The Admirable Adobo

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Thursday, August 11, 2011


THE Adobo, which is the most ordinary food most housewives and most households know about and cook, is so versatile and is adaptable to so many variations.

Did you know there are adobong puti and adobong itim? Adobong puti is without soy sauce and adobong itim is with soy sauce. The original adobo is adobong puti because the Chinese were the ones who added soy sauce for both flavor and color.

Did you know there is a pure pork adobo, a pure chicken adobo and mixed adobo? Did you know there is adobong humba? Adobo sa tausi? Adobo sa tajuri? Adobo with potatoes? That adobo is the most common way housewives cook their meat? Well, let’s zero in on one of the versions mentioned above. Let us take adobo sa tausi. If you feel like a different adobo, let us know and we will gladly show you how it is done.

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So adobo sa tausi. Shall we do a plain pork adobo, mixed adobo or a plain chicken adobo? Shall we add livers?? A little beef kenchi? Gizzards? Potatoes? I will suggest we do a mixed adobo so those who favor chicken will have an alternative to pork. It is quite simple. For a large family, let’s have a kilo of pork (not to fatty, use the lean portions), a kilo of chicken, half kilo of livers, half kilo of gizzards and half kilo of beef.

Cut all to serving pieces except of course the gizzards and the livers.

To begin you will need, (everybody knows this besides the above)

1. 3 tablespoons of minced garlic

2. 1/2 cup of chopped onions

3. 3/4 cup of good vinegar

4. 3/4 cup of cooking soy

5. 5 bay leaves

6. 2 or 3 inch long stick of cinnamon

7. 1/2 cup of mashed tausi

8. Garnishes such as fried camote sticks, fried gabi sticks, sliced fresh tomato circles, cilantro (wansoy) and maybe parsley which is well chopped.

That being the list of ingredients, we point out it is the flavoring which is the variations and is dependent on the cook’s tastes and the taste, of course, of the eaters.

Heat a pan which will take in the approximately 3 kilos of meat. Render a bit of the chicken fat and the pork fat. When you have about half a cup rendered, brown the garlic until crisp. Add the onions and saute until limp. Now add the vinegar. Do not stir until the vinegar boils. When the vinegar boils, add the soy and the tausi. Bring to a boil and add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, use 2 teaspoons of powdered cinnamon. Bring all to boil, then add the beef and the gizzards. Do not add yet the pork, livers and chicken pieces.

After half an hour, or until the beef and gizzards are tender, add the pork, chicken and livers. Try not to add water, as the natural juices of the meats together with the soy and vinegar should be enough liquid to cook the dish. To conserve liquid keep the caldero tightly covered so liquid will not evaporate. Try not to stir too much, just ladle the sauce to the top of the dish. The liquid will boil to the top though. After another half hour, all the meats should be tender and tasty. All the flavors should be blended and should smell heavenly. If you feel the dish is too dry, carefully add hot water little by little to the consistency you want. Stir in the chopped parsley and the wansoy. Cover the caldero and turn off the fire.

To garnish and serve, top fried camote and taro sticks. Slice tomato rings and serve around the dish. It is now ready to serve. For dessert, have gulaman and sago served cold.

Bon Appetit!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 11, 2011.

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