Adobo is the unofficial national dish of the Philippines. But there are a thousand and one ways to make it – it seems that every one of my countrymen has his own family recipe for it. Add to that a subculture, such as mine and another form of adobo is born! But, how it could be legitimately called an adobo dish, I don’t really know! For one thing, the dish does not have a drop of vinegar in it!
My recipe –
1 kilo pork belly, sliced into cubes (rinsed and cleaned)
12 to 20 pieces dried Chinese mushroom, rehydrated
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 pieces dried chili
2 pieces star anise
2 tablespoons each oyster sauce, thick soya sauce, light soya sauce, and dried mushroom soaking liquid
additional soy sauce, optional
1-1/2 to 2 cups water, or just enough to cover the pork
Sauté the garlic until soft and fragrant. Add the dried chili and star anise. Stir fry several seconds. Put in the sauces (take care the mixture may sizzle) then put in the pork cubes. Stir the mixture around until the pork is fully coated in the sauce.
Put in mushrooms and water. Simmer until the pork is tender. Adjust the seasonings. After all, various brands of seasonings have different formulations and differences in tastes.
(In my case, I use my magic cooker – thermal cooker – and leave it overnight.)
Final note – the recipe I found in my mother’s recipe files originally specified 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. I substituted it with the thick soya sauce, which has a sweetish profile.