How to cook Adobo
Take a look at everything around your house. If you are the usual consumer, fifty per-cent or more of everything you own is from the motherland. It’s quite obvious that China is on a rampage for global domination. Taking over the world one step at a time by letting you eat, wear, play, work, sleep on, stand on, laugh on, cry on, get crazy with, get intimate with, depend on, rely on, and ultimately and basically live on goods and services that are MADE IN CHINA. Maslow’s heirarchy of needs can now only be written with chinese characters. Mind you, this is not the first time thay have tried to take their place as a superpower. They have actually tried to take over the world before by opening Chinese restaurants in every nook and cranny of the known world. And in that time of myth and magic, there is this infamous mind control substance called “white powder gold” and with great cunning and masterful alchemy, they have incorporated that into the most common ingredient in your stir-fry – the soy sauce. Guess who became to be the poor lab rats of their mind games? Of course who else but the Filipino java man. My poor ancestors. That’s how the soy sauce made it’s way into Adobo.
The type of meat used in Adobo depends on the region. It could be monitor lizard meat which is common in farming villages, snake meat, bat meat, stingray or skate meat but the recipe that we will follow right now will focus on the more socially acceptable chicken and/or pork meat. The two main ingredients originally, are salt and vinegar. Then come the chinese with their silk and soy sauce religion and eventually adobo has a base of soy sauce and vinegar. When you ask purist grandmothers how to cook Adobo they will tell you to strictly follow the salt and vinegar recipe. When the Spaniards came, they had no idea what to call the strange-looking, hunger-inducing concoction with its mouth-watering aroma. So with the heavenly vested power that was given to them by their angelic selves, they named the native stew Adobo which is in their tems, a marinade.
You can marinate or adobar the meat before cooking it but hey this recipe should be very easy so marinating it is a waste of time ( I have to admit though, the flavor will be more robust if you marinate it for at least 2 hours). So here’s a collection of stuff that we will use in making Adobo.
Chopped Chicken and/or Pork
Whole Black Peppercorns
Any medium to large sized Pot, Sauce Pan or a deep Wok
Ladle or any oversized Spoon
Directions on how to cook Adobo:
1. Put them all in the pot in medium heat, cover, wait for the sauce to thicken and it’s done.
Simple, painless and satistfying. That’s what you say to a vestal when she asks you how to cook adobo. The picture that you see above (click it to enlarge) follows the exact direction. Seriously.
Notice above that I don’t have measurements because it will all depend on your tastebuds and appetites. Just remember though, usually, water is at the same level as your pile of ingredients, vinegar is a fourth of the mix and soy sauce is a third of the mix. The most Bay Leaves you put in a kilo of meat is 2 and 2 cloves of garlic as well or you are endangering your life and of others. If you want it more salty or sour, it’s up to you. If you want to eat like a monster, you can make five kilos of Adobo I don’t care. If you don’t want to cook it simply, I’ll indulge you. Why don’t we complicate the matter like an arguing couple. I’ll insert alternative suggestions in colored fonts because I feel gay today. Here’s the poetry:
Sautee finely chopped garlic until golden brown and set aside.
Put all the ingredients in the pot except for the vinegar, cover, go high heat and wait for the boil.
Now some people sear their meat on high heat first before stewing it as to seal the meat. I don’t.
When it’s boiling already, lower the heat and put the vinegar in. I do this if I want to be kicked by mister vinegar.
If you’re into pate, you can put chicken liver at this stage.
If you want it hot and spicy you can now put in your choice of pepper.
You can put hard boiled eggs at this stage. Cutting it in half is also a good idea before you put it in. Not taking off the shell before you put it in is a bad idea.
You can put in potatoes and any vegetable at this stage but you will die if you do that.
When the sauce thickens, give it a taste because you can still adjust the flavor by putting in more vinegar, soy sauce, salt or even sugar if you want to.
At this stage you can put in coconut milk as popularized by our brothers from the uprising.
If you want to have a dry adobo as illustrated on top, carefully watch your masterpiece so as not to burn it. Once it slides freely on the pot or when the sauce is thick enough that it can coat the back of your spoon it’s ready for some ravenous consumption.
You can sprinkle in and sautee shallots or pickling onions before you take it off the fire.
Sprinkle the sauteed garlic on your mistress.
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE COOKING ADOBO.
1. If it doesn’t smell like Adobo, it isn’t Adobo. If you don’t know what Adobo smells like, it’s a slap of bay leaves with sourness shouting from a cave and a base of soy sauce essence like a crawling fog though the feet of interpretative dancers in a slow routine. Wow. I feel like Alfred.
2. Taste what you cook but don’t open the pot too often.
3. If you don’t like the smell of your cheap caged supermart chicken toss it in the wok first with ginger… or buy free range. Remove all the cellulites from the chicken’s thighs or your Adobo will be surfing in grease.
4. We put water in adobo for the main purpose of cooking the meat. If your sauce thickens and the meat is still raw, it would either be, your cuts are as thick as your native accent or you didn’t thaw your frozen meat or you are cooking on very high heat. Yay. If this happens, put more H2O.
5. If it’s too salty add more water. If you want to have a lighter color, add more water. If it’s too dry, of course, add more water. If it’s stinky it has to take a bath.
6. Celebrate your creation with humans. And teach them how to cook Adobo as well. This food was not made for the lonely. You can’t not have friends.
7. Adobo is actually a preserved food as Americans didn’t make a lot of fridges until the 50′s. Unlike humans, the more days Adobo sits doing nothing, the better it gets. As long as it’s not moving yet or gives birth to aliens, you can eat it.
Oh, and about that Chinese mind control experiment of “white powder gold” on Filipinos, it didn’t work.
Or did it… *horror sound effects inserted here, followed by a mad scientist’s scream*