Adobo is the name of a popular dish and cooking process in Philippine cuisine that involves meat or seafood marinated in a sauce of vinegar and garlic, browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade.
Although it has a name taken from the Spanish, the cooking method is indigenous to the Philippines. When the Spanish conquered the Philippines in the late 16th century and early 17th century, they encountered an indigenous cooking process which involved stewing with vinegar, which they then referred to as adobo, which is the Spanish word for seasoning or marinade. Dishes prepared in this manner eventually came to be known by this name, with the original term for the dish now lost to history.
While the adobo dish and cooking process in Filipino cuisine and the general description adobo in Spanish cuisine share similar characteristics, they refer to different things with different cultural roots. While the Philippine adobo dish can be considered adobo in the Spanish sense a marinated dish the Philippine usage is much more specific. Typically, pork or chicken, or a combination of both, is slowly cooked in vinegar, crushed garlic, bay leaf, black peppercorns, and soy sauce then often browned in the oven or pan-fried afterward to get the desirable crisped edges.
Adobo has been called the quintessential Philippine stew, served with rice both at daily meals and at feasts.
It is commonly packed for Filipino mountaineers and travelers because it keeps well without refrigeration. Its relatively long shelf-life is due to one of its primary ingredients, vinegar, which inhibits the growth of bacteria.
Outside of the home-cooked dish, the essence of adobo has been developed commercially and adapted to other foods. A number of successful local Philippine snack products usually mark their items "adobo flavored." This assortment includes, but is not limited to nuts, chips, noodle soups, and corn crackers.
Try this Chicken Adobo recipe from Panlasang Pinoy.
2 lbs chicken, cut into serving pieces
3 pcs dried bay leaves
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1/4 cup cooking oil
salt and pepper
1. In a large container, combine the soy sauce and garlic then marinade the chicken overnight
2. Place the cooking oil in a pan and apply heat
3. When the oil is hot enough, put-in the marinated chicken
4. Add water and bring to a boil
5. Add the dried bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender
6. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes
7. Serve hot. Share and Enjoy!