Whenever I attend a “pot luck” dinner, and there’s no entree theme, I always bring the same thing: chicken adobo, which is one of the top classic Filipino “comfort” foods. I bring it for two reasons.
First, it always gets a lot of compliments because most Americans have not eaten adobo. The first time I brought it, about three folks asked me for the recipe. I brought it again last night and got about six compliments from the 20 or so guests.
Second, chicken adobo is very easy to make. What’s not to like about an easy entree that gets lots of compliments? I suspect most folks are like me and prefer entrees that take minimal preparation time.
Since I’m always interested in spreading the gospel of Filipino cuisine, I’m going to share my chicken adobo recipe. I think once you try it, you’ll further explore the cuisine on your own.
First, is the meat. For chicken adobo, I use whole, skinless (healthier) chicken thighs with or without the bone. You can use chicken legs too but I don’t. (For pork adobo, I use cubed pork loin.)
Marinate the chicken or pork for about 60 to 90 minutes in a mixture of 50% soy sauce and 50% vinegar. I’m particular about soy sauce. The Asian store I shop at has an entire aisle four shelves high with all sorts of soy sauces in all sizes. I buy quart size bottles of Kim Ve Wong, which has only water, soybeans, wheat, salt and sugar and is relatively low in sodium compared to most other brands.
Then I quickly brown the meat in a bit of oil, after which I add the marinade. If that’s not enough to cover the meat, I add more of the soy sauce and vinegar mix.. Then, add chopped onion, cracked peppercorn, and finely minced garlic to taste and some whole bay leaf. Lower the heat and simmer until the meat is cooked.
Serve over rice, pouring some of the marinade over the rice for additional flavoring. Then bask in the compliments you’ll receive from those eating adobo for the first time.
Another Filipino dish you may want to try is sinigang, a sour soup using a tamarind base which can be made with pork, chicken or other meats as well as seafood. I buy tamarind concentrate from Indian food stores. For recipes, just do a search for “sinigang recipe.”
For all sorts of Filipino cuisine recipes, go here: http://www.kusinamaster.ph/