I have been reading in varying sources recently that Filipino food could be the next big thing. This is very exciting for me being half Filipino and having grown up with various dishes that my mum would make for me since I was small. I’m still small, who am I kidding. Since I was very young.
On a day off last year I visited Romulo Cafe in Kensington High Street, a newly established Filipino restaurant. Romulo Cafe comes as a London branch following success in the Filipino capital of Manila. I had heard good reviews from Filipino friends so went to check it out.
I didn’t have much time, so I went straight for their express lunch menu and took my favourite dish. Pork Adobo. The name Adobo comes from the Spanish ‘Adobar’ meaning ‘seasoning’ or ‘marinade’. Their dish was presented differently to the way I expected, as I have always known Adobo to be a stew. The pork was presented on the plate with its sauce in a separate small pan, poured on by the waiter. The dish was delicious and a completely different take on the adobo I know and love. So here below I want to share the jist of my mum’s recipe.
The first step is to brown all the meat. Seal it as it will be cooking for about six hundred years to allow all the flavours to infuse. Brown the vegetables you choose, as well as the onions garlic and ginger. The meat is set aside whilst you concentrate on the sauce.
You then add about 400 litres of vinegar, malt and palm. There are no measurements for Filipino cooking, just a big measure of everything. I believe it was around half a bottle of malt vinegar for scale. My mums not so secret ingredient comes in the form of a red, tomato based condiment. It adds a nice sweetness to the dish.
A teaspoon of sugar is added and you are almost there. It’s a real chuck ingredients in and leave it type of dish.
The juice of one lemon, bay leaves and salt are added to the mixture.
Pour the sauce over the vegetables and pork, add a few chilli flakes and leave the saucepan to work its magic for a good couple of hours.
If you are using a mixture of chicken and pork, add the chicken in a little later unless you like the chicken falling apart in a pulled chicken sense. Boil some rice and serve. Perfect Winter meal.