Tagalog Adobo

Monday, February 20th 2023

Tagalog Adobo

Tagalog Adobo is a popular dish in the Philippines that originated in the Tagalog region, which includes the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon. It is a classic Filipino dish that is known for its tangy and savory flavor, and is often considered the national dish of the Philippines.

Adobo is made by marinating meat (usually pork or chicken) in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and other seasonings. The marinated meat is then simmered in the same marinade until it is cooked and tender, and the sauce thickens and becomes rich and flavorful. The dish is usually served over steamed rice and garnished with chopped green onions.

One of the things that makes Tagalog Adobo unique is the use of coconut milk or gata, which is added to the marinade to give the dish a rich, creamy texture. Other regional variations of Adobo include the use of different meats (such as beef or fish) or different flavorings (such as bay leaves or ginger).

Tagalog Adobo is often served at special occasions and family gatherings, and is a beloved and iconic dish in Filipino cuisine.

Classic Tagalog Adobo

A classic Tagalog Adobo recipe that's well-regarded:


  • 2 pounds boneless pork belly, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil


  1. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, water, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Mix well.
  2. Add the pork to the marinade, making sure that all the pieces are fully coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the marinated pork, reserving the marinade.
  4. Cook the pork for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is browned on all sides.
  5. Pour in the reserved marinade and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the pork simmer for about 1 hour or until it is tender and fully cooked.
  7. Serve hot with steamed rice and garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.

Enjoy your delicious and savory Tagalog Adobo!

Other Variations

Adobo is a beloved Filipino dish that has many regional variations and adaptations. Here are a few:

  1. Chicken Adobo: Chicken Adobo is a popular version of Adobo made with chicken instead of pork. It is often made with bone-in chicken pieces and can be prepared using the same basic recipe as Pork Adobo.

  2. Adobong Puti: Adobong Puti is a variation of Adobo that is made without soy sauce, resulting in a lighter-colored dish. It is typically made with vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves, and can be made with either chicken or pork.

  3. Adobong Pusit: Adobong Pusit is a version of Adobo made with squid. The squid is typically cleaned and sliced into rings before being cooked in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and other spices.

  4. Adobo sa Gata: Adobo sa Gata, also known as Adobo with Coconut Milk, is a variation of Adobo that includes coconut milk in the recipe. The coconut milk gives the dish a creamy, rich flavor that is different from the traditional savory Adobo.

  5. Adobo Flakes: Adobo Flakes is a popular breakfast dish in the Philippines that features shredded, crispy pork or chicken that has been cooked in Adobo sauce and then fried until crispy. It is often served with garlic rice and fried eggs.

  6. Pork Belly Adobo: Pork Belly Adobo is a version of Adobo made with pork belly, a cut of meat that is rich and fatty. The pork belly is cooked in the Adobo sauce until it is tender and then broiled or pan-fried until crispy.

These are just a few of the many variations of Adobo that exist in the Philippines. Each region and family may have their own unique recipe and preparation style, making Adobo a versatile and beloved dish that can be adapted to suit any taste.