Filipino Pork Adobo!

By Published On: January 25th, 2020Categories: Meat0 Comments on Filipino Pork Adobo!

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to make a new dish each month from another country; something I have never tasted or possibly even heard of! I made this dish for my good friend Myrna. Myrna’s family had this dish once a week when she was growing up in Manilla. When I arrived at her house, I told her to close her eyes and inhale, so she could guess what I’d made. Once I lifted the cover, she didn’t hesitate, and said, “Pork Adobo!” I guess I got the flavors right.

I did lots of research prior to making this dish and what I learned is there are nearly as many variations as there are Philippine Islands! There are over 7000 Philippine Islands, but only 2000 are inhabited, so that may still be a slight exaggeration. Reading about different methods and slightly different ingredients and different ratios of those ingredients, gave me confidence that I could not go wrong. I combined a little of this and a little of that from several recipes, but stayed true to the main ingredients: Pork, soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves, garlic, and whole peppercorns.

Myrna dishing out the Pork Adobo
in her beautiful coconut bowls from the Philippines.

1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water, more to reduce sauce consistency if necessary
20 black peppercorns
10 red peppercorns
9 bay leaves
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 onions, chopped coarsely (Myrna’s Mom did not use onion.)
1 head garlic, chopped coarsely, OK to leave some cloves whole
1 lb. pork belly, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb. pork loin, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 lbs. pork loin on the left; 1 lb. pork belly on the right.


Marinade is cooling.


Pork has been added to the marinade.
Ready to sit overnight in the fridge.

Stir together all ingredients, except the pork, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Cool. Add pork to the marinade and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Next day, remove the pork pieces from the marinade. Drain the pork pieces in a strainer, over a bowl so you don’t lose any liquid. Return what does drain to the marinade.

Brown all sides of the pork in olive oil on high heat. When all the pork is browned remove from the pan and de-glaze the pan with a little marinade making sure to stir up any little pieces of pork. Add these pan drippings to the marinade.

While pork is browning bring the marinade back to a boil and then reduce heat and continue cooking until liquid is reduced by half; about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Return the browned pork to the marinade. Cover and continue simmering for 1 more hour or until pork is very tender. Uncover and cook for another 20-30 minutes to further thicken so the marinade becomes the luscious sauce that makes this dish so special.

My husband, Jerry on the left and Myrna’s
husband Dick ready to start feasting!

In doing my research I learned that fluffy Jasmin rice is traditionally served with Pork Adobo and sometimes green beans either added directly or on the side.

The trick to fluffy Jasmin rice is through
rinsing until water flows clear before cooking.
Yours truly giving the French style green beans a quick stir fry.



Myrna’s using a cup to mold the rice.

The next time I make this recipe I am going to place all ingredients in my slow cooker and cook for a few hours and see what happens! I will also use all pork belly, which is so tender with fat rendering perfectly and giving the sauce lots of depth of flavor. Pork shoulder can also be used and some recipes even called for chicken. Some marinate overnight, as I did, others do not. Some recipes call for browning the pork, but not all.




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