Please forgive me for my longer-than-usual absense/silence. Nope, no fun trips to Northern California to see family this time. In fact, these last few days have been far from fun. I’ve been feeling under the weather for a week now, coughing like a mad dog and chasing my breath like crazy. I kept procrastinating about seeing my doctor, shrugging off my symptoms to a simple case of seasonal flu. Thank God for G’s persistence, he nagged me day and night until I finally caved in and made an appointment. As it turned out, I have acute bronchitis!
Although adobo made with soy sauce is the most prevalent of this quintessential Filipino dish, adobong puti, a variant which uses salt instead, appears the most traditionally authentic. Early Filipinos stewed meat and poultry in vinegar and salt as a way to preserve and prolong food. However, with the advent of soy sauce from neighboring traders, it has taken the place of salt in adobo and has become synonymous with its cooking process. I love adobo with soy sauce like the next Pinoy and I also find adobo sa patis a sufficient substitute on the many occasions I don’t have soy sauce on hand to use but I have to say, adobo done with salt is fast topping my list. Unlike the more robust soy sauce, salt does not distract from the garlicky-vinegary flavors I enjoy in my adobo. I am sure there are many more ways to describe the culinary delight of white adobo but acute bronchitis, remember? Guys, you are important to me, I appreciate you more than you know but I need to head back to bed. A few more days of meds and rest and I’ll be my old chirpy self. See you then!
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 head garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 pounds pork butt, belly or shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 cup vinegar
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns, cracked
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Fried garlic bits, optional
- In a wide, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring regularly, until aromatic. Add pork and cook until lightly browned.
- Add vinegar and bring to a boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add water, salt, bay leaves and pepper corns and stir to combine. Continue to boil for about 3 to 5 minutes. Lower heat, cover and continue to cook for about 40 to 50 minutes or until meat is fork tender and liquid is reduced.
- Add sugar and stir. Continue to cook, uncovered, until mixture begins to render fat. Sprinkle with fried garlic bits as desired and serve hot.