Friday, June 12, 2015

Filipino Adobo

Today is Philippine Independence Day! 
And it is a no-brainer that I am cooking the
unofficial National Dish of the Philippines,
ADOBO!

Independence Day or "Araw ng Kalayaan" which literally translates to "Day of Freedom"
commemorates the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. 
Since 1962, it has been the country's National Day.

The term ADOBO comes from the Spanish word, "adobar" 
meaning marinade, sauce or seasoning.
You might see an adobo seasoning in the spices area of your grocery store
but unfortunately it is entirely different.

This 1986 article from NY Times will tell you more in detail, click here.

My dinner with a glass of coconut water.
Only ate 1/2 cup brown rice since I got a whole big potato.
I wish I have "native" aka champagne mangoes right now for dessert
Did you know that mango is Philippine's National Fruit?
Every Filipino household or region has a recipe of their own.

But here are the basic ingredients of adobo:

-pork or chicken or mixed, depending on your mood, preference or availability
*or if you fancy some seafood,
squid or round scad/mackerel aka "galunggong" are the most famous ones
*For vegetarians/vegans, 
you can use morning glory aka "kangkong", string beans aka "sitaw" 
and recently I just tried bok choi & mustard greens aka mustasa
-1/2 cup vinegar 
-1/2 cup soy sauce
-1 cup water
 -garlic, crushed (I love mine garlicky so I put a lot of cloves)
-black pepper (ground or peppercorns)
-potatoes (optional) (preferably organic, click here to find out why)
-boiled eggs (optional)
-bay leaves (optional)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. 
Cover and marinate chicken if you have time. If not, that's okay. 
*Some Filipinos,
fry the chicken first then marinade or fry after marinating before boiling.
Bring to boil then lower heat. 
Cover and let simmer for around 30 minutes.
Uncover and simmer until sauce is reduced according to your preference.
I personally don't like it too thick as a like a little sauce with my rice.
Serve with steamed rice.

Mustard Greens (mustasa) Adobo as a side dish
to coconut oil pan-fried salmon and brown rice

Since I started this healthy journey or if you want your adobo to be "healthier",
here are some tips:

1. Skip the frying especially using extra oil.
If you just can't skip the frying part, 
just fry the chicken/pork on its own.
The chicken skin/pork fat will yield an oil of itself.
As much as you can,
take off the chicken skin/pork fat.
 Thou shall NOT eat it. lol

2. Use low sodium soy sauce instead of regular one.
Or organic soy sauce if you can. 
Or tamari if you are in a gluten-free diet.

FYI:
Tamari: Little to no wheat (always double-check if avoiding gluten)
Soy Sauce: Includes wheat (not gluten-free)

3. If you're in the Philippines, use locally made vinegar (with no preservatives).
If you're not, apple cider vinegar is good.
Or any all-natural/organic vinegar.
Some use rice vinegar for some sweetness
(in replacement of sugar which other Filipinos add to their recipe too. lol)

4. Use brown rice instead of white.
Whichever you decide,
try to eat a maximum of 1 cup.
P.S. It is a Filipino thing to have "unlimited" rice!
If there is such as shop till you drop,
I think we grew up more of like,
"Eat rice,
till you feel sooo full but not feeling nice". 
hahaha

5. If you are trying to lose weight,
either skip the potatoes or the rice.

Morning Glory (Kangkong) Adobo
with bits of pork
I am supposed to cook a vegetable adobo 
as I am staying away from meat as much as I can.
But I saw this whole chicken which is free-range 
for only £6 so I thought I can save a lot by just buying whole chicken.
I saved some parts in the freezer 
and used the bones and some meat 
to make homemade chicken stock for later.
And of course,
since it's Philippine Independence Day,
I wanted to pretend to "butcher" (sorry vegetarian & vegans) 
my own which brings back memories of my childhood
when my family do it on our own yards with the chicken we raised.

For the non-Filipinos,
I hope you like or will try our unofficial National Dish!

Nagmamahal ("with love"),






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