Pork Rib Adobo Served with Unripe Mangoes


When it really comes down to it, I am a sinigang and adobo guy. I love both dishes and they are absolutely amongst the first food items I look for when I return home from a trip abroad. This is a really simple, novice friendly recipe that hits the spot. The key to success is the cut of meat… I spotted some pork ribs in the butchers case a few days ago. Oddly, they said “shoulder ribs” and didn’t look like the prime baby back ribs or anything like that. They had sufficient amounts of meat on the bone so I thought I would try to make a simple pork rib adobo…


I just marinated the ribs in some soy sauce and vinegar with cracked peppercorns in the fridge overnight. The next day, I heated up a heavy pot and placed the ribs in the pot with lots and lots of peeled cloves or garlic and a bit more soy sauce and vinegar. I added a bit of water and let this come to a simmer, undisturbed. After the liquids had simmered for say 10 minutes, I stirred this up a bit, and covered it and let it simmer on a low flame for say 30 minutes or so. I added a touch (half tablespoon) of dark muscovado sugar about halfway through the cooking process. Watch the pot or it could dry out quickly… mine did, and I just added a bit of water to make a bit of sauce.


The ribs turned out really nicely for such minimal effort. The meat closest to the bone is always the most succulent, and this was no exception… Comfort food in the Marketman household. We sliced up a large apple mango sent to us by our bantay at the beach, who grows the mangoes on her own property nearby, and served that on the side with some rock salt. Yum. Sweetish/sour semi-ripe, mildly flavored mango in-between bites of pork rib adobo were the perfect match!

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55 Responses

  1. Sarap! That looks like summer in a meal!
    Pwede rin latondan banana!
    Will try that Muscovado on my next adobo!

  2. Looks delish. I haven’t tried cooking adobo using pork ribs but just liempo. I’m using Kikkoman soy sauce and organic Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar for my adobo. Just want to ask Mr. MM what brand of vinegar and soy sauce you’ve used for this recipe so I can replicate it. Thanks a lot.

  3. Hello, Marketman! Do you have a soy sauce/vinegar proportion that you follow? And what is your opinion on using unpeeled, crushed garlic for adobo?

  4. I love ribs sinigang and adobo!I love it so much that I would simmer the ribs on low fire for 2.5 hours!No shortcuts for me when it comes to sinigang.:) Haven’t tried muscovado sugar in adobo, I always put a little brown sugar tho. I tried cooking my adobo with half balsamic and half cane vinegar a few times and it always turned out better than cane vinegar alone. :)

  5. Wow this made me hungry all of a sudden. Make tons of this and as the days go by, I can imagine this will just get better and better.

  6. Really economical. I made this for a crowd using the stuff that sells for P130/kg – usually from the nape and the rump/tail sections and some of the bonier sections of the rib/back.

    We served it with steamed okra/talbos ng kamote with guinamos – kaldero of rice mandatory! =)

  7. MM, What kind of vinegar do you use? I don’t like the local white cloudy type of vinegar. We use either the clear Heinz or Mama Sita’s coconut vinegar. Also what should be the proportion of soy sauce to vinegar? I’m really clueless!

  8. MM, have you tried making pickled green mangoes? They go very well with Adobo, too. I’ll have my Aunt teach me how to make it next time I come for a visit. As to vinegar to use, I’ve started using balsamic vinegar in my Adobo and they come out really great.

  9. Grabe, kahit busog pa ako… just seeing the picture makes my mouth drool at kasabay ng pagkulo ng tyan… sarap… I’m also a sinigang and adobo guy… we call this in Cavite as ADOBADO… adobong buto-buto… sarap nito lalo na kung may atchara…

  10. Ako rin, kaluluto ko lang ng adobo, ribs and chicken wings. Sukang Iloco, Kikkoman, and I added a the flavored rice vinegar & dash of chile sauce. Undisturbed din ang ginawa ko. Sarap, yung natirang oil garlic, I will use to make some fried rice.

  11. The picture of the mango that popped when I opened your page…made me think you were showing a flower arrangement. That mango and your description eating it made me drool and crave for mango!

    Anyway, adobo is also my comfort food…and it has become my husband’s favorite too especially when we plan to make a long trip….adobo sandwich, it’s really a no-fail baon.

    Am curious too as to what soy sauce and vinegar you use MM. I find that using Kikkoman changes the flavor of the adobo, but I guess that takes time to get used to it. My sister also uses balsamic vinegar…but that is because her husband has a picky palate in certain ingredients. I cannot imagine making adobo without using original Philippine soy and vinegar.

  12. A friend and I gauge the stress level of the day not thru expletives nor emoticons but by the response to the text question “what’s for lunch?”
    Sinigang = mildly annoying
    Adobo = get me out of here!!!
    Sinigang AND Adobo = I’m having a meltdown

    on the other hand,

    MM – your lip-smacking tale reminds me of “bagoong fried rice”. I’m starting to see possibilities of combining your version of adobo and unripe mango with garlicky fried rice in the near future. And if that doesn’t keep the blues away, it should make me relatively unattractive to any vampires in the immediate vicinity

  13. @Wendy Darling. There is a restaurant in San Francisco called Tribu. They are famous for their Tribu Rice. It is bagoong fried rice using adobo oil. The end result is stunning because they lay the rice on a tray, topped with a column each of mango, adobo cut into small pieces, tomatoes and cilantro. We made this at home and it is now everyone’s favorite.

  14. bakerwannabe, that sounds really good, will try a version myself… at the restaurant, our five pork fried rice also has some bagoong and diced green mango. But I am liking the sound of adobo, green mango and cilantro as a fried rice. Yum. Mari and others abroad… when I lived abroad, I always used apple cider vinegar (braggs organic best, but even branded refined apple cider from grocery works well… and I used kikkoman, but I am a huge kikkoman fan, so I like its flavor). Even for bistek tagalog in New York, I used kikkoman and lemons. However, the use of a chinese soy sauce of medium density/thickness (not the lightest, not the heaviest) would work well too. netoy, thanks for the link, yes, I think it was part of a program that aired a few weeks ago apparently. wendy, you are SO SO RIGHT, adobo AND sinigang = avert meltdown. Maki, if she finds the pairing unusual, what about this one — I like to julienne really green mango and mix it with sauteed bagoong and some tomatoes and I use that as my condiment for the adobo and rice… :) ECC, yes, I have a pickled green mango recipe in the archives. Gigi, right, do NOT use local “cloudy’ vinegar… sometimes it isn’t even really a natural vinegar, but made with ascetic acid. I use locally coconut vinegar, or nipa vinegar or sugar cane vinegar. We get our coconut vinegar from a supplier in Toledo, clued in to us by a marketmanila reader. We used to import our vinegar from Quezon via Manila… J-jay, unpeeled crushed garlic is fine, you just have to fish out the peels before serving. as for proportions, I have recipes for adobo in the archives with more careful proportions. For this version, I just relied on instinct.

  15. We use the same cut of meat/ribs (which we call buto-buto) for tinola. You’re right, the meat that sticks to the bones are far more tastier and succulent.
    Among local restaurants, my favorite version of adobo and sinigang comes from Sentro. I’m not really an adobo person but their garlicky adobo is very very good. Their corned beef sinigang on the other hand is a different take on the dish.

  16. same here, MM…after being away from home for a while, my perfect “i’m home” pair is sinigang na isda (maya-maya or lapu-lapu head, preferably, or bangus belly) and twice-cooked chicken-pork adobo. this is comfort food from my childhood. I realize now that I also have an “acquired” comfort food, and it’s law-uy (vegetable stew). We never had it in my house when I was growing up, because my Tagalog parents could never imagine cooking vegetables without sauteing them with pork first. I learned about law-uy from my husband and Waray in-laws, and now, when i’ve been eating hotel food for many days, my helper knows and cooks law-uy, and the utter simplicity and freshness of it is very soothing.

  17. Sure is unusual for many MM but I certainly like bagoong as condiment.. another weird favorite is mayonnaise, I can pair it with almost anything.. :)

  18. @bakerwannabe thanks for the tip, will be on the lookout next time I’m on the West Coast :)

    All this talk of adobo reminds me of the go-to lunch (when I first started working) that we used to refer to as “CPA” a.k.a chicken-pork adobo (complete with rice and the requisite kamatis). And appropriately enough, work happened to be for a well-known audit firm headquartered along Ayala Avenue.

  19. The last time we visited Pinas, we dined at People’s Palace and I remember having a binagoongan fried rice with mango, fried eggs… don’t remember what else. Is anybody familiar with this dish? Seems similar to the Tribu’s. Would love to recreate this… does anybody have the recipe or familiar with the PP’s dish? Loved, loved their pomelo salad but also forgot the ingredients. Thanks.

  20. MM…made a variation of the fried rice bakerwannabe mentioned…trying to cut down on red meat, I used daing boneless bangus, cut it into pieces and fried them. Next…hot wok, then garlic, added the fried cubed boneless daing bangus, then the Bullhead BBQ (vegetarian version) sauce…I wanted to get that meatless binaggongan flavour without having to go out and buy bottled sautéed bagoong but always had the Bullhead BBQ sauce in the cooler, added the warmed leftover rice…no need to add fish sauce or toyo…it was well seasoned and had the right color. Then chopped tomatoes, chopped green mango…the apple mangoes abound now, mga Mrs….chopped cilantro and topped the fried rice with it. Then cracked an egg on a hot skillet and fried an egg….over easy!

    Nina, Betchay….a must try for Lenten season….meatless but maybe not on Good Friday for you will have seconds and thirds! It is very, very good but one that I will not make for awhile at mapapdami talagang ang kain!!!!!

  21. Yan na nga ba ang inaantay ko, version ni Ms. BettyQ, ay sus, tatakbo na ako sa kalapit na tinahan at papakyaw ako ng Bullhead B-bque sauce na iyong binanggit. And yes, the green apple mangoes are in abundance right now. Medio inaantay ko pa yung piko na Adulfo brand. Pero yun ang sinabi mo kaya saludo na ako. Maraming salamat. Gng. Marilag na BettyQ.

  22. peach, thanks for that link to jinlovestoeat. I tried to post a comment on her blog, but either I am technically incompetent and can’t figure out Disqus system, or its simply under moderation for the blog owner to approve… but here is the comment I wrote in response to her post:

    Hi Jin, Thanks so much for your visit to Zubuchon. I am happy overall you seemed pleased with the meal, and note your comment about the adobo. We use only liempo for our adobo, and it is intentionally fatty, but I agree with you that five pieces of fat would not be acceptable. I wish you had said something to a waiter, who would have sent it back to the kitchen for a replacement. My apologies for that. As for the sisig stuffed squid, it was temporarily removed from our Sinulog menu as it is very time consuming to prepare and cook, and already takes 20 minutes to deliver to table on a normal day, and we didn’t want it to take much longer at Sinulog. If you had visited our Escario Centrale branch, we had it on the menu there, and it is back in the Mango menu now. As for the sales figure quoted for the Mango branch, we are most flattered, but there is no chance that it was anywhere near the true sales. We only have 60-70 seats, so even if every seat filled up five times a day for the five day sinulog madness, we wouldn’t come anywhere near close to the figure you quoted. And the two weeks before Sinulog are traditionally extremely quiet in Cebu restaurants. At any rate, thank you for your visit and we hope to welcome you back soon. And I would be more than happy to send your group a properly portioned plate of adobo then. Continue to enjoy your food adventures! Best regards, Marketman/Zubuchon

    I also provided a link to my earlier post on the 3-4 hour slow cooked adobo that is done in a palayok, the basis for the restaurant version as well. I am most grateful for reader/customer reviews such as Jin’s as they allow us to try and do things a little better the next time around…

  23. Thanks BettyQ…another Bullhead recipe to add to my list! I guess next time I will be buying a big bottle instead!

  24. My mom only cooks with Coconut soy sauce. This is the closest to Chinese-tasting soy sauce available in Manila.

  25. This really inspires me to make some pork ribs adobo. That’s the power of suggestion at work here!!! I always accompany my adobo with either mango or radish salsa (diced tomatoes and mango with cilantro, onion, garlic, ground black pepper and salt). When mango is not available, I use daikon radish instead and I just dice it just like I do the mango.

  26. i cook my adobo with mushroom soy sauce native vinegar, lots of peppercorn, tons of garlic , brown sugar, and my secret ingredient BULAD OR TUYO NA LAPU LAPU, instead of salt!!!!

  27. Happy Chinese New Year of the Snake to all! Although I am not so happy this year as I recently found out that I am allergic to MANGOES and its Anacardiaceae family (which includes cashews, pistachios, sumac and others like poison ivy, etc.). Kindly enjoy the mangoes on my behalf…

  28. I’ve been very busy and I’ve missed most MM posting lately. I got lots of reading to catch up. We just started our restaurant here in Singapore name “Porky Pork” http://www.facebook.com/porkypork88 serving texas style smoke BBQ.

    Getting a staff here in Singapore is the most challenging part of any business. After 3 months of operations, we are exhausted, nevertheless we are happy that we’ve finally opened and followed our passion in serving real food, slow food which is an opposite of fast food.

  29. junb…congratulations! have you tried making your own smoked cheese now that you have a smoker? if you have any leftover pulled pork at the end of the day…here is something you can make use of the pulled pork…besides your nachos, it makes an excellent topping for POUTINE. Another one is this mainstay sandwich at our house….calabrese slice thickly, then a layer of sliced smoked cheese or grated will do…then topped with lots of caramelized onions, then last layer is the pulled pork or chicken smothered in BBQ sauce. Then the top slice of calabrese brushed with butter and pressed In a panini press or flat top…glorified grilled cheese sandwich! …or Texas style pulled pork tacos…topped with coleslaw and drizzled with crema…or made like a Philly steak sandwich. I could get carried away again but am watching hockey at the moment!

    Yup, opening a restaurant requires dedication and I have gone through that…that is why my nephews and I just decided to sell our ready to eat, ready to bake or granola kits on line….less headaches!

  30. OT, adding congratulations to junb :)

    @junb – will look you up next time I swing into SG, and will pass on word to my foodie gang who’ve relocated to SG to check-out your BBQ (if they haven’t yet)
    (will definitely holler before I drop in, so that we can meet and trade notes on MM’s musings)

  31. Betchay…another use for the BBQ sauce Bull head…for Pinakbet for this coming Ash Wednesday minus the rice…just the pakbet! If you are not vegan…use the one in the gray can…then top your Pinakbet with crispy salmon skin instead of pork or chicken chicharon.

  32. MM, i just realized there’s one more thing you haven’t featured ever….it’s kondol, or wintermelon. i grew up eating kondol in syrup, and candied kondol, and i don’t see either of them around anymore.

  33. Ahhhh adobo, my life’s greateat frustration. It is my hubby’s all time favorite but I can never seem to get it right. I tried every recipe i’ve come across (except MM’s slow cooked in palayok – we don’t have one and our living situation restricts wood cooking!) but I can tell that something’s amiss… i can’t get the vinegar, soy sauce, water ratio right!!!.. To remedy this, I add a few drops of lobster/prawn oil (thanks bettyq!) and I think the hubby likes it because there are no more leftovers!!

  34. Thanks again BettyQ….just been to Ilocos and really planning to do Pinakbet every Friday this Lenten season so your tip is very much appreciated.
    @ Junb: Congratulations on your new venture. Will look it up on our next trip to SG.

  35. hi MM,

    on adobo: have you tried doing 1/2 vinegar 1/2 sinamak in doing adobo? i find that it tastes better and gives a spiciness that improves on the flavor

    anyhow, i’m writing because I stumbled in your 2006 entry on Igot/Lipote ( Syzygium curranii). Thank you for sharing your encounter and I hope this would become a cash crop for the Philippines just like how Acai berry became popular. You might be interested to know that there’s a study on the phenolic contents of Igot and several close relatives. From the results, the authors note that Igot fruit has the highest contents of Chrysanthemin, Myrtillin, and Myricetin. The amount of antioxidants are comparable with those of Acai, and if given proper marketing and propagation, then it can become a good export crop (just like how Danding Cojuanco did with the pili nut and batwan in Negros- he has hectares of the crops)


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