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Adobo (Filipino)

Can I like Philippine Adobo?


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Home Cooking 11

Can I like Philippine Adobo?

Bada Bing | May 2, 2011 03:34 PM

I'm always curious about unfamiliar dishes that people whom I respect rave about, so I've tried three times to make Philippine chicken adobo, according to reasonably credible-seeming recipes. (Alas, there is no Philippine restaurant around here.) Most recently I tried this recipe from Splendid Table:


Anyway, each time, I have found the vinegar component completely uncharming. The sauce itself also seems pretty monodimensional.

True, with this recipe, I did not use palm vinegar but instead the suggested substitute of white vinegar. But after doing everything else as called for, I found the sauce unappealing, and I ended up (this time) adding hoisin, brown sugar and a few drops of sesame oil to the liquid, also reducing it a bit extra, to turn it into something I care to eat. (Now it's tasty, but in a vaguely Chinese way.)

I remain uncertain about this ballyhooed national dish. Maybe I just don't cotton to it? But I do like other sour preparations, like Sauerbraten. Maybe the recipes that get the most raves are significantly different? (I've seen recipes that have a lower proportion of vinegar and that also add some sweet, but haven't yet tried that).

Also, I'd like to hear the viscosity level that people generally want from this sauce. When I reduced the sauce by half according to the Splendid Table recipe, it was still very fluid (not nearly any spoon-coating effect, that is). I ended up reducing it by half again.

Thanks for any tips. Maybe I'll have to conclude that the dish just isn't a thumbs-up for me. But maybe I'm still missing the boat...

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