#AllAdobosMatter: Adobong Puti Recipe

There is a lot of debate around adobo, the Philippines' unofficial national dish. Everybody has his own version, and it happens to be the best. Everyone's mom is better than the rest of the world.

Recently, social media has been ablaze with dialogue about this beloved dish because the Department of Trade and Industry wants to "standardize" the adobo recipe. Everybody was quick to defend their favorite dish, about how it differs from house to house, family to family, region to region, culture to culture. "There are better national issues to take care of," some say.

This discourse shall see no end because there are as many versions as there are islands in the country. Old-fashioned and traditional adobo, yes. Authentic? Tricky. A "standard recipe"? Impossible. People would put in what they want, depending on their preferences, their mood, what region they're from, how they learned it from their moms (in my case, Lola), or what's in their pantry.

However, how do you explain this dish to a bigger crowd, specifically to those who are unfamiliar with it? How do you teach a foreigner friend how to cook it? Do you tell him that your adobo is THE adobo? Or do you acknowledge the fact that it varies everywhere? For the sake of introducing this dish to that demographic, I can understand the "standardization". Moreover, we must remember that Filipino cuisine is not the only "regional" cuisine. When you search for paella or pad thai recipes on Google, you look for "authentic" paellas and pad thai—you look for "standard" recipes, too.

With that said, here's one of the 50 million versions of the beloved Filipino dish: Adobong Puti (White Adobo). It's named such because it has no soy sauce in it, unlike the most popular version. I personally prefer it using pork since all that fat will brown and turn to oil mingling with the (little) sauce. As you know, I'm reducing my red meat consumption so you can notice the portion control in this photo. Hahaha!

In addition, because of all the recent adobo talks, I thought of a new concept called #AllAdobosMatter, where we can share/swap adobo recipes! I'm starting today, with one of the simplest yet yummiest versions (and a classic too). The recipe, using only 8 ingredients, is below! Tag me on Instagram (@pepesamson) and use #AllAdobosMatter when you make this. Enjoy!

Adobong Puti

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 70 - 90 minutes
Servings: 5 - 6


1kg pork, preferably the fatty cuts
1 whole garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 cup vinegar
2 cups water
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp salt + more to taste
cooking oil


1. In a large heavy-bottom pan, put all ingredients except cooking oil. Cover and bring to a boil.
2. Once boiling, lower heat to medium and let it simmer until the pork is very tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Once pork is as tender as you like, remove pork pieces from the mixture and set aside. Reserve the marinating liquid.
4. Put oil on the pan and fry the pork pieces until browned on both sides. Make sure you ready those shields (i.e. pan covers) as these splatter a lot. 
5. When all pork pieces are nicely brown, put back the liquid.
6. Put heat on medium. Let the liquid reduce until it's almost all oil and softened garlic bits. At this point, you can also adjust the seasoning of the pork.
7. Serve with steamed rice and top with fried garlic bits (optional).

What's your favorite adobo version? What do you think of this recipe?

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