Adobo Frustration

United States
November 5, 2011 11:29am CST
I love a good adobo and I know I have made a good one before but I have, alas, lost that particular recipe! Don't you hate it when you find a recipe that you really like and it gets lost? My biggest problem is that my adobo tends to turn out way too vinegary. I have tried using different vinegars, changing the ratio of vinegar/soy sauce, adding veggies and spices to try and cut the vinegar...all in vain. So the search for the perfect adobo recipe continues. Do you have a favorite recipe you use? Where did you get it from and how do you avoid the vinegar taste? Do you have any links you can share?
1 person likes this
7 responses
@tamirs (1808)
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
Hi there alaskanray, My daughters favorite dish is pork adobo, so here in our house,we perfected cooking pork adobo. :-) We put all the ingredients together like, pork and spices except the vinegar. We set it aside for one night in our fridge.Next day we cook it.we always put whole eggs before we let it simmer till tender,then put vinegar without covering and remember to not mix it after putting the vinegar till it boils. We now can take the excess stock,set aside the soup stock.Let it fry a little in its own oil.. Then mix the stock again so that kids have something saucy to mix with their rice. Hope it helps :-D
@airkulet (2705)
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
wow, I didn't know about not mixing it until it boils
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 11
Thanks, Tamirs. Now, I just need to find a good recipe...
@tamirs (1808)
• Philippines
7 Nov 11
@ Airkulet, My mom said the vinegar will become too acidic it you mix it without letting it boil first.. @ alaskanray, hope it helps with your problem with the vinegar. :-)
1 person likes this
@louievill (18668)
• Philippines
5 Nov 11
OMG friend, there are hundreds of ways to prepare that dish. even the origin is obscure but I would just presume you are referring to Filipino adobo . we don't put any veggie to our adobo, much more use it to cut the vinegary taste, cut on the vinegar instead. We prefer to use cane vinegar if we want the native taste, sugar may also be used at times to cut vinegar but I know it's not good for you. We just bash the garlic but we don't peel it, the skin goes in there too, other essentials in Philippine adobo are, bay leaf or what we call laurel and whole pepper corns , like the other post some use soy and some do not, it's Chinese soy we use and not the Japanese(like kikoman) I lost a favorite recipe once and have not found the very old book since ( wonder where it went), and the family is missing it, it's called Poached fish in mock hollandaise sause (easier and more practical to make than real hollandaise).
• United States
5 Nov 11
Yes, I know there are as many ways to prepare adobo as there are stars in the sky. lol I put veggies in because I like veggies in my food. I have been using the bay leaves as that was one thing I remember using in the recipe that I did like. I sure wish I could find that recipe as it turned out so good! And I don't think it called for sugar at all. If I want to use sugar, I will make sweet n sour. The adobo I remember that I loved had its own unique flavor, not vinegary but not sweet, either. Just yummy.
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
The pork adobo with brown sugar or white sugar is called humba i think...
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@louievill (18668)
• Philippines
7 Nov 11
@pepai123456, yeah humba is similar to adobo in a way but it's an entirely different dish or recipe, humba makes use of pork only and it's pork belly most of the time. Adobo could be done to pork ,chicken, kangkong, eggs, wild game birds etc... it's more diversified.
1 person likes this
@janevi (889)
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
To avoid the too obvious vinegar taste in your adobo, try to put it when your pork or chicken is already cooked. let it simmer until it is absorbed by the food you are cooking. Adding a brown sugar can also enhance the taste of your adobo and if you can find the dried banana blossom, you add it.It will add that savory taste. Of course I presume that you have sauted all the spices like onions, garlic, ginger before adding the main ingredient, pork or chicken. Always enjoy cooking. ;-)
• United States
6 Nov 11
Okay, now I am confused. I guess I just need to find my recipe that I used to have. I don't know what it was about that recipe that made it turn out so perfect. I thought it might have to do with the bay leaves but this last batch I used the bay leaves and it still turned out vinegary so I have no idea what I am doing wrong.
@airkulet (2705)
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
my mom used also a tomato just to minimize sourness
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 11
Yes, I have used tomatoes, too, and it still turned out sour. Frustration city!
• Philippines
5 Nov 11
The original Tagalog adobo doesn't call for soy sauce just vinegar and water and spices... You can try reducing your vinegar to 1/4 cup and 1/2 soy sauce with 1/2 cup water for every kilo of chicken or pork. It really depends on your taste... have a great day =)
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Nov 11
All the recipes I have found have called for both in varying ratios. I know there is a way to get the taste of the vinegar to dissipate. The adobo I have had that my Filipino friends have made never tasted of vinegar and this one recipe I used to have didn't, either. But it has been hard finding one that turns out like that for me. What is the secret is what I want to know.
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
Its either because of the vinegar you are using or you didn't let the sauce reduce? The adobo that my mother make doesn't have the vinegary taste and she doesn't use any recipe.This is why I am really hesitant to cook because im much of a baker i prefer to have a full prof recipe than trusting my instinct and i don't like twicking the food while its cooking thats why i like to bake XD.I think you just have to experiment hehe... have a great day =)
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 11
Oh, I let the sauce reduce...in fact this last time it was down to barely moist. I don't know what the secret is. I had one recipe that worked but just cannot find it again. I guess I'll just have to keep searching until I find it, eh?
@airkulet (2705)
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
This is my experience too, whenever I cooked adobo it turns out too sour and if not too salty. My cousin says that maybe it never reach the right time to cook it. She also said that do not put water in it
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 11
Yes, I don't usually put water in, either. Some recipes have called for water or broth while others have not. There are so many different recipes out there, one can get literally lost in them. I guess I'll just have to keep trying them all until I find one that works.
@ferbjohn69 (1129)
• Philippines
6 Nov 11
Here in philippines,adobo is really popular.You can always have one everywhere because almost all restaurants here serve it.:) My mom always cook it for us,and her recipe is one of the best for me.It is simple but delicious.:)She already taught me how to cook it.:) This is to do it. -Put the oil(any oil you want except crude oil and baby oil.hehe) in the pan. -Wait until the oil heats up then put the garlic.When the garlic is somehow brown,put the sliced onion. -Then put the soy sauce and the chicken or pork meat and black pepper. -Put some water when the meat is almost tender. -When the meat is starting to become tender put the potato. -When the potato is starting to be tender it means that the meat is almost cooked.Pour the vinegar.You can taste the adobo so you will know if the vinegar is enough.If it is not enough you can add more until you achieve the desired taste. When the meat is completely cooked the adobo is ready. We have more complicated recipes here.Some have additional ingredients like pineapple,etc.But it's more complicated to cook them so i decided to share to you the ingredient of the easier one.:) I hope it helps.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 11
Thanks, ferb...I had not heard of putting potatoes in adobo before. Interesting.
6 Nov 11
I so love adobo.. the way I cook is is I mix everything up in the pan.. my vinegar is around 1/2 cup but it mostly depends on how much meat i am cooking. Bay leaves good it adds aroma on my adobo. You let everything simmer until its cooked. My love my adobo coz its SPICY and sweet.. so I put a about half tbsp of sugar(to taaste really)and bell peppers..the best thing for adobo is that is relative to taste and everybody has its own way of making it..
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Nov 11
Yah, I know. There are a bazillion recipes online for it. I just wish I could find the recipe I used to have. It was soooo good!