The adobo was traditionally cooked in clay pots but today is made in more common metal pots or woks. When the Spanish invaded and settled in the Philippines during the 16th century, they witnessed this traditional Filipino cooking method and called it adobo, which is the Spanish word for marinade.



2 pounds pork belly, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
1 head garlic, peeled and minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water

In a bowl, combine pork, onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for about 30 minutes.
In a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add meat mixture and cook, turning occasionally, until pork is lightly browned.
Add vinegar and allow to boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes. 
Add soy sauce and water and stir to combine. Allow to a boil for another 3 to 5 minutes. 

Lower heat, cover, and simmer for about 40 to 50 minutes or until meat is fork-tender and sauce is reduced. Serve hot.


2 lbs chicken cut into serving pieces
3 pieces dried bay leaves
8 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons white vinegar
5 cloves garlic crushed
1 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt optional
1 teaspoon whole peppercorn

Start by marinating the chicken in soy sauce and garlic. The garlic needs to be crushed for best results. This process takes 1 hour to 12 hours depending on how flavorful you want the dish to be. Sometimes marinating for an hour is not enough. I think that 3 hours is optimal. The chicken absorbs most of the flavors from the soy sauce and garlic during this step. It is noticeable when you taste the dish after cooking. Note that it is also possible to include the vinegar in this step. The next step is to separate the chicken from the marinade. Make sure to set the marinade aside because it will be used later on. Pan-fry the chicken pieces for 1 to 1 ½ minutes per side. This will partially cook the outer part. It also makes the skin tough enough to withstand stewing later. This means that it will remain intact, which is nice for presentation.
Pour marinade into the pot and add water. Let boil. The bay leaves and whole peppercorn can now be added. The process takes 20 to 25 minutes depending on the quality of the chicken. However, feel free to cook longer in low heat for a super tender chicken adobo.
Add the vinegar. This can also be added as a part of the marinade. Let it cook for 10 minutes and then add sugar and salt. I only add salt if needed. It is important to taste your dish before adding seasonings.

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