I got it in my head to try adobo again, prepared as ever for failure, even if the dish might succeed in terms of general flavor and texture. I was doing it on the fly, as usual, and during my lunchbreak at work I had found a decent online recipe for ‘best adobo ever’, or so claimed the author, a true Filipina.

When one considers that the basic ingredients of a good adobo is vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf, and peppercorns for marinade, after that, well–it’s choosing what meat to marinate (typically pork or chicken, occasionally fish and tofu), though after that your imagination is the limit. Wifey had said, why didn’t you use Marketman Manila’s or Junblog’s adobo recipes, both popular Filipino food bloggers which I follow with some regularity? Oops, this is the 21st century, my dear, its hard to focus when trolling the Internet.

On checking both for their versions, I reported that Marketman took three hours to make his ‘best ever adobo’ without soy sauce and using extremely fatty pieces of pork (lechon kawali). Jun Belen had added oregano and peanuts to his, both versions of which caused my wife’s face to shrivel with curt dismissal.

And I wasn’t one to argue (though this culture somehow embraced spaghetti with hot dogs as a comfort food so there is room for disagreement).

In any case, wifey liked it enough to take some to work today. The recipe, however, was too salty by half so we added some water and a bit of sugar to tame the vinegar bite. The meat was cooked perfectly, though, juicy and flavorful. A mistake serving acidic tomatoes with this, I realized later, but they were odoriko and so pretty looking at the market.

Future attempts will be made, though I’ll stick to peppercorns I suppose, with a reduced measure of soy sauce I think. I have a cookbooks which specializes in adobo and once our kitchen cookbook shelf is up, I’ll be able to refer to it and really start going to town.

Meat buying note: I bought pork and chicken today from a local Hispanic market. The end result was fine, but the prep of the meat, removing fatty bits from both chunks of meat really slowed down the process. In future, I think I’ll pay a little more for ‘tidier’ cuts at Berkeley Bowl.

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