Filipino Pork Adobo

Filipino Pork Adobo

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When I look back at my time in the Navy, one food stands out more than any other: Filipino Pork Adobo
I was stationed onboard the USS Acadia, where Filipino Pork Adobo and Chicken Adobo were both regulars on the menu. Did you know a large majority of the cooks in the Navy are Filipino? At least they were when I was in the Navy in the 1980s. Since “adobo” (“sauce” in Spanish) is the unofficial dish of the Philippines, it was served on a regular basis. The perfect balance of sour and salty flavors in a proper adobo, make this recipe simply irresistible!

girl holding chicken feet on a stick
Chicken feet on a stick, anyone? No, I didn’t eat them, I gave them to one of the kids on the street.
Doing my time in the scullery, onboard the USS Acadia…I may or may not have been involved in a water fight prior to this picture being taken.
girl and little boy in the water at grande island
Enjoying some fun in the sun at Grande Island, Philippines (1987)

What Are The Ingredients Of  Filipino Pork Adobo?

“Adobo,” which means “marinade” or “sauce” in Spanish, is all about, you guessed it, the sauce! The sauce in a really good Filipino Pork Adobo has to have the perfect combination of vinegar and soy sauce, mixed with a variety of other ingredients. These ingredients include garlic, onion, bay leaves, and peppercorn. Then there are some that add ingredients like potatoes, brown sugar or honey, and ginger. I can’t stake my reputation on what ingredients are more “authentic,” as I am only attempting to replicate the Filipino Pork Adobo I was served in the Navy. However, I personally add a small amount of brown sugar, just to balance the flavors, and some ginger…. because I just LOVE ginger! I also prefer adding black pepper instead of peppercorn, so I don’t have to dig them out later. Ever bite into a peppercorn? Not fun, is it?

the perfect adobo sauce in an instant pot

How Do You Make Pork Adobo In An Instant Pot?

  • Making Instant Pot Pork Adobo couldn’t be any simpler. In fact, the perfect pot of adobo can be ready from start to finish in around forty minutes. Here are the simple steps:
  • Cut pork into large chunks and sprinkle with black pepper. If the chunks are too small, they’ll completely fall apart in the Instant Pot.
  • Slice onion, mince garlic and set aside.
  • Add oil to the Instant Pot, and choose the “saute” option.
  • Once the oil is hot, add pork to Instant Pot. Sear in batches, and remove. Saute onion and garlic, scraping the bottom of the pot.
  • Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour in the Instant Pot. Deglaze.
  • Return the meat to the pot, along with the onion and garlic.
  • Seal Instant Pot and set the vent to “seal” position. Choose “Pressure Cook” option: Adjust the time to 20 minutes.
  • After cooking for 20 minutes, allow an additional 10 minutes of resting time. Carefully adjust the vent to release the remaining pressure.
  • To thicken the sauce further, choose “saute” and cook down the sauce.
  • Serve the Filipino Pork Adobo over white rice.

chopped pork covered with sliced onions

Filipino Pork Adobo

How to Make Pork Adobo Without An Instant Pot

  • Cut pork into large chunks and sprinkle with black pepper.
  • Prepare veggies, set aside.
  • Add oil to a Dutch oven, and heat for a minute or two.
  • Add pork in batches and sear, then remove.
  • Saute onion and garlic, scraping the bottom of the pot. Return meat to the pot.
  • Mix the remaining ingredients, and pour over the pot ingredients.
  • Place the lid on the pot and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. To thicken the sauce further, remove the lid and continue to cook a few minutes longer. Serve the pork adobo over white rice.


How to Make Chicken Adobo

So you say you don’t eat pork? No problem! Let’s make some Chicken Adobo instead! Simply follow the same recipe, except replace the pork with chicken. You can use chicken breast, thighs, or drumsticks, or a combination of all of them. Although you can use boneless chicken, I  recommend using chicken with bones to extract more flavor from the bones. I also recommend removing the skin, so y0u don’t end up with a greasy adobo sauce.

chicken adobo in an instant pot

You may also enjoy the following recipes: Goat Curry Stew, Chile Verde, Pork Chops and Potatoes, and Oven Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder.

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pork adobo on rice in a bowl
Filipino Pork Adobo
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Resting Time
2 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Filipino Pork or Chicken Adobo cooked in an Instant Pot, or stovetop, either way, delicious! 

Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: filipino
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 326 kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. pork
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion (sliced)
  • 5 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup lite soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Rinse pork, cut into large chunks and sprinkle with black pepper.  

  2. Slice onion, mince garlic and set aside.

  3. Add oil to Instant Pot and choose the “saute” option.

  4. Once the oil is hot, add meat to Instant Pot and sear, working in batches, then remove. Saute onion and garlic, scraping the bottom of the pot.

  5. Mix the remaining ingredients in a separate measuring cup. Pour in the Instant Pot and deglaze.

  6. Return the meat to the pot, along with the onion and garlic.

  7. Place the cover on the Instant Pot and set the vent to “seal.” Click the “Pressure Cook” button, and adjust the time to 20 minutes. 

  8. Allow to rest for 10 additional minutes, then carefully adjust the vent to release the remaining pressure. 

  9. To thicken the sauce further, choose “saute” and cook until the sauce is to your liking. 

  10. Serve the pork adobo over white rice, along with some chopped scallions.

Nutrition Facts
Filipino Pork Adobo
Amount Per Serving
Calories 326 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 147mg 49%
Sodium 1184mg 49%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 16g
Protein 14g 28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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