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Pork Adobo

Close-Up Shot of Pork Adobo Dish
Pork Adobo, a delicious tender, filipino dish that is super easy to make.


  • Garlic, 4-6 cloves
  • Yellow Onion, 2 medium size
  • Pork Belly / Chicken / Pork Belly + Baby Squid, 500g
  • Pineapple (optional)
  • Snake Beans (optional)
  • Liver Spread (optional)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Soy Sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • MSG / Magic Sarap (to taste)
  • Brown Sugar / Sugar, 1 heaped tsp
  • Dried Bay Leaves, ≥4
  • White Vinegar, 1/2 cup


  1. Roughly smash and chop the garlic, chop the onion into quaters and prepare any optional veggies.

  2. Cut the pork into 1 inch chunks (Chicken can substitute, preferably with the bone in).

  3. It is optional to marinade the pork or chicken in the garlic, soy sauce and seasonings for at least 30 minutes. I personally don't think this adds much and usually I do not have that much time but it is a popular way to cook adobo.

  4. Pour a small amount of oil into a pot on medium-high heat, add the garlic, onion, pork / chicken (but not the squid just yet), slighty browning the meat.

  5. Add in the soy sauce, water, salt, pepper, msg, brown sugar, bay leaves, stirring to combine.

  6. Add the white vinegar, DO NOT STIR!, place a lid on the pot and leave to boil for 20 minutes.

  7. Add any optional veggies or the squid, again do not stir, let it cook for another 10 minutes before you serve.

  8. It is optional to continue boiling, depending on much how sauce you would like.

  9. Finally, stir and taste to adjust the seasoning to your taste. Serve on a bed of rice for an amazing meal!
Image of Pork Adobo and Rice on a Spoon

Additional Information


Be sure to make your onions not too small, when cooking the onions they will shrink or potentially disappear into the sauce if they're too small. In my version of this recipe (but really my wife's version), the onions are supposed to be a major component of this dish, so if they were too small to notice it would take away from the amazement that is adobo.

It is incredibly important to not stir the dish once you've added the vinegar, stirring will cause the vinegar to combine with the sauce making the taste much more acidic than most may enjoy. Personally, I had to figure this out the hard way on my first attempt to cook this dish, although it was still delicious the sourness was much more noticeable than it is supposed to be. Letting the vinegar form a layer on top of the sauce cooks off most the the acidity, as well as tenderise the protein of your choice.

Be sure to use a fatty cut of your desired protein, the rendered fat will do wonders for the sauce on your palate, making it thicker, richer and longer lasting on your taste buds. It is entirely possible to use leaner pieces of meat but you don't get the same richness in the sauce that is highly desirable in this dish.

More on Adobo

Adobo, a tradtional and very popular dish from the Philippines. This dish was my very first impression of filo food and from the first bite I fell in love with it. The salty and sour flavour was unlike anything I had eaten before complemented perfectly by the fatty protein and fluffy rice, this is now a weekly dish due to it's deliciousness and ease of preparation.

Adobo is really more of a way of cooking, traditionally using salt and vinegar which would help to preserve the food in pre-colonial philippines. In this case we use soy sauce to replace the salt, which is the more widely known version of adobo but there are plenty of other recipes which can be found using the more tradtional recipe.

I always recommend adobo to those who have never experienced filipino cuisine. It is a dish that's quickly increasing in popularity and I have seen it being represented more each year. Somewhat unfortunately, everyones version of adobo is different. You probably noticed that I put a lot of optional ingredients into my ingredients list, this is exactly what makes everyones version unique. A consequence of this is that a home-cooked adobo will always be better than one from a restaurant, maybe because you can make it perfect for yourself/family/friends or because a lot of these delicious optionals most of the time aren't present in a restaurant version. So I recommend you make this one for yourself instead of ordering out.