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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.

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 the idiot-proof recipe.

Pork Garlic Adobo with Egg in a bowl

First things first, let’s talk about the ingredients. The list below are the basics that I personally use. Some recipes may not have sugar but it is a staple in all my adobo recipes. I use a couple of teaspoons at the minimum to balance the saltiness of the soy sauce. Sometimes I add more if I feel like eating sweet adobo.

Laurel leaf or bay leaf is a classic adobo ingredient. I listed it as optional because you can still make adobo even if you don’t have it. Purists, please don’t be mad at me 🙂

Filipino Adobo Marinade Ingredients

  • Filipino soy sauce
  • vinegar
  • garlic
  • sugar
  • black pepper
  • laurel leaf or bay leaf (optional)

Pork Garlic Adobo in a pot

Hungry for more? Try these Filipino recipes 

Pork Menudo (no tomato sauce)
Easy Chicken Afritada
Chicken Puchero with Baked Beans

How to make dry or saucy Pork adobo

Do you like it saucy or dry? I like both. Just on different days. My toddler, on the other hand, loves the thickened and rich adobo sauce. Drizzle over rice? Oh yum! She’s probably like any other Filipino kid out there.

So in this recipe, you will have the option to make it saucy or dry. Best of both worlds!

  • First, braise the meat in the marinade with water in a sealed pot. Sealing retains the liquid whilst slowly tenderizing the meat. Once the liquid starts boiling, lower the heat to medium. At this point, you don’t have to do anything else except maybe wash the dishes and other stuff 🙂
  • 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.
  • Once the meat is fork-tender, remove the lid and continue braising until sauce is thickened. This is the point where I add the other spices like black pepper, bay leaf, and chili if you want it spicy.
  • When the sauce has slightly thickened, it’s basically done. 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.
  • 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.

Watch how to make Pork and Garlic Adobo




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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Filipino
Keyword: garlic adobo, pork adobo
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 467kcal
Author: Mella

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.

Notes

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 preffered. 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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