Pork adobo, a dish from the Philippines, is made with a mouthwatering pork belly that is braised to perfection for almost an hour. It is sweet, soft, and savory! It's even easy to cook!
This delicious braised pork adobo is a favorite Filipino recipe usually served as a main course for lunch and dinner. It is braised for almost an hour to get that soft texture that cuts through like butter.
Adobo came from the Spaniards during the Spanish colonization during the 16th century. The way it is cooked incorporates marinating the meat with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves, which are pantry staples, then braising it for a couple of hours to get that soft and fatty outcome of the dish.
Different regions in the Philippines have variant recipes. Some may add oyster sauce, black beans, or even onions to make it flavorful, while others may add lemon to add some brightness aside from the white vinegar.
This recipe can last up to two weeks in the fridge, and it tastes better and better as the day goes by. The long shelf life of pork adobo is due to the high vinegar concentration preventing bacterial growth. That is why this recipe was prepared during the colonial period, as it can be brought to work or any function without spoiling.
Interested to know more about pork adobo? Then read on!
• Boneless pork belly
• Canola oil
• Crushed garlic cloves
• Whole peppercorns
• Bay leaves
• Soy sauce
• White vinegar
• Brown sugar
• Chicken stock
• Oyster sauce
• Ground black pepper
How to Make Pork Adobo
First, slice the boneless pork belly into thick strips and set aside.
In a cold pot, place the bay leaves and peppercorns. Place the pot on medium heat. Stir constantly to release the essential oils.
Pour the oil into the pot and add the garlic cloves. Stir and cook for a minute.
Add the pork belly strips into the pot and cook. Stir fry for five minutes until it browns.
Pour the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes.
Season with salt and ground black pepper.
Tips and Procedure
• Before cutting the meat, make sure to pat dry using a kitchen towel to remove any excess liquid
• Cut the pork belly into large bite-sized piece; it will shrink into bite-sized pieces once they are cooked through. You may also choose pork belly with slightly thick fat contents.
• Once you pour down the liquid containing the vinegar, stir in once and let it bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Do not stir the mixture while it is still boiling, as this will prevent the vinegar from evaporating too quickly, resulting in a less tangy flavor.
What if I don’t have chicken stock? Can I use water instead?
Yes, that is always a good substitute if you don’t have chicken stock in your pantry. The taste will be the same.
Can I use other meat cuts?
Yes, you may! Pork shoulder, pork loin, and even pork knuckles. However, some cuts may need a lot of time to be fork tender. You have to adjust the stock or water content of the recipe until it is soft and tender.
Should I lower the fire after it boils?
Yes, you need to lower it down to simmer the braised pork. Cooking it low and slow is the essential technique for this recipe. That is also why you can prepare this ahead if you serve it as lunch or dinner.