To eat Adobo is a birthright. Perfecting the recipe is a different story. Traditionally prepared with pantry basics such as vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns, the magic of adobo derives from the excellent balance of its flavors, in the alchemy of the process. Simmering tames the acidity of the vinegar, which then combines with the flavor of the meat to enhance it. Once you’ve mastered the fundamental elements, then you’re ready to develop your own version. There are as many recipes for adobo as there are Philippine islands, where this dish originates from. “Every island, an adobo adventure.” Just kidding!
This special recipe leans toward the gourmet direction. With the addition of Australian Carobs and Japanese Plum Gekkeikan, the dish can easily become the centerpiece of intimate dinner table settings at home. The great thing about adobo is that it’s pretty forgiving so ingredients can be adjusted to taste. You’ll thank me later but the idea is to stick with the staple ingredients to achieve the crave-worthy flavor, the meat ends up nicely seasoned and then there’s extra sauce to serve over rice or steamed greens.
Recipe: Special Adobo in Carob and Plum Wine Sauce
- 1 lb lean and boneless pork, cubed
- 1 1/2 lb skinless and boneless chicken thighs, cubed
MARINADE (ALSO BASE SAUCE)
- 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsps real soy sauce (e.g. Kikkoman)
- 3 tbsps real balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Herbes de Provence
- 1 pc small onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsps ginger, grated or finely diced
FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 tbsps The Australian Carob Co. Pure Carob Syrup
- 2 tbsps real Japanese Plum Wine
- In a large bowl, marinate the meat with olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper, herbes de provence, half of the diced onion, and half of the finely diced/grated ginger. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least three hours.
- In a large frying pan, sauté the rest of the diced onion and ginger with a little olive oil on medium high heat.
- Using a slotted spoon, add the marinated meat without the liquid (reserve/set aside the liquid).
- Toss the meat while sautéing until almost cooked.
- Add the reserved liquid and continue cooking while reducing the liquid.
- Add the carob syrup and the plum wine with some bay leaves. Cook while stirring until the liquid is further reduced and slightly thickened as a sauce.
- Serve with rice, mashed or baked potato, pasta, or salad. It's up to you. Enjoy!
NOTE. My husband is allergic to garlic so I skipped that part. Omitting it didn’t affect the overall flavor profile.