays there are people who add boiled eggs in their adobo..for variety, for economic reason and somehow adapted to Chinese way of cooking their stew.
1/2 kg or 500 grams pork belly
1/2 kg or 500 grams chicken, a combination of wings or drumstick
1 whole head garlic crushed
1 tsp peppercorn crushed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tsp rice wine
2 pcs bay leaf
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp rice wine
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried chili flakes
First marinate pork and chicken for 30 minutes with the combination of:crushed garlic, crushed peppercorns, ground black pepper,vinegar,soy sauce,rice wine and bay leaf.
Then put the chicken/pork with marinate to a saucepan. Let it boil over medium heat for 10 minutes. Do not stir.
Let it cool for 5 minutes and using the strainer, separate the sauce and kept aside.
After that, heat a pan or saucepan,put 1/4 cup oil and start to fry the pork/chicken meat by batches..fry them until just brown.
Then using the same sauce pan where you previously cook to boil the mixture, put back the fried chicken/pork meat, add also the used oil from frying if theres any.
Now add the ff:the sauce that you set aside(taken after you strained),1cup water, 1/2 cup olive oil, salt,sugar,thyme,oregano,paprika and chili flakes.
Heat the mixture and once it boils,turn the the heat to simmering mode and cook for 1 hour or until you reach the desired consistency..Avoid stirring, oh yes you may…I know you cant help it cause you will..just like me.. but stir it just to check once in a while.
Now here’s the good old Adobo, the meat is soft and tender…the taste is kinda strong and addictive, the combination of soy sauce, vinegar, salt, rice wine and sugar has made the dish tasty, the distinct taste of chaos in your mouth but it is such a comfort to eat.The use of olive oil and herbs gives a very rich flavor and aroma. Hmmmmnn… never mind the extra weight I will gain… I will eat….! now, pronto!
Come and join me in my blog as I discover the world of Filipino Fusion Cuisine.These are all tried and tested recipes in my kitchen, a fusion of cuisines that intrigues me and my palate.Everything I write, post and share is a product of my exploration, my research, and done in my kitchen. Please Come in. Enjoy and Have a nice stay. You are all welcome.