Electric Lunchbox #37: Adobo (Philippine soy sauce vinegar stew)

Adobo.

This is the all time favorite Filipino dish that you probably have heard of or even tried already. It is a constant at family gatherings and lunch boxes. Every family has their own recipe for this dish that is basically meat or vegetables simmered in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, pepper corns. Some add boiled eggs, potatoes, sugar, fish sauce, bayleaves. The meat can be chicken, or pork, or a combination of both. The only vegetable version of adobo that I had was Adobong Kangkong (water spinach), but I’m sure there are other versions all over.

I remember when I was young, we would always have this dish with a huge pot of rice, a big Igloo/Coleman water dispenser, and fruits, when we go “picnic”. Picnic is a term used by my aunts/uncles when we go to the pool/resort or beach for the day. It was a lot of fun to just be kids while the adults played card games, dominoes, and talk.

This keeps well at room temperature because of the vinegar, however I refrigerate it as soon as I can and won’t leave it out too long. It does taste better the next day, that’s for sure!

*My stovetop version almost always has the boiled eggs and potatoes, as I like having extras in my food. The version I grew up with though, had only bone in chicken with skin and pork meat with some fat, which when simmered for a long time, becomes rich, flavorful and truly delicious, something you will remember for a long time.*

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

Adobo:

220 grams pork or chicken, cut into small cubes

1 small potato, peeled and cubed

20 ml soy sauce

20 ml vinegar

1/2 teaspoon peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional, but highly recommended)

2 bayleaves

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Rice/Garlic rice:

2 ELB cups rice

2 ELB cups water

Toasted garlic, 1 teaspoon oil, and a sprinkle of salt, optional for garlic rice

3 itaki cups water in base

1. Place the meat, potatoes, soysauce, vinegar, pepper corns, fish sauce, bay leaves, garlic and garlic powder in the big bowl of the ELB. Mix and place on the base.

2. Place rice in the small nesting bowl, rinse well and drain. Add in the 2 ELB cups of water and toasted garlic, oil, and a sprinkle of salt, if using. Place on top of the big bowl.

3. Pour 3 ELB cups of water in the base. Cover the lunchbox snd let steam until done, about 55 minutes. Check meat and rice for doneness, adding more water to steam longer if needed.

4. Serve hot. Enjoy!

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