Pork Adobo (from the Philippines)
Pork Adobo is a Filipino-inspired recipe for pork that’s marinated with vinegar, soy sauce, and bay leaves. Then it’s simmered and then browned, and if you serve with cauliflower rice this tasty recipe is low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Use Pork Recipes to find more recipes like this one.
In the Philippines, there’s a style of cooking commonly called Adobo, in which chicken, pork, or most often a combination of the two are cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, and water which has been seasoned with lots of garlic, bay leaves, and black pepper. Then the meat is browned or even grilled, and served with the cooking liquid, which is reduced to a tasty thick brown sauce. I’ve seen recipes for this in many different places, but when this recipe appeared in my local newspaper back in 2005, I decided to give it a try.
The recipe credit in the paper says “Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s Step-by-Step Cooking” and then I adapted it more when I made it in 2005 and again when I revisited the recipe, so I am not claiming this is an authentic Filipino recipe, although I think cooks all over the Philippines have their own version of this dish. But authentic or not, this was seriously delicious. By the way, don’t confuse the word Adobo in this recipe from the Mexican sauce or spice blend that has the same name.
I used pork sirloin chops, which I trimmed well 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 Splenda or sugar. 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, then 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, you can use it to remove some of the fat before you reduce the sauce if you prefer.)
Make it a Meal:
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Pork Adobo (from the Philippines)
Pork Adobo is a Filipino-inspired recipe for pork that’s marinated with vinegar, soy sauce, and bay leaves.
- 1 1/2 lb. pork sirloin chops
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 12 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used 2 T minced garlic from a jar, you could use less if you aren’t crazy about garlic)
- 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. sweetener or sugar (use approved sweetener for low-carb)
- Trim the pork sirloin chops so most of the fat is removed, then cut chops into chunks about 1 1/2 to 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 Splenda.
- Pour this mixture over the pork cubes, seal the plastic bag or container, and refrigerate for a few 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 on the side if desired.
Original recipe adapted from Madhur Jaffrey and then adapted more by Kalyn.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you serve this Pork Adobo with cauliflower rice, this would be a great low-carb meal that’s also suitable for low-glycemic eating plans including the 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.
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