The Endless Varieties of Adobo
What is this Philippine Adobo? Have you even tried it?
Well Adobo for starters is the Philippines national dish and it is usually made with pork or chicken stewed in soy sauce and vinegar alongside a hefty amount of garlic, black peppercorns and bay leaves. Flavours can differ based on personal choice where it can be somewhere between sweet, sour, salty and sometimes spicy hot.
Back home you can see this everywhere from restaurants, at home and even in “baons” at work or at school, you can even smell this once in a while while walking back home, the scent of that frying garlic and the scent of the simmering soy sauce and vinegar is one of the most sought after aroma of most Filipinos.
The name of the dish was derived from a Spanish word adobar which means “marinade” or “picking sauce” but this does not mean it has its Spanish roots. Dating back in 1613 where this dish was first documented in a dictionary by a person named Pedro de San Buenaventura, in this dictionary he named it as “adobo de los naturales” because of the similarity to Spanish and Mexican dishes with the same name. The Spanish roots ends in the name as the dish already existed ever since the Spanish invasion. According to the Raymond Sokolov a food historian the ingredients for this dish already existed in the Philippines even before Ferdinand Magellan set foot on our shores it was just not recorded. It was also believed that the original recipe uses vinegar only and salt since soy sauce was not yet existing during those times.
Today we have many versions of this dish but the most popular ones are the Pork and Chicken but since this sauce is quite versatile different viands were created using the same sauce or even the same methods and here are some of it.