IMG_0883As a Filipino, it seemed right for me to begin the PhooD Journal with the national dish, Adobo.

Adobo is the ultimate Filipino comfort food.   Because it is easy to prepare and has a long shelf  life, it’s one of those dishes that’s perfect for the Pinoy Ph.D. lifestyle.

Adobo is a versatile dish; one can prepare it with with meat, poultry, fish, and even vegetables. There are so many versions of it that it’s actually difficult to say which one is the true adobo recipe. As for me, there’s nothing like the good ol’ reliable Chicken and Pork Adobo recipe.


  • 500 g pork (bought already cubed)
  • 250 g chicken (wings, thighs, or legs)
  • 60 ml vinegar (coconut preferred, apple cider possible)
  • 60  ml  soy sauce
  • 120 – 150 ml water
  • 1/2 head garlic (smashed but used with skin on)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Put all ingredients in a pot.  Mix well.


Lower the heat and simmer until vinegar is cooked (Smell Test)

Important Note : NEVER stir before the vinegar is cooked.

Reduce sauce to desired thickness.

Serve on hot rice.

Adobo gets better with time. I cook adobo the Sunday before a hectic week.  The advantage of long storage is the adobo tastes better over time. The sauce seeps in and the soy sauce slightly tenderizes the meat.

To make sure that the adobo will not dry out in subsequent reheating, I reduce the sauce to only 75% of the original volume in the initial preparation.

Smell before touching. I was told several times before that adobo should not be mixed until the vinegar is cooked.  Newbie cook that I was, I disobeyed this rule once.  Oh how I regretted it.  The adobo had this tangy taste to it that did not mix well with the rest of the ingredients.

The Smell Test is the only way to gauge whether vinegar is cooked (use wafting method).  Steam should not smell acidic.  To save time and effort, I check the pot only every 15 minutes.  A low heat setting allows me to wait this long.

Reduced Garlic. Most recipes require a head of garlic.  Here in Europe, a lot of people are quite sensitive to the smell of garlic. *cough*labmates*cough* I don’t want the people I hang out with to call me Buffy (get it? Buffy the Vampire Slayer?…heh) that’s why I reduced the amount to half.

There are a lot of available adobo recipes, some tweaked to suit people’s tastes.  I have tried at least once to make adobo with

  • sugar
  • honey
  • chili
  • coconut milk (Adobo sa Gata)
  • onion
  • pineapple

The preparation might seem laborious to some people, although I don’t know how wafting is such an effort.  But the advantage of having something home-cooked, stored, and ready to be reheated when craved makes up for the seemingly long cooking time.   That’s why this recipe is categorized as SFTW (Something For The Weekend).

What’s your version of adobo?

5 thoughts on “Adobo

  1. Hi Kookie!

    This looks really yummy!

    I’m compiling a list of all the different ways to cook adobo in a quest to find what a true filipino adobo is today, and I’m happy to include your adobo recipe in my article at I hope you don’t mind the link from my site to yours =)

    Keep in touch!

  2. Hi Tanya! Thanks for linking to our site. We’ll put your site on our blogroll 🙂

    Maybe I can convince my Canadian friend to post her version of Adobo too. She made it with maple syrup. Talk about fusion!

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