Adobo is spanish for seasoning or marinade and is a common term in Latin American cooking. However when the Spanish invaded the Philippines in the late 16th century, they discovered an indigenous way of stewing with vinegar, and they called this cooking process adobo…and the name stuck. Now known as one of Philippines’ national dishes, the chicken or pork adobo is famous and very popular. My first taste of pork adobo was cooked by a filipino friend back in Australia…I remember my taste buds going ‘OOOOoooohhh’….the vinegary sauce was tinglingly delicious, so so so good with steamed white rice. I’ve never looked back since.
There are various methods of cooking adobo. I’ve tried the fry-then stew method, I’ve tried the stew-then fry/grill method…but this time I’ve gone for the marinade then stew method. So far, it’s my favourite because there’s no frying involved and it’s easy peasy – just the way I like it.
There’s an essential two to three hours of marinating. The chicken becomes seriously tasty from this process. All the vinegar, soy, pepper and bay leaves start working from this stage…
Because there’s no additional step of pan frying the chicken, the pot goes straight on the stove. Yay! No splattering of oil thank you very much.
In the background of the main photo, you’ll see the accompanying greens. It’s a standard thing isn’t it? Got to have our greens. Now, this one turned out to be a highlight for the hubby.
Dry fried green beans. I’ve come across this dish only in chinese restaurants, namely Sichuan cuisine. I always thought the wrinkly texture of the beans was from the restaurant’s blazing hot wok and tons of oil. However I’ve since found out that the very same dish is done by double frying the beans, which means it’s achievable in my non-blazing wok (electric cooking remember?) and with just a little oil.
Chilli, dried shrimp and garlic – the flavours were bold and the beans were as much a star of the meal as was the adobo.
EASY CHICKEN ADOBO
Recipe from food network
About 800g of chicken thighs and drumsticks
1/2 cup vinegar (white vinegar recommended, but I ran out, so I used chinese cooking vinegar)
1/2 cup light soy sauce
4 – 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Cover and marinate chicken for 2-3 hours. Bring to boil, then lower heat. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until sauce is reduced and thickened, and chicken is tender, about 20 more minutes.
DRY FRIED GREEN BEANS
Adapted from Appetite for China
3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 pound green beans – rinsed, dried, and chopped to 2-inch lengths
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 piece ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon dried shrimp,soaked and chopped
1 tablespoon chilli bean sauce
1 to 2 drops sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
Heat oil in a wok until just beginning to smoke. Add green beans and stir-fry, keeping the beans constantly moving, for about 5 minutes, or until the outsides begin to blister and the beans are wilted. Remove and set aside to drain on kitchen towels.
Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil. Add garlic, ginger, preserved vegetable, dried shrimp, and chilli paste; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Return beans to the wok. Add sugar and stir until well-combined. Salt to taste. Dish out onto serving plate and serve while hot.