This recipe for adobo was derived from my mother’s recipe. Everyone I know makes their adobo just a bit differently, adapted to their family’s taste and available ingredients. Enjoy!
2 lbs pork shoulder or loin, cut into 1½-inch cubes
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1/3 C soy sauce
2/3 C palm or white vinegar
2/3 C water
1 t whole black peppercorns
1-2 pinches salt
1-2 pinches ground black pepper
1 t sugar
2 T cooking oil
In a large stainless steel or enameled casserole heat oil to medium-high, then fry garlic until tender. Add meat, sprinkle with salt and ground pepper, and fry until pieces are browned on all sides. Add soy sauce, vinegar and water; do not stir until the liquid boils. When liquid boils, add peppercorns and bay leaves, then stir. Lower heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, until pork is tender. Stir occasionally to thoroughly coat pork pieces in liquid. Bring liquid back up to a boil, sprinkle sugar, stir, then allow to boil for 1-2 minutes.
At this point you have two options:
1. Reduce the juices to desired thickness. Serve with juices to pour over rice or as a dip for puto (steamed rice cakes).
2. Reduce liquid completely and let pork fry in the remaining oil or fat until crisp. (Usually more of an option if you use pork loin with skin, since more fat is rendered while you cook.)
Note: Remember that the bay leaves are not edible and that the peppercorns do not taste good if you bite into them.