Thursday, March 10, 2011

Adobo ulet, anyone?

As if we can't get enough of it. Almost everything becomes adobo-ized. Pork adobo, chicken adobo, beef adobo...adobong kangkong! Every eatery in the Philippines serves their own version of this magnificent dish, almost every family has a secret recipe and a secret way of cooking. Some like it dried, some like it masabaw. One thing is for sure, if its adobo, sira ang diet mo! (your diet becomes ruined)

As promised, how to cook adobo is what will be featured now. Please note that due to diversity in the Philippines, there are hundreds of ways to cook adobo. This will not be a recipe of exact measurement because taste preferences differ greatly especially in the Philippines. What I encourage everyone is to experiment and be not afraid to try different styles and techniques. Adobo is the best way to start learning how to cook because almost nothing can go wrong with it. And if ever something goes wrong, your cooking won't be sooooooo catastrophic. Here's the list of ingredients:

Pork or Chicken Meat or combination of both
Vinegar (any available vinegar)
Garlic (crushed or sliced doesn't matter)
Peppercorns or Pamintang buo
Bay leaves (laurel)

These are the basic ingredients of a functional adobo. In pre-historic times, it is only salt and vinegar cooked with meat but during the Spanish colonial times, spices were added to add to form the more common adobo. Soy sauce is not in the ingredients since it is only a recent addition, so that it appears brown without the long process of cooking. Soy sauce is basically a shortcut.

How easy to cook adobo? Combine all ingredients in the pan and fire it, after boiling add some water. Wait for the sabaw to reduce or dry up and the oil of the meats come out, then its ready. Just don't burn it ok?

A more complex way of cooking, put everything in palayok, fire it up and add water when it boils. Cook it really slowly in low fire for about two hours. Meat will be really soft during this time and all the flavor is perfectly balanced in the dish. If you can't stop yourself anymore, go ahead and indulge. But if you still want the better flavor, put everything in a glass garapon and make sure it is covered in its own fats and oil. Let it stay in room temperature for a few days. The adobo is habang tumatagal, sumasarap (the more it is aged, it tastes better). It will not spoil, so as long as its covered in its oil and fat, and because of vinegar and spices. After a few days, fry the adobo. On your first bite, its gonna be heaven.