Adobo is often quoted as being the national dish of the Philippines, at its most basic, it is almost a pork confit with fatty pork, salt, pepper, bay leaves, vinegar, and garlic. But there are probably hundreds of variations of adobo across the archipelago and each home has their own preferred concoction. One of the ways I try to eat less while on a diet, is to cook lots for everyone else. When I come home from a grocery raid, I usually cook up several meals worth of food for us and the crew, so that it can be put away in the fridge or freezer for later in the week. I find this is an extremely efficient way to cook, and one doesn’t have to defrost meats, etc. during the rest of the week as we are often likely to do. Today I cooked up a batch of chicken and pork adobo as I might normally prepare it on the stove (as opposed to the palayok version), but decided to go a little lighter on the vinegar and soy, and the crew threw in some onions(?)… After 30 minutes of simmering, I decided to add some extra chicken livers I had from a batch to be used for another round of lechon liver sauce experiments.
Next, I added several green chillies to the stew, to some raised eyebrows from the crew, and opened up a can of local gata and added the cream floating up on top. The cream appeared curdled and I was more than annoyed when it hit the pot and instantly the dish looked like someone had upchucked on it. I immediately ran into the pantry and pulled out a can of Thai coconut cream and opened that, and poured the top half of the contents into the large pot of adobo and that was incredibly creamy and silky. I rarely find the need to outright bomb a local product, but local canned coconut cream sucks. This isn’t the first time I have felt that way… but this is the first time I have opened two cans in a span of two minutes and the Thai can was just by far much better. Some last minute seasoning adjustmets and the adobo with gata and sili was ready. The verdict? Pretty darned good for a first time experiment, in my biased opinion. It could have been less watery, but that is just my usual preference. Everyone else said the sauce was perfect for adding to their rice. The dish was anchored by that well-loved adobo flavor, but possessed a creamy, spicy twist that crept up on you after several minutes of eating… I had one piece of pork and one piece of chicken with a couple of tablespoons of rice, and my regular diet meal. If you are a fan of Bicolano style dishes, this version of adobo may be just the thing for you!