This Independence Day, we’re changing things up and creating a one-pan version of the quintessential Filipino dish - Adobo.
90 minute cook time | Serves a family of 4-6 | Suitable for: Celebrating the country!
A brief history of Adobo by Aliya Ignacio
In times when a lot of Filipinos’ freedom feels threatened and suppressed, today we celebrate Independence Day. June 12, 1898, the day we reclaimed our land and declared independence from Spanish rule after over 300 years. Sigla would like to celebrate Filipino independence by sharing with you our version, and inspiring you to make your own, of arguably the most internationally popular Filipino dish, poignantly called adobo.
Did you know that Filipino adobo did not come from Spanish influence? Adobo, which is actually a method more than a dish, is a technique developed by natives long before the Spanish arrived and before the time of refrigeration to preserve meats by marinating and braising them in salt and vinegar in our tropical climate. The term came from the Spanish word adobar, which means "to marinate." Although proof of native literature was destroyed and Filipinos have been used to passing on everything verbally, including recipes, there are a number of records that describe this method that goes back to the early 16th century.
In food historian and Filipino cuisine advocate Ige Ramos’ webinar, “Salita at Pagkain: Bunga, Bungaga...,” Edgie Polistico, a Filipino lexicographer, said that the different types and colors of adobos stemmed from utilizing ingredients that are available and abundant per region, such as coconut milk, coconut sap vinegar, annatto, turmeric, and fish sauce.
It was the Chinese who introduced soy sauce and the Filipinos tried using it to substitute for the salt. This is probably the most popular and easiest version of making adobong manok or baboy. Today at Sigla, we celebrate our independence by replacing our dependence to toyo with tuyo, a uniquely Filipino product. Here we elevate the lowly and humble dried fish by giving it a role in the dish that hailed as a hero in a lot of international dinner parties we’ve attended.
Version 1: We made this with some chopped chicken livers, eggplant and rosemary
Version 2: We made this version with sampaloc for extra sourness and baby carrots
We encourage you to try this recipe and make your own version. The freedom is yours! We’ve made the method healthier, more effective, and approachable; no more searing or double frying, no mixing, and it only requires minimal prep and clean up. Don’t be afraid to cook the whole batch, even when you're alone. As Filipino nanays say, adobo is always better the next day, and can be resurrected in so many ways like adobo flakes, adobo sandwich, adobo pandesal, adobo salad with adobo vinaigrette, adobo fried rice, adobo paella, adobo risotto, and so much more!
Here are some of our chosen aromatics for Sigla's Adobo, feel free add your own twist!
Top tips! Break the rules and make your own version using your favorite ingredients or with seasonal produce, such as tamarind and tomatoes! You can also make a ton of side dishes with the leftover tuyo from the stock: from sinangag or adlai or cauliflower fried rice, to a salad with adobo tuyo dressing, and even a simple pasta dish. Let your creativity run free!
Get your prep on! For quick and seamless cooking, always read through the recipe first and understand every step. Wash, cut, measure and weigh all your ingredients before you begin cooking. Then place all the ingredients on a single tray. Never measure as you go.
Place tuyo in a pot with 1L water over medium heat and let this simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. The broth should have a golden brown colour. Once done, strain the tuyo from the pot, reserve tuyo for your rice or pasta, and add the pinakurat or spiced vinegar to the tuyo stock.
Preheat the oven to 160°C or 320°F and prep the other ingredients.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt.
In a shallow casserole dish or baking tray, arrange all the ingredients: chicken, vegetables, aromatics, making sure the chicken skin is exposed. Add tuyo and vinegar stock until it comes up to about ⅓ to ½ of the chicken. Feel free to use any leftover stock on your fried rice.
Put the baking tray with all the ingredients in the oven, and cook uncovered for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, you may either increase the oven up to 200°C or 400°F and broil the chicken skin for another 20 minutes, or simply sear the chicken skin side down on a very hot pan. Serve along with your tuyo fried rice or pasta and if you’re up for it, top with an egg of your choice. Serve and enjoy!