Adobo – a much-loved Filipino dish

My youngest child’s godmother is Filipino, and when she and her daughter came to stay with me in London for a few days, I decided to make her national dish. It does take a lot of work but it is well worth it – what a heart-warming comfort food! It was actually a joint effort – I started it off and she finished the cooking process. This is our version (she added Worcestershire sauce and fried onions and fried garlic as garnishing).

Step 1:

Pork belly, preferably with a thick layer of fat

¼ cup salt

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp ground black pepper

1 star anise

3 bay leaves

3 cloves garlic chopped

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp cider vinegar

1 cup water

Cut the pork into thick long strips, about 1 inch wide.

Mix all other ingredients thoroughly and pour over the pork. Marinade the pork in this overnight (I do this in a casserole dish that I just put into the oven the next day).

The next day, roast the pork in its marinade, after wrapping it on top with parchment paper and wrapping the top of the casserole dish with tin foil.

Bake in an oven (235F/160C) for approximately 3 hours.

Put on a wire rack to cool and then refrigerate overnight.

Step 2:

Deep fry the pork in hot oil until the skin is crispy. Slice the thick pork strips up.

Step 3 (making the gravy)

1 cup water

1 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp sunflower oil

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp black pepper

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2/3 cup coconut milk (this is optional, Rona said her daughter prefers it without).

Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes until rich and thick.

Step 4:

Heat up the pork and put in the gravy.

Fry sliced onions and garlic in sunflower oil to garnish.

Slice spring onions to garnish.

Serve with boiled rice and poached eggs. This is our simple Filipino dinner.

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PS: It tastes even better as leftover. Woy took it to work in a Tupperware – rice at the bottom, meat ladled on top and sauteed vegetables on the side. he said it’s almost as good as his bigos, the Polish national dish – recipe coming up next!