I’ve just recently discovered the goodness of Adobo with Gata, a variation of the FIlipino comfort food Adobo. Filipinos have different preferences when it comes to Adobo. Some like it saucy, others like it kind of fried with very little sauce. I like my Adobo sauce thick, garlicky, with black beans and dried bay leaves. I use Tamari sauce instead of soy sauce. It makes for a thicker sauce that’s less salty and more complex in flavour. Tamari is made with more soybeans than regular soy sauce. I also like the pork cooked very tender. If it’s Chicken Adobo, I like it fall-of-the-bone tender.
Pork or Chicken Adobo
1 kg of pork (shoulder or belly) or chicken or both
1 large clove of garlic (minced or whole)
1 med onion
2 or 3 dried bay leaves
1/2 cup tamari
1/2 cup cane vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 or 3 tbsp black beans (if you’re not putting in black beans, add some salt to the meat)
1 can coconut milk (you only need 1/3 or 1/2 of the can)
In a dutch oven (or sauce pan or wok), lightly brown a kilo of meat in as little oil as possible. A couple of tablespoons should be good. Throw in the garlic and onion as you’re browning. When the meat is lightly brown and the garlic and onions have caramelized, add water, vinegar, tamari, black beans and black peppercorns. Simmer on low heat until tender (approximately 30-40 min) and until sauce thickens. Taste the sauce and adjust according to your taste. You may add more vinegar or tamari if you think the sauce could use more flavour. If you find the sauce too salty for your taste, add a little more water.
Just before turning off the heat, add a couple of dollops of coconut milk. Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. You’ll find the coconut cream on the top half of the can and coconut water in the bottom. I like using the coconut cream because it keeps the consistency of the Adobo sauce thick. If you like the sauce runny, go ahead the stir the coconut milk before adding it to your Adobo. Cook for another 3 minutes or so then serve with rice.
Adobo is also wonderful with bread!