Saturday, August 13, 2016

Filipino Adobo

Filipino Adobo

Tim Potter Sugar Land Texas

Adobo refers to a method of marinating and stewing any cut of meat or fish in a briny mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, and spices. This cooking method, like most of Filipino culture, is of mixed heritage. While not official, many consider Chicken Adobo to be the national dish of the Philippines.

There are many regional varieties of adobo, but most recipes include vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper. The meat is marinated then stewed in this mixture which yields a very flavorful, tangy, and tender meat. Adobo is usually served over a bed of fluffy rice to absorb the deliciously tangy sauce.

Filipino adobo should not be confused with the spicy Spanish adobo sauce. Although they both share the Spanish name, they are vastly different in flavor and ingredients.

History of Adobo

Like many cultures based in warm climates, Filipino natives developed various methods of preserving food. Adobo utilizes the acid in the vinegar and the high salt content of soy sauce to produce an undesirable environment for bacteria.

Its delicious flavor and preserving qualities served to increase adobo's popularity.

When the Spanish invaded and settled in the Philippines during the 16th century, they witnessed this traditional Filipino cooking method and called it adobo, which is the Spanish word for marinade.

Adobo Varieties

Meat: Although chicken adobo is the most well known, adobo can be made with pork, beef, fish, or other types of meat. Although not required, the meat is often fried after stewing to give it a crispy exterior.
Liquid: Vinegar and soy sauce are the heart of adobo but over the centuries, other liquids have occasionally been added to the brine. Some varieties include coconut milk, which mellows the strong flavors of the vinegar and soy sauce. Others include sugar or honey to add a touch of sweetness and an almost teriyaki like characteristic. The flavor of adobo can also be varied depending on the type of vinegar used.
Spices: Most basic adobo recipes are seasoned only with garlic, bay leaf, and black pepper. The peppercorns can be left whole or crushed for a more vibrant flavor. Additional seasonings may include ginger, onions, or other vegetables.
There are as many varieties of adobo as there are cooks in the Philippines. Although the country is small, the popularity and reach of adobo has spread throughout the world!

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