Adobo is one of the most popular dishes in the Philippines and is considered by many as our national dish. It is not suprising then that from household to household, from one region to the next, variations of this ubiquitous stew abound.
This pork ribs adobo with atsuete or otherwise known as adobong pula is an Ilonggo example of how we prepare and enjoy our adobo. A very interesting interpretation, it adds minced ginger and annatto to the usual ingredients of garlic, vinegar and soy sauce. The procedure is basically the same as the classic adobo and it takes but a simple braising to get this deliciousness on the dinner table. A little word of caution, atsuete lends not only natural coloring but a slight bitterness to the dish so use it sparingly. After the meat has sufficiently simmered in the liquid and the sauce is halfway reduced, add a tablespoon or so of sugar to pull all the flavors beautifully. Oh, don’t forget the rice. You’ll need lots.
- 3 pounds baby back ribs, cut into individual ribs
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and minced
- ½ tablespoon annatto powder
- 1 cup vinegar
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- In wide pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring regularly until aromatic. Add atsuete powder and cook, stirring regularly, for about 1 minute.
- Add pork ribs and cook, stirring regularly to coat with annatto color, for about 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly seared.
- Add vinegar and bring to a boil, uncovered and without stirring, for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add soy sauce and water. Bring to a boil. Add bay leaves. Lower hear, cover and continue to cook for about 40 to 50 minutes or until meat is fork tender and sauce is reduced as desired. Add brown sugar and stir to disperse. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.