Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Filipino-Style Adobo

Every household has their own take on this classic comfort dish from the Philippines. Chinese variations use rock sugar to brown the meat, omit the vinegar and include hardboiled eggs into their adobos, while some Filipino versions add coconut milk for a richer, creamier consistency. The sugar caramelizes as you brown the meat, creating a majestic dark amber coating that is sticky and sweet. The slow braising softens the acidity of the vinegar, while the saltiness of the soy sauce is mellowed out by the subtle hint of sugar, sealed into the meat during the browning at the onset. When the meat falls apart, it's ready to eat.

4 pieces of chicken thighs and drumsticks, with skin and bone

½ lb pork shoulder, cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons rock sugar or brown sugar

1 cup of light soy sauce

1 cup of vinegar, white or balsamic

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

Heat olive oil heavy skillet and fry garlic till brown.

Add rock or brown sugar and once it melts, add chicken pieces skin side down and brown the meat, about 5 minutes per side.

Remove chicken and brown pork, then return chicken pieces to skillet.

Add soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves and peppercorns. Top off with water so that meat is ¾ submerged in liquid.

Bring adobo to a boil, then simmer covered for an hour. If you are using pork shoulder, it will take longer.

Garnish with chopped parsley, fried minced garlic, fried shallot slices, and serve with garlic rice and a fried egg.

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