Pork Adobo recipe is a popular Filipino stew made of pork braised in vinegar, garlic, soy sauce, bay leaf & peppercorn.
Pork Adobo is indigenous to the Philippines and dubbed as the Philippine National Dish due to it’s popularity.
It is delicious with succulent tender pork in a savory sauce which pairs well with steamed white rice or veggies if you are on a diet.
Adobo is a cooking technique in the Philippines using vinegar and soy sauce. Pork, chicken, beef, seafood and vegetables are ingredients used to make adobo.
Aside from pork adobo, chicken adobo, adobong sitaw and adobong pusit are popular too.
During the early days, vinegar and salt were used in cooking to prolong or preserve the longevity of meat.
Then Filipinos discovered soy sauce and replaced salt with it. I also like the combination of fish sauce and soy sauce when making adobo.
You’ll be surprise, there are endless variations of this dish since there are 7,000 plus islands in the Philippines.
Every region has their own way of cooking abodo or even people from the same region make it slightly different.
Some like it with coconut milk or a little sugar to counter the sour flavor of vinegar.
Growing up, I can tell if my mom was making adobo. The aroma when browning the pork fills the air.
It is super good when fried and a bit crispy. Others might not like it this way, since they do it differently.
It keeps well even in room temperature due to the vinegar. It is popular dish to take to work or picnic.
Tips to make this adobo recipe
(1) Classic pork adobo is made with pork belly. No doubt it is delicious with succulent, tender, melt in your mouth pork meat.
Pork fat makes it so good but as we all know, it is not good for our health.
Note: Instead of making it with all pork belly, do ½ pork belly and ½ country-style pork ribs or pork shoulder which is less fattier.
Actually, I don't even add pork belly. Country-style pork ribs is marbled with some fat and tasty as well and better for your overall health.
(2) I have made adobo many times without marinating. It is slowly braised and it picks up all the ingredient flavors.
After braising, I brown the meat and reduced the braising liquid sauteed in garlic and soy sauce.
(3) I don't know if this is a myth but most Filipinos don't cover or stir the adobo mixture once the vinegar is added.
Per my mom's instruction, I need to wait till the vinegar starts to boil, then let it simmer for about 3 minutes to cook the vinegar before covering or stirring.
I have always done it that way.
(4) I ground the peppercorn instead of adding it whole. Who likes biting on a peppercorn especially if you have kids.
(5) Our sauce is sauteed in garlic and soy sauce, reduced until thicken. Others like it saucy. If you do, you don't have to reduce the sauce.
(6) Our recipe is not sour nor sweet. There are regions that really prefer that sour flavor. If you do, add between 2 to 3 more tablespoons vinegar.
How to make Pork Adobo
Adobo and pancit are the two Filipino dishes popular among non-Filipinos. This recipe is so simple and easy to make.
Again, there are many variants of adobo and this is one. You can always tweak this recipe to your liking.
Do you like to try this recipe with coconut milk, check out my adobo sa gata.
Or do you have an instant pot, check out my Instant Pot Adobo.
Pork Adobo Recipe
- 1 pound pork (country ribs, pork belly, pork shoulder) cut in large cubes
- 8 cloves garlic minced and crushed
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup vinegar
- 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce (or 2 TB soy sauce and ½ TB fish sauce)
- 1 piece bay leaf
- Cut pork into large cubes.
- In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine pork, ½ of the garlic, black pepper, water, bay leaf and vinegar.
- Don’t cover or stir. Bring to a boil.
- Adjust heat to medium to low, cover and simmer meat for 35 minutes or until pork is tender.
- Remove pork and drain sauce. Transfer sauce to a bowl. Set aside.
- On the same pan, heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
- Brown and fry pork depending on your preference. Note: I like mine a bit crispy on the outside.
- Transfer pork to a bowl. Set aside
- On the pan over medium heat, saute garlic until golden.
- Add soy sauce. Cook for ½ a minute.
- Pour sauce and let it simmer until reduced. Note: If you prefer more sauce, just simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour sauce over pork and serve hot with white rice.
- Place leftover adobo in an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 4 days and freeze up to a month. Adobo is more tasty after a day when flavors has meld.
- If you want it garlicky, add more garlic. Adobo is delicious with lots of garlic.
- For less fatty meat, use Country-style ribs (this is boneless) or pork shoulder.
- Some people like it sour, either reduce the water or add 2 to 3 tablespoons more vinegar.
- Brown meat to your liking. I like mine crispier.
- The same recipe can be used to make Pork Adobo in Coconut Milk.