Food Corner: Popular Filipino Food 01
Note: This section called the ‘Food Corner’ shall be a series dedicated to Filipino dishes. The author will try to include a recipe of the featured dish at the end of the article. However, the recipe that will be presented is only one of the various ways. Each region has a different version of the dish and the author only presents what the taste that she prefers. Disclaimer: the author is not a professional nor an expert cook. The only expertise she can lean on is eating. Let’s dig in!
The Mighty Adobo
‘Adobo Republic’. ‘Adobo Nation’. Yes, that’s the Philippines. Adobo is probably is the most popular dish that any foreigner could hear about when they ask anything about Filipino food. But what is adobo?
The taste is flavorful, tangy and the meat is tender. From Spanish adobar meaning “marinade,” “sauce” or “seasoning”, adobo is a popular Filipino dish that involves meat, seafood and vegetables. The meat is marinated in soy sauce,vinegar,garlic and seasonings then stewed with the sauce.
Traditionally, the process of cooking in soy sauce and vinegar is to preserve the food from the acid and high salt content of the said condiments. The dish was used to be cooked in clay pots although recently, they are now cooked in usual metal pots or woks.
There are varieties of the dish depending on the region or preference. Some prefers the classic taste of salty and a bit sour and
more stewy. Another popular version is the slightly sweet and spicy taste. Some like it in really thick sauce while others try to simmer it until almost all the sauce was absorbed by the meat, the excess water evaporates and the oil from the meat becomes more visible. Others add coconut milk for more creamy flavor. The choice of spice also ranges from red chili peppers, whole black peppers and/or powdered version of either of the two.
Meat isn’t the only choice either. You can cook using chicken meat, pork, beef,fish or even vegetables such as water spinach,string beans,banana blossoms and bamboo shoots. Some also like adding some boiled egg, quail eggs,tofu and/or potatoes. It is also common to mix different kinds of meat such as chicken and pork. Due to the strong flavor, the dish is usually served with steamed rice. Serving with side dish such as pickles or vegetable salad is also well-loved.
So want to have a taste of this loved dish? Here we go!
Pork Adobo Recipe:
- 2 lbs pork belly or meat of choice
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced or crushed
- 5 pieces dried bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 cups water
- Salt to taste
- 1 large onion
- 2 tablespoons ginger minced or crushed
- 2 chili peppers/whole black pepper or powdered
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
1. Marinate the meat in soy sauce and crushed garlic. It is best to marinate it overnight. If time is limited, one hour should be enough. Some like to add vinegar and/or sugar during the process. You may do so if preferred.
2. Drain the marinade. Save it for later.
3. The marinated pork needs to be browned. Heat a cooking pot. Sautee ginger and onions if preferred. Add pork with garlic. You can also add a few tablespoons of cooking oil. Cook the pork until it turns brown.
3. The pork needs to be cooked until tender. Do this by pouring the remaining marinade, if any.
4 Also add water. Let the liquid boil. This is the part the boiled egg or potatoes dried bay leaves. Boil for 40 minutes to tenderize the pork. It may take longer or shorter depending on your preference.
5. If you have not added the vinegar as part of the marinade, pour it into the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes. Salt is an optional ingredient for this recipe. For sweeter or spicier taste, add the sugar and/or chili peppers/black pepper according to taste.
Serve with steamed rice. Enjoy!
Note: Abodo doesn’t easily spoil due to the vinegar and depending on how long you cooked it.