August 3, 2004
Pork adobo

This recipe differs from the last one not only in the type of meat being used (an important distinction!) but also in the way the meat is browned. Instead of sauteeing the meat before adding the liquid ingredients, here the meat is broiled near the end, which means the fat has already been rendered.

3 lbs country style pork ribs
1 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
6-8 cloves garlic
lots of pepper


Country style ribs are a relatively cheap and very fatty cut available in American supermarkets. (You can also get beef ribs, but I can't yet vouch for their appropriateness in this recipe.) You'll definitely want to trim away large pieces of fat before you get started.

Cut the ribs into 2 inch cubes. Add all the ingredients to a large stockpot and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Be sure you have enough pepper -- this dish should actually be somewhat spicy. Reduce the heat and simmer; once the pork is cooked through, remove the pork to a broiler pan and arrange in a single layer. Broil the meat until it is browned on the side facing up (in my broiler this takes about 4 minutes, but broilers can be very different). Remove and turn the individual pieces of pork so that the browned sides are down, and broil the meat again, this time for a slightly shorter amount of time.

(An obvious variation here is to grill the meat; I have not tried this, but my guess is it would impart a somewhat alien flavor on the dish and might not brown the meat as effectively. It might be worth a try sometime, though.)


When both sides are adequately browned, return the pork to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes, and serve with jasmine rice and tomato wedges. The sauce should be spooned over the rice rather than the meat.


Posted by Paul at August 3, 2004 9:49 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

What makes this or any dish adobo or adobo-style? I'm not sure I understand "adobo-ness" yet.

Posted by Barrett on August 4, 2004 at 2:36 PM

Adobo is a way of cooking meat with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and pepper. Historically maybe this has some preservative qualities, I'm not sure -- but in any case that's all there is to it. You can adobo any kind of meat, or even some vegetables (I've seen reipes for adoboed eggplant or okra, but I've never tried that).

Posted by paul on August 4, 2004 at 4:35 PM

Wild. Maybe I'll try an eggplant adobo this week. I picked up some Italian eggplants at the market today whose fate I was just contemplating.

Posted by Barrett on August 4, 2004 at 4:56 PM

I'm usually too lazy to add the final step of broiling or frying the meat. I simply let it simmer in the sauce until the sauce is reduced and thickened.

One caution on cooking vegetable adobo, especially eggplant: add the vinegar last, after the eggplant has cooked. If you add it while the eggplant is still raw, it will not cook properly. I don't know why, but my 'lola' (grandma) always said this, and it is true. I have tried to short-cut and add all the ingredients from the start, and the vegetables, especially green beans and eggplant will end up being tough and rubbery.

Posted by Jeanette on August 4, 2004 at 10:26 PM

To impart a unique "Chinese" flavor to adobo, add two or three star anise while cooking adobo, instead of the usual bay leaves.

Posted by Edwin on May 28, 2005 at 3:34 AM

i love filipino adobo. thanks for sharing this recipe

Posted by Marissa on May 29, 2010 at 5:58 PM

I came across this page by accident. I'm So happy to of stumbled on it. My Auntie made the most awesome Filipino Adobo!
I haven't has it in so many years, I can't wait to make this, thank you

Posted by Twocentstina on May 27, 2013 at 5:00 AM
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