23 Feb2011

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I describe my recipe for the “Best Adobo” I have ever cooked in this previous post. However, I still get lots of emails about how to do it… So here is a visual step by step guide, just refer to the original recipe for measurements again if you are still unsure after reading this version. There is a slight twist in this batch in that I found young garlic in the markets, and used it to great success… This is a 3.5 hour process, so if you want instant, don’t even read this post. This is the ultimate in slow cooking…

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Start off by placing roughly 2-3 cups of fatback at the base of your large palayok. This will melt as the pot heats up, providing a pool of lard that eggs on the rest of the fat to melt gently.

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If you find young garlic bulbs in the market, snap them up, clean them and just shave the roots off, so that the bulbs remain whole while cooking. These have a mild garlic flavor, that turn fabulously sweet when cooked for a long time.

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Add some whole garlic cloves, young garlic over the fatback and place about 1 kilo’s worth of cubed fatty pork liempo.

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Add some of the 1/3 cup total of rock salt or slightly less kosher salt on top of the pork, some of the whole peppercorns, fresh and dried bay leaves and more whole baby garlic before another layer of pork.

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The third layer should bring you close to the top of the palayok. If it’s still roomy, scale up your recipe and try four kilos next time.

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Pour in a cup of good coconut or sugar cane vinegar and I sometimes add 1/3 cup of water to prevent sticking at the bottom of the pot.

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Place your palayok over a raging wood fire until the liquids inside start to boil and the acid of the vinegar burns off. Lower the fire after a few minutes of boiling so that the pot merely gurgles along. You may cover it now. For the next 2.5-3 hours, you merely have to visit it to tend the fire and ensure a relatively steady low flame.

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After a couple of hours, something absolutely magical happens as the liquids evaporate, the adobo absorbs the smell of a wood fire, the clay pot draws out moisture and the flavors meld like no other. Watch that the adobo isn’t completely drying out, and you may add a little water along the way if necessary. The color will also change to a very light golden brown. When the meat is meltingly soft, it is ready. I find it takes roughly 165-200 minutes in total cooking time. Serve hot with lots of rice and acharra on the side. Or let the adobo cool, store it in a large garapon or jar and fry it up a few days later. This is how adobo was meant to be. :)

And to the numerous indignant readers who have emailed me, YES, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO SOY SAUCE in this recipe. Try it first before you knock it. You CANNOT possibly know with certainty that the only way to make adobo is with soy sauce. Your great grand parents are probably shaking their heads in the heavens at your rash judgments on this dish that has probably existed in some form or another for 600+ years on the Philippine archipelago. For 530 years or so, without soy sauce. And if my polls are to be believed, some 20% of the readers still make their adobos without soy sauce… :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. kitchen says:

    Drool…

    Feb 23, 2011 | 11:50 am

     
  2. bearhug0127 says:

    Thank you for the recipe MM. But what can one use if one doesn’t have a palayok?
    Anyway, will try to follow as close as possible your instructions. :)))

    Feb 23, 2011 | 11:52 am

     
  3. The Average Jane says:

    I’ve made adobo with osyter sauce in place of soy sauce, and lemon juice instead of vinegar. It tastes good as well. =)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 11:53 am

     
  4. Gej says:

    3.5 hours!? Truly a labor of love!

    Feb 23, 2011 | 11:55 am

     
  5. chreylle says:

    tnx for posting a step by step recipe here ,. mm what if we dnt have wood fire stove? can the result be d same as in wood fire stove? tnx alot ulit :D

    Feb 23, 2011 | 12:12 pm

     
  6. Anne :-) says:

    Sorry, but what is fatback in tagalog? I can’t believe it doesn’t have soy sauce! I’ll try this…
    :-)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 12:12 pm

     
  7. EbbaBlue says:

    It’s way past my bedtime here and I am still awake coz, masakit stomach ko after eating left over grilled chicken with mushroom sauce on top and grilled potatoes.. masarap, kaso nakakasawa..eto busog na hindi naman satisfied. To unwind, I opened your site. and, here it is… adobo… wahhhhhh, I am drooling.

    I look forward to the weekend, so I can cook this. I got a charcoal cooker, pero ala akong palayok.. I might have to buy it in the Vietnamese store…Wahhh.. pahingi.. pahingi….

    Lalo ako nitong hindi makakatulog.. baka mapaginipan ko pa itong adobo..

    Feb 23, 2011 | 12:15 pm

     
  8. Lou says:

    Delicious, MM! The woodfire, the palayok..if only I could duplicate your setup over here in Van. I’ll just have to make do with my trusty slow cooker. YES to leaving out the soy sauce.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 12:15 pm

     
  9. emsy says:

    “blond” adobo is super yummy (and i, too, believe that it’s the original version), but i like the taste of soy sauce so i don’t really mind the “shortcut” version of the recipe. :)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 12:16 pm

     
  10. Toni says:

    This is sometimes called “White Adobo”. This is way way better than the usual one.:)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 12:18 pm

     
  11. Marketman says:

    Actually, when fried again, it gets a nice caramelized golden brown color so it is more a “tanned adobo”… :) emsy, oddly, after hours of cooking, the natural umami of the pork emerges, and the soy sauce like salty hit is there without the soy sauce. For short cut versions meaning cooked for only a few minutes, yes the soy sauce helps. Lou, try it in a heavy casserole or enameled pot in a low heat oven for several hours. Or in a barbecue with wood chips for smokey aroma. Anne, sorry I don’t know the Filipino word for fatback, but I suspect the butchers will know what you are seeking if you ask for that…chreylle, it won’t be exactly the same as cooking on a wood fire, it will lack that essential aroma, but this can be done in a heavy pot in a low heat oven for many hours as well. bearhug, a le creuset dutch oven will work in the oven.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 12:39 pm

     
  12. adam says:

    Hi MM, I think that you may have mentioned this before but in Kulinarya (collection of recipes by various writers) there is one for Adobong Puti which has NO soy sauce just white vinegar – I use white or red wine vinegar if possible. Frankly it’s a great hit and for those worried about not using Soy sauce and / or with no Palayok then refer to this. The flavours are great and not overpowered by the salty Soy sauce and this is our households go to recipe for pork or chicken adobo. Mind you, inspired by your piece above I am just working out how to use a Palayok in the kitchen of our Condo without causing collateral damage!!

    Feb 23, 2011 | 12:52 pm

     
  13. Art says:

    Perfect!!! Thanks MM . Definitely, it’s labor of love after hours of preparation. I hope I can create the same taste as how you describe them in your blog. I’m now very excited for weekend! Can I also cooked it using wooden charcoal?

    Feb 23, 2011 | 1:00 pm

     
  14. Marketman says:

    Art, wooden charcoal should work, just watch heat levels so the adobo just “gurgles” and not a rolling boil. adam, I think a seasoned palayok should work on a stove top if it is gas powered, not electric. Refer to my post on seasoning so you get an idea how to prepare a new palayok. Palayok cooking is great for sinigang, adobo, stews, pinakbet, etc. Since palayoks are so cheap, I suggest you use one palayok for one dish, as it tends to absorb flavors. So have one for adobo, one for sinigang and one for everything else…

    Feb 23, 2011 | 1:06 pm

     
  15. Isa Garchitorena says:

    I have been making this since the first ultimate post came out. Definitely a winner! No palayok of course so just a big heavy pot over a very low fire. I think I don’t get the same moisture loss like from a palayok but still a big winner of a recipe. I then wok fry it or deep fry it. Yummy.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 1:08 pm

     
  16. Cien says:

    I think fatback is called tabang panggisa in the palengke…Nice recipe, MM…some people call this adobong puti…:)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 1:09 pm

     
  17. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    Absolutely sinful,our house adobo(pampanga) is cooked without soysauce,just cane vinegar ,salt,garlic,lots of cracked pepper, bay leaves & onion,your version is so sinful,i agree it is the best adobo ever!!Gotta make a trip to the asian market to buy the kalan(clay stove) and clay pot,this how my old beloved grandma used to cook adobo,when i was very young, (clay pot& wood fired kalan)Thanks for posting ,this will be in my favorite recipe!! Spring will be here soon,so i will be able to find those young garlic!! i can almost taste how yummy this adobo right now…

    Feb 23, 2011 | 1:13 pm

     
  18. Art says:

    Thank you MM . :D

    Feb 23, 2011 | 1:13 pm

     
  19. Cris Jose says:

    Yes, it’s adobong puti… this is what my mom used to cook when I was little.. did not know then that adobo with soy sauce existed… lol!! Although I boil the liempo until it’s falling-off-the-bone tender and then fry the meat before adding back the reduced broth/sauce… yummy!!!

    Yummy to pair with laing or bicol express…. :)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 1:20 pm

     
  20. kakusina says:

    we call it adobong puti (no soy sauce) or adobong matanda (cooked by those wise and wonderful cooks, our grandmas and grandpas who were taught by their own parents and grandparents).

    Feb 23, 2011 | 1:50 pm

     
  21. Cris Jose says:

    Bakit nga naging taga-China na ako… eh I’m here in Metro Manila? :-/

    Feb 23, 2011 | 1:53 pm

     
  22. Ellen says:

    Adobo can really be made without soy sauce and it really has a distinct flavor. My Mom used to cook adobo this way.

    Thanks for posting this, Markerman! Now, all I need is a claypot.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 2:03 pm

     
  23. Marketman says:

    Cris, you must be using a server that is based in China, perhaps your company’s?? :)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 2:17 pm

     
  24. Mameng says:

    Have never tried cooking in a palayok, do you need to prep it like you do a wok so that it won’t crack. And if you cook in the palayok can you place it over a gas stove?

    Feb 23, 2011 | 2:23 pm

     
  25. joey says:

    This looks and sounds awesome! I have no “outdoors” in which to build my wood fire (sigh) but I do have a palayok (more than one actually)! So I will try this on my gas hob as you suggest (I’ve already tried pinakbet this way). With all the pork, fat, salt, and slow-cooking this sounds like exactly my type of dish!

    Feb 23, 2011 | 2:25 pm

     
  26. adam says:

    Sold! Going to buy one (or more) later this week…

    Feb 23, 2011 | 2:41 pm

     
  27. meh says:

    MM, thank you, thank you for popularizing the humble palayok again. My lola would approve ^_^

    Feb 23, 2011 | 2:52 pm

     
  28. Cris Jose says:

    Haha.. I wish! I’m on Sun Broadband…. for whatever that’s worth. And my e-mail add doesn’t the .ph (not much of a techie person, I’m afraid). ;)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 2:59 pm

     
  29. anonymous paul says:

    Tried this recipe (sans young garlic bulbs) but used a non metallic pot over a regular stove. The best adobo I’ve ever had. And yes, no soy sauce needed at all. I let it sit in a jar for a few days for all the flavors to marry and then pan fried them in its rendered fat. Ridiculously good. I would assume cooking over coals would produce an even better smoky flavor but I have to find myself one of those stoves and an extra large palayok. Where to look for these MM?

    Feb 23, 2011 | 3:00 pm

     
  30. t2rad says:

    this is a testimonial to the “no soy sauce added” adobo. Also cooked it in a regular wok, at the lowest heat setting, and for “just” an hour and a half instead of 3.5 h (hey, it was dinnertime already, what could i do?!) – wife says it was the best adobo she’ ever tasted! Ha!

    Feb 23, 2011 | 3:14 pm

     
  31. Mameng says:

    as far as i know, backfat is called “tabang tigas” in tagalog, but many butchers already seem to know what backfat means.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 3:15 pm

     
  32. lee says:

    The iconic Adobo has to be stored in a glass garapon :) Tupperware and other forms of packaging just won’t do.
    Adobo in a garapon reminds me of the travelling from Bacolod to Manila by sea when I was younger. Adobo in a garapon, big plastic cans of assorted biscuits, and a box or two of Dunkin Donuts purchased at their little outlet by the gangplank are strong visual pegs of boat travel we did ages ago.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 4:12 pm

     
  33. RobKSA says:

    i too remember the adobo in glass garapon when we moved from iloilo to roxas city.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 4:19 pm

     
  34. marosee says:

    thanks for posting a step-by-step procedure, been wanting to try this.. slow cooking and over coals.. i don’t know how it can be anything but a winner :-)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 4:36 pm

     
  35. giancarlo says:

    MM, any suggestion with cooking this in an electric stove?

    Feb 23, 2011 | 4:38 pm

     
  36. millet says:

    “a pool of lard that eggs on the rest of the fat to melt gently” – poetry after my own heart, literally! as if the rest of the fat needed egging on…what the awesome turn of phrase did was egg me on to salivate!

    (by the way, it’s amazing how you are able to write a post like this and keep your diet at the same time, MM!)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 4:54 pm

     
  37. KUMAGCOW says:

    Funny, but the fatback you mentioned is always termed as CHIPPY in Bulacan. I have friends who make chicharon and that is what they call it. =/ Probably because it looks like it when fried.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 5:10 pm

     
  38. ahlie alfonso says:

    may kaibahan po ba sa magiging lasa if i cook it in stove and in sauce pan instead of palayok?ask ko lang po?

    Feb 23, 2011 | 5:52 pm

     
  39. N says:

    Marketman, where did you get your palayok set? :-)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 6:47 pm

     
  40. Jade186 says:

    Would a slow cooker also work well with cooking adobo? Perhaps it won’t have the same smoky, earthy taste of the palayok and burning wood, but would it work out just the same?

    Feb 23, 2011 | 7:21 pm

     
  41. Marketman says:

    Jade186, I have never used a slow cooker so I wouldn’t know for sure. However, my concern is that the slow cooker will not allow steam or liquid to evaporate enough to result in a concentrated adobo. The slow cooking in a palayok gets rid of a LOT of moisture so that what’s left is meat and fat… perhaps if there is a way to keep the slow cooker uncovered for the last hour of cooking that might work. N, I bought the palayok and cooker in Ilocos on a road trip. But I suspect some wet markets in Manila carry it, or Divisoria. Also try places where you see large terra cotta pots for sale. ahlie alfonso, the palayok is made of clay and draws out liquid from the stew. More steam escapes from the top as well. I suspect its shape contributes something to the equation as well. The wood fire provides a nice heat, and the smokey aroma that transfers to the meat and sauce. If you cook this in a “saucepan” then all the liquid will evaporate before 30-45 minutes is up, and you will not achieve the same softness and consistency to the meat. The vessel and source of heat does matter. giancarlo, if you are using an electric STOVE/OVEN, just put the heavy pot into the stove. Where it will NOT work is a palayok on an electric stove top burner, not the oven. lee, yes, MUST be a garapon, preferably with the metal ring that pops open and a wide mouth for easy scooping… :) anonymous paul, provincial markets best place to get terra cotta cooking stuff, though some wet markets in Manila might carry them. Mameng, I have a previous post on seasoning a palayok in the archives…

    Feb 23, 2011 | 7:40 pm

     
  42. nina says:

    this is yum a day old and fried :D

    Feb 23, 2011 | 8:20 pm

     
  43. Rebecca says:

    That looks great! But I admit, I’ve never had a traditional adobo without soy sauce.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 8:37 pm

     
  44. rachel says:

    Thanks for the post MM. will try this over the weekend.just one question though, how long can i store it? does it need refrigeration?

    Feb 23, 2011 | 8:47 pm

     
  45. joyce says:

    excited to try this out! but first must buy myself a palayok hmm. im accumulating more kitchen stuff

    Feb 23, 2011 | 8:55 pm

     
  46. Alex says:

    I am drooling in Dubai …. now to find someone who sells palayok here …

    Feb 23, 2011 | 10:01 pm

     
  47. Fay says:

    Wow that looks good! I was actually surprised that it didn’t have soy sauce…. I must try it!

    Feb 23, 2011 | 10:03 pm

     
  48. GJO says:

    Could Fennel be a young garlic too coz they seems to look the same, pardon my ignorance, but i am still learning how to cook after 9 yrs of marriage, I am thinking of doing this recipe next week with out the palayok. Thanks

    This is the 1st time I’ve heard of a term young garlic ( sorry again) I am still gathering the ingredients for your Lamb Shanks. ( must try)

    Feb 23, 2011 | 10:37 pm

     
  49. apple says:

    mm, am i right in thinking that ‘binisaya’ na adobo do not usually use soy sauce? i remember my mom’s adobo as almost the same as yours because because i like it dili pina-uga

    Feb 23, 2011 | 10:39 pm

     
  50. Fay says:

    btw, those green garlics are also good sauteed with some fatty pork and tomatoes. It’s an Ilocano recipe, very mild flavor and good for lowering cholesterol!

    GJO, fennel is different. Young garlic (although I think the proper term is green garlic) is the garlic version of green onions.

    Feb 23, 2011 | 11:58 pm

     
  51. aNGIE says:

    Winner!!! ALL TIME FAVORITE! Thanks as usual MM..:-)

    Feb 24, 2011 | 12:58 am

     
  52. Nica says:

    My dad cooks Adobo without soy sauce as well…and you really make me hungry in the middle of my shift while reading this blog MM.

    Feb 24, 2011 | 1:13 am

     
  53. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Intriguing!

    Feb 24, 2011 | 1:18 am

     
  54. mikee says:

    Hi there, MM! Tried this the first time out without the young garlic bulbs and it was good, EVEN BETTER after frying it. The next time around, I’ll try this on the grill to get that smokey aroma, too! Thank you for posting this!

    Feb 24, 2011 | 1:34 am

     
  55. satomi says:

    Adobo with sinangag!! sarap!! Like you my Lolo (God bless his soul) likes his adobo w/o the soy sauce. He gets upset when our cook adds soy sauce to his adobo. yay! I make mine w/o soy sauce too, I use patis and 2x cooked. I fry the pork til golden brown and add in the sauce and I sprinkle fried garlic on top. I do that when I have time. gutom na ako! lunch break!!

    Feb 24, 2011 | 2:05 am

     
  56. Maria says:

    Hi MM! If I were to go to a butcher here in SF, do I just ask for fatback? Are they going to look at me funny? Also, is liempo side pork or belly? I want to get the meat from a butcher because i find the meat from the Asian markets “langsi”, but I want to make sure I ask for the right one. Thanks!

    Feb 24, 2011 | 3:03 am

     
  57. Malou says:

    I’ve tried your recipe before using a Le Creuset pot, Marketman, and with huge success! We managed to keep the cooked adobo in a garapon just out on the counter and finished about 3 pounds of the fatty goodness in a week. Pakonti-konti lang, hehe.

    Now if only I can find a Pinoy palayok here in the US…

    Feb 24, 2011 | 5:20 am

     
  58. f says:

    What I don’t see but hope is hidden under the pile of pork cubes are those small bits/threads of meat that break off the ends of a larger piece and toast at the bottom of the palayok absorbing the flavors of the dish. I forage and root through the serving dish in search of these nuggets whenever faced with a stew. Am I the only weirdo who does this?

    Feb 24, 2011 | 8:51 am

     
  59. ruth, Philippines says:

    Hi MM. This was how we cook our adobo in Batangas. Yes no soysauce. Purely salt, whole peppercorn, garlic and good vinegar. Then for color, we add atchuete oil. You may try to add unripe papaya too. Sarap….

    Feb 24, 2011 | 9:37 am

     
  60. Sands says:

    Additional item in my to-do list this weekend:

    Buy palayok.

    Thanks, for the recipe MM. Can’t wait to try your recipe!

    Feb 24, 2011 | 9:56 am

     
  61. eden claire says:

    MM, I think it has something to do that this adobo (as translated in the Luzon version), really comes with soy sauce. But us from the South, the one with soy sauce, is the HUMBA. Growing up, my own definition of adobo is your cooking (without the vinegar though), and the “adobo” more known in the Luzon area is actually humba esp. in the Vis-Min areas.

    Feb 24, 2011 | 9:59 am

     
  62. Marketman says:

    eden claire, I don’t think so. Adobo with soy sauce traces its roots to the availability of soy sauce commercially. While Visayan adobo may have stuck closer to its roots, and Luzon adobo now more readily incorporates soy sauce, the likely fact remains there was little if any readily available soy sauce (except for some small portion of the population who could get anything including ice shipped in from America in the very early 1900’s) before the 1920’s or so. While we traded with the Chinese for centuries, it isn’t likely that you would find soy sauce in the sari-sari stores of a century or more ago… Or at least that is my view. As for humba, it is close to a chinese dish that is extremely similar and with the root name as well. It is likely introduced by the thriving Chinese merchant community in Cebu and elsewhere in the visayas. I suspect its roots don’t go back much more than say 150 years at most, again due to the likely scarcity of soy sauce imported from the Mainland. We didn’t, after all, grow many soybeans locally I don’t think… A sense of history, evolution and availability of ingredients, and logical conjecture is more how I would explain the whole soy sauce thing in adobo… Before the Spaniards, I wonder if we had bay leaves and garlic even. Peppercorns are plentiful in nearby asian countries, so maybe we had that in the 1500’s…

    f, the bits were there. Carefully scrape off and use for adobo fried rice the next day, along with some of the oil. If you want to get creative, add some good bagoong to the fried rice and if courting heart failure, some crumbled chicharon on top. Serve with loads of acharra. :)

    Maria, just ask for fatback, they won’t look at you funny, fatback is often used for sausages. As for the liempo, ask for pork belly, and fatty pork belly at that.

    apple, yes, I think its safe to say Visayan adobos are blonder than northern cousins, but if you order adobo in most restaurants in cebu these days, they use soy sauce. :(

    GJO, no fennel and garlic are definitely not one and the same. For more info, I have previous posts on fennel.

    rachel, I think if the adobo is in a clay jar or garapon and completely COVERED in lard that solidifies, you can keep it several weeks on the kitchen counter. But with refrigeration, you might as well stick it in the fridge, where it will also keep for weeks/months.

    Feb 24, 2011 | 10:22 am

     
  63. Burn M says:

    My dad used to cook this when he was still alive! And yes, he also cooks it in a palayok over wood/charcoal. We enjoy eating this with fried rice and tomato in soy sauce. We just get a little everytime since we’re trying to make the dish last long.
    Haaaay… Now I know how this is cooked. I’ll try it this weekend.

    Feb 24, 2011 | 3:12 pm

     
  64. trgarde says:

    Hello sir, my mouth just watered when I saw your cooked adobo. May I ask how does one prepare the palayok for cooking adobo? I have not tried cooking something in a palayok before. Do you just wash it properly then add the ingredients and cook it? Thanks.

    Feb 24, 2011 | 4:05 pm

     
  65. Marketman says:

    trgarde, how to season a new palayok, in this earlier post, here.

    Feb 24, 2011 | 4:08 pm

     
  66. Tasha says:

    Oh this must be the adobo my lola mentions in her stories. They would cook it in a big palayok and then keep it under the bed for months. The pork pieces would be redolent in fat. Every morning they would each take a small piece from the palayok, fry it and eat it with rice. They would even get more oil from the pot to drizzle over the rice.

    Feb 25, 2011 | 12:28 am

     
  67. Connie C says:

    I couldn’t resist after all this adobo talk to cook my most sinful adobo ever and hope hubby who recently had cardiac intervention does not touch it. And MM, I won’t hold you responsible for the artery clogging ideas:)

    I just happen to have a small clay pot used mostly for braising Chinese dishes from Williams Sonoma with glazed bottom and found a good occasion to use it. Took the leanest cut of liempo and pork belly however and used a bit of olive oil to fry more garlic to add to the reduced broth. The bits and pieces from frying was deglazed and I took care of whatever remained in the frying pan sopping off the sinful goodness with left over rice and hoped even my guardian angel was not looking….all this at 10 in the evening! Wish I had bagoong.

    Feb 25, 2011 | 5:26 am

     
  68. betty q. says:

    Ms. Connie C…you know the ka-partner of your adobo at 10 pm?..PICKLED GREEN MANGOES! I have already made 2 batches and they were supposed to sit for another 2 days…can’t wait…ate them all! It tasted the same and EXACTLY as I remember it when I was still a kid.

    Feb 25, 2011 | 6:40 am

     
  69. Mart says:

    Thanks for the updated recipe MM!

    Just checking in for a testimonial here.
    Tried the recipe a few weeks ago. Stove top and a deep kawali, teflon coated.
    (I know, tsk-tsk. Teflon’s bad but it was the right size for around 6 pounds of pork)
    The very best adobo I’ve had. And everyone at lunch also liked it very much, even though they were at first reluctant to try it after seeing the tender pieces of pork swimming in the melted liquid fat. Wasn’t able to try it fried because there wasn’t any left to fry!
    Oh, I also topped it with crispy fried chopped garlic (fried using some of the adobo fat). Yum!

    Will definitely try it again with your updated step-by-step recipe. And will try it fried.

    Feb 25, 2011 | 9:21 am

     
  70. junb says:

    I did this when MM first posted it. Its worth the effort especially when I put it in a sterilized bottle and keep it for a week or two then refried it. Eat it with lots of steaming rice hmmmmm !!! Diet buster :)

    Feb 25, 2011 | 10:25 am

     
  71. Em says:

    Anne, we ka-pampangan call fatback or soft fat “tapi”. When heated it yield a good amount of lard. Some culture use it to make pancetta or bacon.

    Feb 25, 2011 | 11:43 am

     
  72. Marketman says:

    Em, I think pancetta or bacon typically comes from pork belly, not fatback, but I could be wrong on this… Glad several people seemed to have tried this recipe in various cooking vessels and it has worked nicely. This is definitely one of my favorite recipes.

    Feb 25, 2011 | 1:14 pm

     
  73. K says:

    I just tried cooking adobo without soy sauce tonight. I used the stovetop as I had not read MMs post yet when I made it. Turned out awesome still. I couldn’t believe the golden color. I will serve it with salted eggs,patis,tomatoes and siling labuyo! Yum! Any truth to the rumors that cooking in a palayok is poisonous?

    Feb 26, 2011 | 12:04 am

     
  74. joe says:

    2.5-3 hrs, brother? But what about our other duties?

    Thanks for the recipe.

    Feb 26, 2011 | 8:26 pm

     
  75. Marketman says:

    joe, good things come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue. Slow cooking often yields incomparable results. :) If you cook it in an oven or stovetop, you can do your other “duties” at the same time.

    Feb 26, 2011 | 8:30 pm

     
  76. Ada.M says:

    Hi MM! I tried your recipe, and it was really good. I can’t stop eating the pork fat. Haha I have yet to try the fried version. Thanks! (this is my first time to comment :D)

    Feb 26, 2011 | 9:25 pm

     
  77. cindy says:

    i tried the recipe using all the ingredients and even bought a new palayok. i also used it to boil water first before using it for the adobo.
    the adobo smelled perfect and i thought everything was ok until i tasted it after about 45 mins of boiling and it tasted bitter! i am not sure which of the ingredients did this to my adobo but i’m sure i followed each and every step you mentioned. i thought the fatback burned; but i only had a few burnt (browned) pieced at the bottom, but definitely not something that would cause the sauce to turn bitter. i tried to remedy it by taking the pork out of the sauce and boiling it again with datu puti vinegar but the damage has already been done.
    do you think it’s the coconut vinegar i used? it’s a fermented coconut vinegar from mama sita’s.
    i won’t give up and will try again using datu puti. but what are your thoughts?

    Feb 26, 2011 | 10:28 pm

     
  78. miles says:

    yey! adobo without soy sauce caoked well tastes really good!! i learned it from my mother in law who is from negros. even my children love it and don’t miss the soy sauce

    Feb 26, 2011 | 10:37 pm

     
  79. Marketman says:

    cindy, hmmm, let’s see. The fat shouldn’t burn at the bottom at all. A sign that your fire was too strong at one point or another. I would NEVER suggest using datung puti vinegar. It isn’t a “real vinegar” in that it is probably chemically constructed. A natural cane or coconut vinegar is best. Mama Sita’s is also another questionable vinegar choice, though they do say it’s coconut vinegar, I am doubtful of its provenance, though that’s just a hunch, with no proof whatsoever. To me, the other possible culprit is the palayok. Was it glazed or not? I used plain clay palayoks, with no glaze, I prepped them by boiling water in them, or water and vinegar, and throwing the water out. Once you put the meat and vinegar, do not cover the pot and let the acids from the vinegar evaporate, then cover. Many folks seem to have been able to do the recipe with good results, so I hope you are more successful on your second attempt. Just remember to use good vinegar, fresh pork, fresh spices and natural (NOT IODIZED) rock salt. If you think it might be the pot, try it on a stove top first. And finally, the flames should be really gentle, definitely not enough to burn the pork.

    Feb 27, 2011 | 11:26 am

     
  80. Jun B says:

    Drooling at this post – will try Liquid Smoke to replicate the smoky flavor.

    Feb 27, 2011 | 2:00 pm

     
  81. cindy says:

    thanks for responding. what do you mean by glazed palayok? the one i bought is colored black. i wasn’t sure how to clean it but the man in the store did say to boil water in it first, which i did. then i threw the water away.
    yup, will definitely try again and hopefully it gets better.

    Feb 27, 2011 | 9:42 pm

     
  82. Marketman says:

    Cindy, I did NOT use a black palayok. Maybe that’s the difference. I am not sure how they make the palayok black, I hope it isn’t paint or some other chemical material. I know some folks say to use a black one, but I have always used a red one, that naturally turns black on the outside after you cook with it.

    Feb 27, 2011 | 10:02 pm

     
  83. trax says:

    black palayok, i think is just made of black clay. maybe there is an effect of the black clay compared to the tera cotta ones.

    Feb 28, 2011 | 1:56 pm

     
  84. mel cantara says:

    this is the adobo i grew up with–sans soy sauce. some people call this adobong puti, we at home call this “lola’s adobo” because my beloved grandmother used to cook this for us. next time, you might want to try cooking it in a frying pan then make garlic fried rice out of the pork drippings. :) sinful!

    Mar 1, 2011 | 3:28 pm

     
  85. ivycute says:

    hi marketman, i cooked adobo that you post in this corner. and thank God, it taste very good. my kidz ask me “mommy luto mo to? they like it very much. tnx marketman

    Mar 3, 2011 | 9:49 pm

     
  86. clip says:

    now that’s truly Filipino Adobo.. :D
    food and culture preserved.. :D

    Mar 7, 2011 | 6:35 pm

     
  87. Robin says:

    Tried to cook this with what i have available at home, 1.3kg liempo (country style cut), del monte cane vinegar, and a stainless pot. Used 1/3 cup coarse salt, but the adobo came out too salty. My guess is that the salt was not coarse enough so in effect i used too much, or the pork was sliced too thinly. Will try this again soon using bigger chunks of liempo and less salt, in a Crock Pot.

    Mar 10, 2011 | 12:49 pm

     
  88. joe says:

    Hehe, sorry about that, Marketman, I was referring to the Del Monte spaghetti sauce commercial tagline. The one with the Italian nun and the novices.

    Mar 21, 2011 | 1:33 pm

     
  89. Patrick says:

    Man this sounds tasty!

    Mar 24, 2011 | 2:43 am

     
  90. kindred says:

    yes we do make adobo without soy sauce at our home =) we call it white adobo

    Apr 26, 2011 | 2:53 am

     
  91. emsy says:

    cindy, did you move the pork around after you put in the vinegar? if so, this could have caused the dish to turn bitter. remember to wait for the acids to cook off before touching the dish as the improper cooking of vinegar can cause it to turn bitter.

    May 19, 2011 | 11:01 am

     
  92. Ka Miguel says:

    It is the authentic adobo recipe! some they call it adobong iloco/ilocano but it adobong puti or white adobo is more popular nowadays.

    Jun 3, 2011 | 10:42 pm

     
  93. mommy says:

    Thanks MM, will try your recipe one of these days. Have to search for a palayok in one of the filipino stores to achieve the right taste and aroma. Hopefully one of the stores will carry palayok. Any suggestion on what type of pot to use as a substitute for your overseas readers?

    Jul 22, 2011 | 12:57 am

     
  94. Jose says:

    The best and easiest way to cook adobo! Ive been a “lurker” to this blog for sometime now and decided to do one of the recipes. Its just too bad I dont have a palayok like yours as I cooked mine in a regular pot and left it there for 3 hours. I also used alot of pork fat with the skin on instead of tampalen and pork shoulders instead of pork belly. Ive already ordered 3 kilos of tampalen some of which will be used in the next batch of “Marketman Adobo” and the rest for the lard experiment. I

    Dec 12, 2011 | 9:41 pm

     
  95. angie says:

    Hi MM. Is it ok to use Del Monte Red Cane Vinegar for this recipe? thanks!

    Apr 12, 2012 | 10:56 am

     
  96. Marketman says:

    angie, the short answer is yes, you can use del monte. BUT, if you were going to all the trouble of doing this recipe as I write it, IT IS MUCH BETTER to use an all-natural coconut vinegar for the most ideal results…

    Apr 12, 2012 | 11:52 am

     
  97. angie says:

    Thanks a lot MM!

    Apr 12, 2012 | 1:05 pm

     
  98. angie says:

    Hi again MM! Can I use “lola conching’s coco nectar vinegar” (featured in 2005) for this recipe? Does it have similar taste to the coconut vinegar that you use for your adobo recipe? Thanks!

    Apr 12, 2012 | 1:27 pm

     
  99. Marketman says:

    angie, yes, that vinegar would work, or even “Quezon’s Best” that they sell in some groceries like Landmark or Cash & Carry…

    Apr 12, 2012 | 5:40 pm

     
  100. angie says:

    Thanks again MM! I really appreciate it :-) More success on your business!

    Apr 12, 2012 | 5:59 pm

     
  101. Jane Fields says:

    Where can I get garlic bulbs? I’ve never seen them. I always see garlic being sold in the markets.

    May 10, 2012 | 12:27 am

     
  102. Kurogane says:

    Hi MM;

    will slow cookers work with this? something like this: http://www.lazada.com.ph/Imarflex-Digitable-Programmable-Slow-Cooker-ISC-500D-11895.html?

    it’s inevitable for condo dwellers… :( unfortunately for us, charcoal or wood fire ovens is not possible to use.. :(

    Kudos to the FOOD Magazine article, btw. can’t wait to go back to Cebu for zubuchon!

    also, hopefully you could update us if there are any gatherings (is it an annual thing?) you setup for mm fans and bloggers. Thanks!

    Aug 22, 2012 | 12:51 pm

     
  103. lian says:

    thanks Mr. MM for this post.I had tasted it few years ago and my dorm mate called it Adobong Puti because no soy sauce had been added.Its great and no “umay” effect.

    Nov 9, 2012 | 8:53 pm

     
 

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