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With Adobo, Life Is Grand No Matter What You Cook

July 17, 2014       Arts and Culture


Life is Grand no Matter what you Cook

The dish that made popular Pinoy TV Chef Logro, the King's personal chef when he was assigned to work in a Middle-East country is none other than adobo rack of lamb.  Not surprised?  As Spanish and Filipino-Chinese already know, the tastiest meat dish recipe that works for any kind of meat  is the blessed adobo.  From poor man's feast to a king's dinner, no other dish can quite match our favorite Pinoy meat dish as comfort food or even as cheap pulutan fare.

For off-the-grid survival fare, adobo can last for up to a month in the fridge, for the pork or chicken types.  And up to a week, stored out in the open in a closed container, set aside in a cool dry place.  It can also be easily recycled as leftover meals.  The national recipe for this delectable meat dish is made up of any meat cut, simmered for an hour or so in a cooking marinade of vinegar and soy sauce, with peppercorns, salt and a laurel leaf.  The meat becomes a tasty bomb of flavor sitting in oily gravy left from the simmer, often used to flavor the fried rice or steaming hot rice:  (like a meal in itself for some folks—the adobo sauce).

Chicken Adobo                                              CC BY 2.0  / bgg1979 on flickr      

When the SHTF...Adobo Everything!

In the northern part of the Philippines, the Ilocanos subsist on adobo mostly made up of sea-food, like adobong pusit for example for the fisherfolk.  Or adobong palaka (frogs) for farmers in the ricefield areas.

Bicolanos who live off the land enjoy spicier adobo using siling labuyo as additional rekado aside from the traditional peppercorns. The adobo lovers not only like their meat spicy, they cook their adobo with gata or coconut milk to enhance the savory meat into a glorious spicy meal no other recipe can match.

 Even fish steaks can be cooked adobo-style or what is usually called paksiw na isda--a stew cooked in vinegar and a slight dash of soy sauce.

Vegans can also have a taste of the adobo fancy. Adobong sitaw (string beans), or adobong kangkong (swamp spinach) besides being a vegan gourmand's special treat, are also a poor man's heavenly fare if there is no meat on the table. 

When the shit hits the fan, and a Pinoy wants his food to last as long as it can, expect him to cook adobo everything.  Life is always grand for us Pinoys, who can subsist on adobong sitaw when times are lean. And even cook for kings and heads of state or for ourselves: Amazing adobo rack of lamb, whenever we can afford to enjoy a really royal meal.


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