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    Filipino Pork Adobo

    Tender, melt in your mouth pork loaded with tons of flavors, cooked for hours to make a rich, savory stew… that’s our Pork Adobo for you!

    This version of Pork Adobo is tad bit more tasty and addictive. It’s called Adobo sa Gata! It takes the classic adobo and adds a creamy twist with the addition of coconut milk.

    The end result is a rich, creamy pork stew with a savory, slightly tangy flavor. Let’s make this quintessential dish out of the Philippines, often considered the national dish… Pork Adobo!!

    This Filipino Pork Adobo recipe features pork that is well marinated and then slow simmer to succulent tender perfection. It's yum!

    I am absolutely in love with cracking Filipino flavors. Some favorites that I have cooked for you in the past include Chicken Caldereta, Pork Menudo and Chicken Asado.

    All these stews are jam packed with delicate, yet bold flavors. I’ve cooked Adobo for my family many times, and finally I am very excited to present you with my version of Pork Adobo.

    This Filipino Pork Adobo recipe features pork that is well marinated and then slow simmer to succulent tender perfection. It's yum!

    What is Filipino Adobo?

    Adobo is considered a national dish of the Philippines, with a long history. Whether it’s a family dinner or a festive gathering, their beloved Adobo finds its place at the Filipino table.

    Adobo refers to a method of marinating and simmering meat, often chicken, pork, or a combination of both, in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns. The result is a savory, slightly tangy, and extremely flavorful dish, which I just can’t get enough of.

    The name “adobo” comes from the Spanish word “adobar,” which means to marinate or season. When Spanish colonizers arrived in the Philippines in the 16th century, they adapted a native cooking method of marinating meat in vinegar, salt, and spices, then simmering it.

    They recognized this method as being similar to their own marinating techniques, and thus referred to it as “adobo.” The name stuck, even though the Filipino version of adobo is different from Spanish marinating practices.

    This Filipino Pork Adobo recipe features pork that is well marinated and then slow simmer to succulent tender perfection. It's yum!

    What is Adobo sa Gata?

    Adobo sa Gata is a delicious variation, and it uses coconut milk, or “gata” in Tagalog.

    While adobo is considered a national dish and is found throughout the Philippines, the addition of coconut milk is more typical of regions where coconuts are abundant.

    The Bicol Region, located in the southeastern part of Luzon, is particularly known for its use of coconut milk in various dishes, including adobo. Coconut milk adds a rich creaminess to the dish and mellows the strong flavors of the vinegar and soy sauce.

    It’s my personal favorite variation of adobo. I hope you’ll agree!

    This Filipino Pork Adobo recipe features pork that is well marinated and then slow simmer to succulent tender perfection. It's yum!

    Ingredients Needed

    • Pork shoulder/pork butt – The star of the dish, cut into chunks.
    • White vinegar: – Adds a tangy kick, important for that authentic Adobo taste.
    • Soy sauce – The main salty, umami component.
    • Bay leaves – Great in so many stew like dishes.
    • Black peppercorn – Some use it whole, some grind it a bit.
    • Onion – Sliced thin to make the stew base.
    • Garlic – Finely chopped, and plenty of it!
    • Red chili flakes – For a hint of spiciness.
    • Coconut milk – What makes it Adobo sa Gata. Full fat coconut milk is best.
    • Brown sugar – Adds a touch of sweetness to balance the tangy and salty elements.
    • For garnish – Sliced red chilis and the green parts of scallions.

    Pork Adobo Sa Gata Recipe

    1. Marinate the Pork: Combine the pork with vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a large bowl. Toss to coat, cover, and marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.

    marinating the pork

    2. Brown the Pork: Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove pork from marinade (reserve the marinade) and brown in batches until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

    seared pork chunks on a plate

    3. Sauté the Aromatics: Add more oil if needed, then the onion, garlic, and red chili flakes to the pan. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, or till the onion softens.

    adding the pork back in atop the onions

    4. Simmer the Adobo: Add the pork, reserved marinade, and 1 cup of water. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    the dish after simmering, but before adding the coconut milk

    5. Add Coconut Milk and Sugar: Stir in the brown sugar and coconut milk. Cook, uncovered, for an hour or until the pork is tender, and the liquid has reduced to a thick consistency.

    full cooked adobo in the skillet

    6. Adjust Seasoning and Garnish: Taste and adjust for salt. Garnish with red chili and scallions. Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious Adobo sa Gata!

    This Filipino Pork Adobo recipe features pork that is well marinated and then slow simmer to succulent tender perfection. It's yum!

    Recipe Notes and Tips

    • Choose the Right Cut: We like pork shoulder or pork butt for a tender and flavorful result. If you prefer, pork belly can add an extra richness. Lean cuts like loin are not appropriate for this type of cooking.
    • Marinate Well: Don’t rush the marinating process, it’s one of the most important parts of this recipe. Let the pork marinate for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.
    • Simmer Slowly: Patience is key. Simmer the Adobo gently to allow the flavors to meld, and the pork to become super tender.
    • Mind the Consistency: Cook until the sauce reduces to a thick consistency. It should be rich and flavorful, not watery.
    • Use Full Fat Coconut Milk: This creates the creamy and decadent texture. My preferred brand is Goya.
    • Serve with the Right Accompaniments: Adobo sa Gata pairs beautifully with steamed rice or crusty bread to soak up the delcious sauce.
    This Filipino Pork Adobo recipe features pork that is well marinated and then slow simmer to succulent tender perfection. It's yum!

    Possible Variations

    1. Protein swap: Use chicken, beef or pork belly for the same recipe.

    2. For a spicy kick: Add 2-3 chopped red Thai chilies to give it some zing.

    3. Drop the “gata”: Skip the coconut milk and make traditional adobo by cooking the meat only in a vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorn, and bay leaf base, along with garlic.

    Leftovers and Storing

    Pork Adobo is absolutely delicious as leftovers, like any other stew. All the flavors enhance as it sits overnight. To store leftovers, allow to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container.

    Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave or on stove top until heated through.

    More Stews from Around the World

    Mexican Beef Birria
    Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
    Italian Chicken Cacciatore
    Puerto Rican Sancocho
    Moroccan Beef Tagine
    Dominican Pollo Guisado
    Senegalese Beef Maafe
    French Coq au Vin

    This Filipino Pork Adobo recipe features pork that is well marinated and then slow simmer to succulent tender perfection. It's yum!

    Make our version of Pork Adobo with coconut milk, and share this Filipino classic with your friends and family! Enjoy the journey of cooking through all these amazing cuisines with GypsyPlate.

    Filipino Pork Adobo, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    bowl of pork adobo atop the Gypsy Plate
    featured image for filipino pork adobo recipe

    Filipino Pork Adobo

    Yield: 4-6 servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
    Total Time: 2 hours

    This Filipino Pork Adobo recipe features pork that is well marinated and then slow simmer to succulent tender perfection. It's yum!

    Ingredients

    • 2lbs pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into chunks (you can also use pork belly)
    • ⅓ cup white vinegar
    • ⅓ cup soy sauce
    • 3-4 bay leaves
    • ½ tsp black peppercorns
    • 2-3 Tbsp oil
    • 1 onion, thinly sliced
    • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • ¼ tsp red chili flakes
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 red chili, for garnish
    • scallion (green parts), for garnish

    Instructions

    Stove Top Method

    1. Marinate the pork with vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves and peppercorns in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours to marinate.
    2. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Take the pork pieces out of marinade, shaking off the excess, reserve the marinade. Brown the pork, in batches, for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
    3. Heat a little more oil, if needed, and add the onion, garlic and red chili flakes. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or till the onion softens.
    4. Add the pork, reserved marinade and 1 cup of water. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
    5. Add the brown sugar and coconut milk. Cook, uncovered for an hour, or until the pork is melt in your mouth tender and the liquid is reduced, and adobo has a thick consistency. Taste and season for salt.
    6. Garnish with red chili and scallions, and serve immediately.

    Slow Cooker Method

    1. Combine the pork with vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a large bowl. Toss to coat and marinate for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.
    2. Optional, but highly recommended: Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Brown the pork in batches for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to the slow cooker.
    3. Place the reserved marinade, water, brown sugar, onion, garlic, and chili flakes into the slow cooker with the pork. Stir to combine.
    4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Add coconut milk halfway through cooking time.
    5. If the sauce needs thickening, you can cook the adobo uncovered in the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes.
    6. Check the seasoning, adding salt or additional spices as needed.
    7. Garnish with red chili and scallions and serve immediately.

    Instant Pot Method

    1. Combine the pork with vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a large bowl. Toss to coat and marinate for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours.
    2. Turn the Instant Pot on to the Sauté setting. Heat the oil, and brown the pork in batches for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
    3. Add a bit more oil if needed, and sauté the onion, garlic, and chili flakes until the onion softens.
    4. Add a little bit of water or broth to the pot, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. This helps prevent a burn warning during pressure cooking.
    5. Return the pork to the pot and add the reserved marinade, brown sugar, coconut milk, and water. Stir to combine.
    6. Lock the Instant Pot lid in place, and set the valve to Sealing. Cook on High Pressure for 30 minutes.
    7. Allow a natural pressure release for 15 minutes, then do a quick release for any remaining pressure.
    8. If the sauce needs thickening, use the Sauté function to simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.
    9. Check for seasoning and adjust with salt or additional spices if needed.
    10. Garnish with red chili and scallions. Serve hot over rice or with other preferred accompaniments.

    Notes

    1. The same recipe can be used with beef (chuck, short ribs or oxtail) or chicken (preferably thighs).
    2. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days, or freeze for 3 months.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 6 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 628Total Fat 48gSaturated Fat 20gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 24gCholesterol 148mgSodium 891mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 41g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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