In the house where I grew up, my grandmother made two kinds of adobo, neither of which had soy sauce. The first, my favorite, is his crispy adobo, fried pieces of liempo drizzled with a sauce made with vinegar, bay leaf, garlic and black peppercorns. It is best to eat it hot in a pan, when the skin is still crisp and the meat has not been soggy with the sauce.
She calls the other adobong puti – chicken in a sauce also made with vinegar, garlic, black pepper and bay leaf. But the chicken is not fried until it is crisp. It simmers in its sauce until the meat is tender and flavorful.
My grandmother, now 93, doesn’t spend time in the kitchen anymore, it’s Melinda, her trusted cook since I was in high school, carrying on her adobo traditions.
My other grandma makes the most popular version of adobo, that beautiful blend of soy sauce and vinegar, garlic and bay leaf, which we all know and love. It changes: sometimes it’s just pork, sometimes it’s a mixture of pork and chicken. What doesn’t change is that she always earns a ton – enough to feed her house and ours, my uncle’s and sometimes even his friends’.
I used to say that maybe my grandma makes her adobo in that magical pot of porridge from the fairy tale because it’s like it never goes out. And it’s a good thing. Because his adobo tastes better and better, days after cooking. When I want a comforting meal, nothing like hot rice topped with its adobo sauce and small pieces of meat left at the bottom of the pan.
Hard boiled eggs
A friend’s family cook adds hard-boiled eggs to their adobo, making them the perfect heavy, high-protein food for our camping trips.
Another friend’s mother adds quail eggs to her adobo and it’s absolutely delicious.
I write this next part with shame. Back when I was living with my Persian boyfriend (well, my ex now) it was he, not the Filipino in the relationship, who cooked the adobo in our tiny apartment. Its version was spicy, heavy on vinegar, and had the addition of marbled potatoes. When I brought Iranian saffron from Little Persia to Los Angeles, he made saffron adobo with three kinds of meat.
A friend makes adobo with sirloin steak.
I enjoyed the white adobo, brown adobo, red adobo, yellow adobo. Dry adobo and adobo swimming in the sauce. I ate adobo with annatto, liver, coconut milk, pineapple, ginger. Adobo wrapped in banana leaves, adobo arranged in a boodle fight, adobo in pan de sal, adobo in Aristocrat’s flying saucer.
I still miss the crispy adobo flakes with kesong puti from Café Bola. (Dear Margarita Fores, please report it.)
But why am I talking about adobo? Because earlier this week, it was announced that the Philippine Standards Bureau of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had formed a technical committee that would create a national standard for Filipino dishes, the first of which is adobo. .
The news sparked backlash, with many social media posts saying the same thing: leave adobo alone.
“Wag a mag-board exam and professionals pero i-standardize and adobo and sinigang. The times we live in, ”@barnabychuck wrote on Twitter.
@weonfayr tweeted: “Mabuhay! Welcome to the Philippines, where our standards for adobo are higher than our standards for government officials and services. “
Senator Kiko Pangilinan also reacted to the news on Twitter. “Unahin kaya an ayuda for magkaulam na adobo an milyon nagugutom nating mga kababayan kaysa i-standardize ito?”
@Punongbayan_ wrote: “Ask 10 households about their adobo recipes and you will get 10 responses. . . “
That is true. This journal has published an adobo column for years without running out of recipes. Heck, even TGIFriday’s serves adobo here. And that’s the beauty of our unofficial national dish: everyone has their own version and each version has its own story.
There was so much buzz online about adobo standardization that Commerce Secretary Mon Lopez had to shed some light on it.
For international promotion
They are standardizing adobo for international promotion, he said. “Para lang may based traditional recipe na ipo-promote pagka-abroad. . . Hindi po compulsory. Hindi po natin ini-standard is a timpla.
They are basically trying to do what Thailand did in 2013. Their National Innovation Agency has created standard recipes for tom yam goong, massamun, and pad thai so that Thai food tastes the same in Thai restaurants. of the whole world.
So don’t worry, DTI stays out of your mom’s and lola’s kitchens.
I would come up with a list of the best places that serve adobo, but I’m pretty sure you would tell me that nothing beats the adobo they cook.
I’ll just quote Chris Costello’s tweet: “The best adobo is the one that’s available right now.” INQ