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Easy Pork and Garlic Adobo

This is the only Pork Adobo recipe you’ll ever need. It’s simple and easy—no marination, no need to cook twice. You can make it saucy or make it dry. It’s garlicky with an option to make it spicy. Yes, this recipe will show you how to customize your adobo in several different ways.

FILIPINO ADOBO

Adobo is the most popular dish in the Philippines but most importantly it is the most popular in our household. It is my daughter’s ultimate favorite Filipino food next to Sinigang. I cook it for her almost every other day. I know, that’s crazy but you gotta give them what they love right?

I’ve been perfecting my adobo recipe for many years now. The different methods I’ve tried all produced delicious adobo but today I’m sharing the easiest, simplest and idiot-proof recipe.

ADOBO SAUCE INGREDIENTS

First things first, let’s talk about the ingredients. Below are the basics that I personally use. 

Pork Garlic Adobo with Egg in a bowl

SOY SAUCE

I recommend using the classic Filipino soy sauce to get that authentic adobo flavor. It can be substituted with any regular soy sauce but you will need to experiment with the amount because the saltiness does vary.

What I don’t recommend are light soy sauce/ low sodium and premium dark soy sauce. The former is doesn’t have enough flavor and color, while the latter is too dark and thick and less salty.

VINEGAR

For the vinegar, I personally love using white rice vinegar (not seasoned). It’s less acidic and mild in flavor.

It can be substituted with cane vinegar, coconut vinegar, and apple cider vinegar.

Sukang Iloko is also a favorite of many Ilocanos when making adobo. It is made of sugar cane and has a unique strong acidic scent.

GARLIC

Adobo is never complete without garlic. Onions can be optional but not garlic. To fully enjoy the garlic flavor, pan-roast in warm oil until lightly caramelized. Sprinkle over adobo before it finishes cooking.

OTHER ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS

  • sugar – is added to help balance the salt in adobo. Some add more of it for a sweeter adobo version.
  • whole black pepper and bay leaf/laurel leaf gives adobo its signature aroma. Laurel can be omitted if preferred or if not available.

HOW TO MAKE THE EASIEST PORK ADOBO

Filipino Adobo Recipe

Place pork in a pot together with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and black peppercorn.

Pork Adobo step by step recipe

To make adobo saucy and not too salty, add water. Having enough liquid will allow you to cook pork until it’s tender. I’ve seen other people add more soy sauce to increase the liquid. DON’T DO IT!
Easy Adobo Recipe
Cover the pot with a lid and bring to boil. Set the heat to medium heat and cook the pork until tender. Cooking with lid on, cooks the meat evenly without dispersing the liquid.

Boiled Pork Adobo

If the sauce has evaporated too quickly (caused by different factors such as using wide pot etc.) and the meat is still not tender, just add more water. IT WILL EVAPORATE (just remove the lid). So don’t worry the sauce won’t be diluted.

Pork Garlic Adobo in a pot

Once the meat is fork-tender, remove the lid and continue braising until the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Note that as the liquid evaporates, the sauce becomes saltier so be careful with adding more soy sauce or salt.

TYPES OF PORK ADOBO

  • Saucy Adobo: Once the meat is tender, remove the lid and continue braising until the sauce has slightly thickened. At this point, you can adjust the seasonings accordingly.
  • Dry Adobo: Scoop out some of the sauce and set aside. Skip this step if preferred. Continue braising the meat until sauce becomes thicker and the fat starts to come out. 
  • Sweet Adobo. Just add more sugar! Use white or brown.
  • Spicy Adobo. Add red-eye chili to make it hot and spicy or green chili to make it mildly spicy.

Cooking Notes:

  • The cooking time will depend on the type of meat cut and the thickness of the meat. If the liquid starts to run out and the meat is still tough, just add more water. Start with 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Want a dry adobo? Scoop out some of the thickened sauce and set it aside. Continue braising the meat with the remaining liquid until the fat comes out.

Hungry for more? Try these Filipino recipes

Watch how to make Pork and Garlic Adobo

 

Pork and garlic adobo in a bowl

Easy Pork and Garlic Adobo Recipe

The most tender and succulent garlicky pork adobo you'll ever make. This is a simple and easy recipe—no marination needed, no need to cook twice. You can make it saucy, dry, sweet or spicy.
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Servings: 6 servings
Author: Mella
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 900 grams /2 pounds cubed pork (I used a mix of pork belly and pork shoulder (kasim))
  • 5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon soy sauce (I used Silver swan)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (coconut or cane)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup water (add more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 piece bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 piece red chili (optional)

Pan-roasted garlic

  • 1 whole garlic (peeled, cloves separated)
  • 2 teaspoons cooking oil

Instructions

Pan-roasted garlic

  • In a small pan add oil and peeled garlic cloves. Turn on the heat and pan-fry medium to low heat. Cover with lid and allow to soften and brown, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Pork Adobo

  • Place slices of pork in a pot. Add garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and water. Turn on the heat and set to high. Once it starts boiling, set heat to medium-low and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until meat is fork-tender.
  • Add black peppercorn, bay leaf, and red chilies (if using). Continue cooking uncovered until the liquid is slightly reduced. Set aside some of the sauce if preferred otherwise let it further reduced until oil starts appearing. Remove from heat once the desired thickness of the sauce is achieved.

Recipe Notes and Tips:

Variations:
  • Saucy Adobo: Once the meat is tender, remove the lid and continue braising until the sauce has slightly thickened. At this point, you can adjust the seasonings accordingly.
  • Dry Adobo: Scoop out some of the sauce and set aside. Skip this step if preferred. Continue braising the meat until sauce becomes thicker and the fat starts to come out. 
  • Sweet Adobo. Just add more sugar! Use white or brown.
  • Spicy Adobo. Add red-eye chili to make it hot and spicy or green chili to make it mildly spicy.
Other notes:
  • The cooking time will depend on the type of meat cut and the thickness of the meat. If the liquid starts to run out and the meat is still tough, just add more water. Start with 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Note that as the liquid evaporates, the sauce becomes saltier so be careful with adding more soy sauce or salt.
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Course : Main Course
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : garlic adobo, pork adobo
Nutrition Facts
Easy Pork and Garlic Adobo Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 467
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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