YOUR ADOBO, YOUR RULES
On July 9, #HandsOffMyAdobo swarmed the Twitter trending list with outraged netizens over news of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) standardizing adobo, the nation’s unofficial dish, amongst other Filipino native dishes.
A netizen aired his frustration over this, calling out DTI for its misaligned priorities, “Seryoso DTI? Baka mas gusto niyong pagtuunan ng pansin yung todo taas ng presyo ng mga pamilihin kesa tong kalokohan na to. Ano ba pake ninyo kung paano kami gumawa ng adobo.”
The uproars only intensified when the news reached Facebook with over 74 million active Filipino users. On a post by News5, a comment by a netizen reads:
“Nakupo DTI, naunahan pa ninyo ang DepED sa pagkakaroon ng National Standard para sa pagsukat ng cognitive, affective, psycho-motor skills ng mga student sa public schools! Pasok ba sa national o international standards ang natutuhan ng mga students natin?Buti pa ang adobo! Kainis kayo!”
With the backlash from netizens, DTI was forced to clarify that it only sought to distinguish the basic traditional recipe for international promotions, and not to mandate Filipinos on how to cook it.
Well, whatever their objective may be, one should know that your adobo, your rules. As the saying goes, to each of his own.
Adobo may not be the official national dish, but it will always be close to the hearts and stomachs of Filipinos. The versatility and variety of this well-loved dish has made it a staple in every Filipino household whether it is served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It also appears everywhere – in festivals, birthdays, parties, or any celebration. Moreso, the ingredients are accessible and easy to find, whether in your pantry or in the nearby supermarket.
There are countless ways to prepare adobo, and everyone has their own touch to this beloved dish. You can vary your main ingredient from chicken and pork to seafood and vegetables, but two ingredients remain constant: vinegar and garlic.
What sets adobo apart from other adobo is the variety of cooking methods Filipinos do to prepare it. Below are some of the twists, versions, and styles you can try to this classic dish.
This Batangueño version uses Turmeric as the key ingredient, stripping soy sauce from the traditional recipe. Turmeric, known as luyang dilaw, is a fragrant bitter spice from the ginger family. Its vivid color gives the yellowish color of adobo, with hints of pungent bitter and peppery flavor.
Onions, garlic, and turmeric are first sauteed before adding the meat, usually pork or chicken. Once the meat is seared, vinegar follows. Some would then add water, peppercorn, and bay leaves until it boils and the meat is tender before serving.
You can check the full Adobong Dilaw recipe by Kawaling Pinoy.
If there’s a yellow version, then there could be other color variations.
Adobong Puti, which roots from Visayas, gets its name from its clear broth. The absence of soy sauce gives this adobo version a light color. Similar to other recipes, it only uses the garlic-vinegar mixture as its main ingredients.
Simmer your chosen meat, whether chicken or pork, until it is tender in the garlic-vinegar mixture. Add water, bay leaves and peppercorn right after to complete the process.
Check the full Adobong Puti recipe by Panlasang Pinoy.
If you want to give a twist to your adobo stored in your fridge for days, then this recipe will surely be of help. A hybrid of adobo and lechon paksiw, this version transforms your leftovers into something more palatable.
With adobo now ready, all you have to do is prepare the lechon sauce. Reheat the adobo, add lechon sauce, sugar, and water and let it simmer until the sauce becomes thick.
Check the full recipe by Yummy.ph.
CREAMY GINATAANG ADOBO
Another twist to this classic dish comes from Southern Luzon. It is no surprise how you will know it is cooked the Bicolano way – through the taste of coconut milk and chilis. This version uses coconut milk, or gata, for a fuller and creamier taste.
The gata is usually added during the process of stewing the meat. Bicolanos also substitute peppercorns with chili to give it a spicier kick. You can check out the full recipe by Ang Sarap.
However, if you wish to taste just the creamy and not the coconut version, then Youtuber Kusina ni Inday’s recipe is all you need. Just use all-purpose cream instead.
ADOBO WITH SOFTDRINKS
Using soft drinks as an ingredient when cooking is common, most especially for seafood dishes. But have you ever tried it with adobo instead?
Instead of using sugar to sweeten adobo, you can actually use carbonated drinks such as Sprite or Coke to add sweetness to it. It may sound intriguing, but the result is promising.
Youtube Channel Kuya Fern’s Cooking demonstrates the process. The traditional process of cooking it is followed, where basic ingredients such as onions, garlic, soy sauce and oyster sauce are sauteed together with the meat. The sweetened flavor is infused by adding Sprite after, then simmer it in vinegar, laurel leaves and peppercorns.
If you prefer to use Coke, you can follow Foodie’s recipe.
If you like your adobo sweet, then you can make it sweeter in a more natural way. The simple addition of pineapple juice and tidbits will make your adobo a crowd favorite. The sweet and salty flavor will surely linger in your taste buds, just like how you enjoy pineapples on pizza.
Following Salu-Salo’s method, marinade your meat with pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns, bay leaf and garlic first. Then sear the chicken and use the marinade and water until your meat is tender. Lastly, add your tidbits for a more fruity adobo.
Whatever your adobo may be, one thing is for sure – it will always taste like home, because no adobo tastes the same.
About the Author
Jillian Velasco is an intern from the University of the Philippines Diliman. As a journalism major, she was part of her local college publication for three years, serving as the sports editor for two consecutive years. When she has time to spare, she spends most of it reading entertainment articles and watching crime documentaries. Jillian is also a mom to four fur babies.