Filipino Pork Adobo
My version of Filipino Pork Adobo is marinated with vinegar, soy sauce, and bay leaves, and then simmered, browned, and served with sauce. And if you serve this with cauliflower rice it can be a low-carb meal.
In the Philippines, there’s a style of cooking commonly called Adobo, in which chicken, pork, or a combination of the two are cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, and water that’s been seasoned with lots of garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper. Then the meat is browned or grilled, and served with the cooking liquid, which is reduced to a tasty thick brown sauce.
Of course I haven’t had this in the Phillipines (yet!), so I’m not claiming the variation I ended up with is an authentic recipe for Filipino Pork Adobo, but it was seriously delicious, easy to make, and low in carbs! Cooks all over the Philippines have their own take on this dish, and a few Pinoy bloggers have weighed in on my version in the comments if anyone is interested.
What ingredients do you need?
- pork sirloin chops (or other boneless pork cut into cubes)
- vegetable oil
- cloves of garlic, finely chopped, or use Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- soy sauce or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link)
- white vinegar
- Bay Leaves (affiliate link)
- coarse ground black pepper
- Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link)
How did I come to try this Pork Adobo Recipe?
When this recipe for Pork Adobo appeared in my local newspaper years ago, I’d been hearing about Chicken Adobo and Pork Adobo for years, so I decided to give it a try. The recipe credit in the newspaper said the recipe was adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s Step-by-Step Cooking, and then I adapted it more when I made it and again when I revisited the recipe!
Don’t confuse this dish with Mexican Adobo!
Don’t confuse the word Adobo in this recipe from the Mexican sauce or spice blend that has the same name.
How to Make Filipino Pork Adobo:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- I used pork sirloin chops, which I trimmed and cut into cubes.
- The flavorful marinade is a mixture of garlic, soy sauce, white vinegar, vegetable oil, bay leaves, black pepper, and just a touch of sweetener.
- Marinate the pork cubes for a few hours in the refrigerator.
- Then put the marinade and pork in a pan that’s small enough to keep the pork pieces fairly submerged in the liquid, add 1/2 cup water, cover, and simmer on low until the pork is very tender, about 30-45 minutes.
- I turned the pork cubes once and this is how they looked part-way through cooking.
- When the pork cubes are tender add a little oil to a heavy pan, heat, and quickly brown the pork pieces on high. (If the heat is too low, it will toughen the meat; you want to barely brown the outside.)
- While the meat browns, turn the heat to high under the marinade mixture, remove bay leaves, and let it boil until it’s reduced by about half.
- This sauce is great over rice or cauliflower rice, or just put it over the pork cubes if you’d like. If you have a Fat Separator (affiliate link), you can use it to remove some of the fat before you reduce the sauce if you prefer.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal Meal:
More Cooks Like Pork Adobo:
Pork Adobo from Off the (Meat)hook
The Best Pork Adobo from Market Manila
CrockPot Pork Adobo with Black Beans from Pinch of Yum
- 1 1/2 lb. pork sirloin chops
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 12 cloves garlic, finely chopped (see notes)
- 6 T soy sauce
- 6 T white vinegar
- 2 T vegetable oil (don’t use less, this keeps the sauce from being too strong)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (see notes)
- Trim the pork sirloin chops to remove as much fat as you prefer, then cut chops into cubes about 2 inches.
- Put pork cubes in a small plastic bag or a plastic container with a snap-tight lid.
- In a glass measuring cup, combine minced garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, 2 T oil, bay leaves, ground black pepper, and sweetener.
- Pour this mixture over the pork cubes, seal the plastic bag or container, and refrigerate for about 4 hours.
- After pork has marinated for a few hours, put pork cubes and marinating liquid into a pan that’s small enough so the meat is mostly submerged, add 1/2 cup water, and bring to a low simmer.
- Cover, be sure heat is very low and simmer gently until the meat is tender, about 30-45 minutes. (I turned the pork cubes once after 30 minutes.)
- When the meat is very tender, heat the other tablespoon of oil in a large heavy pan, add pork cubes, and quickly brown using high heat. (If the heat is too low, it will toughen the meat; you want to barely brown the outside.)
- While the meat browns, turn the heat to high under the marinating liquid and boil until it’s reduced by about half.
- You can use a spoon or fat separator to remove some of the fat from the sauce.
- Serve hot, with rice or cauliflower rice on the side if desired.
I used 2 T minced garlic from a jar, you could use less if you aren’t crazy about garlic. I love Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link), but use any sweetener you prefer.
Original recipe adapted from Madhur Jaffrey and then adapted more by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 955mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 34g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you serve the Pork Adobo with cauliflower rice, this would be a great low-carb or Keto meal. It’s also suitable for low-glycemic eating plans including the original South Beach Diet. It would be recommended to use meat with 10% fat or less if you’re making this for South Beach; other plans might prefer meat with plenty of fat.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Pork Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest or on Facebook to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
My variation of Filipino Pork Adobo was first posted in 2005. Through the years I adapted the recipe several times, and the recipe was last updated in 2022.