Where I grew up in California, there was a large Filipino population. Not nearly as large as the Mexican population, however so Mexican food became a lot more popular. Adobo recipes were for many years something I’d find in my Mexican cookbooks.
Then one day I was introduced by a friend to Filipino adobo. It is the same in name but is nothing like Mexican adobo.
Filipino adobo is much closer to Chinese. In fact when I served this to my family, they all thought it was a new Chinese dish.
Whatever its influences, Filipino adobo is awesome. There are so many recipes for chicken and pork belly adobo but I think this is the best that you can do in your kitchen. I have a smoky slow cooked barbecue version I’ll share with you this Summer.
One of the things I like about pork belly is the crispy crackling you get when you roast it. There was no way I wanted that crispy fat to go into the sauce and become soggy. So I roast the pork belly separately.
By the way, the crackling got gobbled up by my three kids before I had a chance to get the meal to the table. That’s why you don’t see any in the photographs. Next time I’m going to hide it.
- 750g (1½ lbs) whole pork belly
- 750g (1½ lbs) chicken thighs on the bone
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 onion - finely chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 20 cloves garlic - minced
- 250ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar (plus a little more for serving)
- 250ml (1 cup) soy sauce
- 400ml Coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup water or chicken stock
- Salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to its highest setting.
- Score the fat of your pork belly and rub salt all over it. Let sit while your oven heats.
- When the oven is up to temperature, place your pork belly on a rack in a a baking dish and roast until the crackling is all crispy. This should take about 25 minutes.
- Reduce the heat of the oven to 180c (360f) and roast for a further 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and brown your chicken.
- Toss in the chopped onions and fry until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and fry for a further minute before adding the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves and water or stock.
- Simmer the chicken in this sauce over low heat for about 20 minutes to reduce it some.
- When your pork is cooked, remove the crackling and cut the meat into large cubes. Add the cubes to the sauce. Eat the crackling or save it for later.
- Add the coconut milk.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- I like my sauce to be quite vinegary. If you do too, add a little more vinegar just before serving.
- Chicken and pork belly adobo goes great with simple white rice.