Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cooking Adobo: The Pambansang Ulam

Adobo is the unofficial national dish or the "pambansang ulam" of the Philippines. Our love for adobo can not be underrated. Many pinoys, including myself, list adobo as their personal favorite and their comfort food. But despite of having adobo frequently cooked at home and being a household name,  it is also served during special occasions.

Adobo is a term for cooking  meat, seafood, or vegetables that is marinated in sauce consisting of soy sauce and vinegar, browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. The adobo recipe has a lot of variations. Different regions of the country has their own way of cooking adobo. In Zamboanga for instance, they cook adobo with coconut milk or gata (adobo sa gata). In Cavite, they add mashed pork liver into their recipe. In Laguna, they add turmeric to give that yellowish color. 

Different adobo versions came about because of personal preferences. Some would like it sweet, so they add sugar or pineapple. Some would add ingredients like potatoes, siling labuyo (chili), calamansi, and pepper. Some would like their adobo dry. Others would like theirs crispy.

The most common in adobo are adobong manok (chicken adobo), adobong baboy (pork adobo), combination of pork and chicken, and adobong isda (fish adobo). Then we also have adobong pusit, adobong kangkong (water spinach adobo), and adobong labong (bamboo shoots adobo).

Typical ingredients in adobo, regardless of its main ingredients, are vinegar (you can also use white wine and cider), soy sauce, peppercorn, bay leaves, garlic.

For the tamad (lazy) version, you can simply cook your adobo by mixing all the ingredient then let it boil and cooked until the meat is tender. And viola! You have your adobo.


Pork and chicken adobo

Below is my version of pork and chicken adobo cooked the tamad way. 

Ingredients:

Chicken
Cubed pork meat
Bay leaves 
Chopped garlic
Vinegar
Soy sauce
Sugar

Procedure:

I put the pork meat with the marinade (soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, and garlic) in the saucepan and add a bit of water. Let it boil until the mean turns brown. Then, add the chicken. Let it boil together until the chicken is cooked. I then transfer the pork and chicken meat with the sauce in a frying pan, let it simmer until the liquid evaporates and the oil comes out.

pork and chicken adobo

pork and chicken adobo


Adobong atay/chicken liver adobo

Chicken liver must not be overcooked because it becomes dry and tough. It loses that fine texture.

Ingredients:

Chicken liver (you can add in chicken gizzards/balunbalunan)
Soy sauce
Squeezed calamansi juice
Chopped garlic
Chopped white onions
Oil

Procedure:

Put a little oil in the sauce pan. Sauté and brown the garlic. Add the chicken liver and sauté it until it changes color. Add the soy sauce, calamansi juice, and the onion. Let it boil for like 5 minutes and remove it from the heat.

chicken liver adobo / adobong atay ng manok



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