Filipino Pork Adobo
Filipino Pork Adobo is marinated with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and bay leaves, and then simmered, browned, and served with the sauce. Of course in the Philippines this would be served with rice, but if you serve this Pork Adobo with cauliflower rice it can be a low-carb meal.
Filipino Pork Adobo is a traditional dish that comes from the Philippines, where there’s a style of cooking called Adobo. In the Filipino Adobo recipes 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, so I’m not claiming the variation I ended up with here is a completely authentic recipe for Pork Adobo, but it was seriously delicious, easy to make, and only has 3 net carbs in a serving!
And along the way of trying the recipe I discovered that 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 saying it’s an acceptable variation. I hope you enjoy trying it if you like the sound of these ingredients!
What ingredients do you need?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- 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)
What made me try Filipino Pork Adobo?
When the inspiring recipe for this Pork Adobo appeared in my local newspaper years ago I’d been hearing about Chicken Adobo and Pork Adobo for a long time in the international food blogging community that was so fun in those days, 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 (affiliate link), and then I adapted it more when I made it and again when I revisited the recipe!
Is this an authentic Filipino Pork Adobo recipe?
I haven’t been to the Phillipines, although I do have a nephew who lived there for a few years and raved about the food. So I am definitely not claiming that this is an authentic recipe for Pork Adobo. But when I first made it for my blog I knew a number of Filipino food bloggers, and several of them left early comments on the recipe saying ” there are thousands of versions of the dish, but you were able to capture a popular method of making it” and “Pinoy food blogger here…yep Adobo can be done just like the way you’ve made it.” So I think my version is not bad, but of course I do hope I get to go to the Phillipines and try it some day!
Don’t confuse Filipino Pork Adobo with Mexican Adobo!
Don’t confuse the word Adobo in this recipe with the Mexican sauce or spice blend that’s also called Adobo.
How to Make Filipino Pork Adobo:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- I used pork sirloin chops, which I trimmed and cut into cubes. You need a cut of pork with at least some fat for this recipe.
- 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 the marinade 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:
Want another tasty option for Filipino Adobo?
If you like the ingredients in the Adobo cooking liquid, you might also like to see my recipe for Filipino Chicken Adobo, which has been popular on the site.
- 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 this Pork Adobo with cauliflower rice, this would be a great low-carb or Keto meal. It’s also suitable for the original South Beach Diet, although it would be recommended to use meat with 10% fat or less if you’re making this for South Beach and this dish is best made with a cut of pork with at least some 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, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube 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, with a photo that would make me shudder these days! Through the years I adapted the recipe several times, and the recipe was last updated with more information in 2023.