Flavor Fiesta: The Ultimate Pork Adobo Experience

Pork adobo is a delicious Filipino dish that is made using chunks of pork cooked with vinegar, soy sauce, black pepper, and other spices.  This tasty dish is cooked on low heat, and the combination of flavors and textures just tastes divine!

I learned how to make this dish in cooking school years ago, and I’ve added my little twist to create the perfect mix of flavors. Read on as I show you how to prepare pork adobo.

How to Cook Pork Adobo?


  • 2 pounds of pork belly
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup of water 
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 small ginger (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 5 dried bay leaves
Succulent Pork Belly Braised in Vinegar and Soy Sauce


Step 1

First, cut the pork belly into chunks that are 3cm in width and thickness. However, you can cut it to your liking. Bear in mind that cutting the meat into larger cuts will increase the cooking time.

Step 2

Next, get a skillet ready. Drizzle vegetable oil and sear the pork for 2 minutes on each side until it looks light golden brown. Then, remove the pork belly from the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Now, add the ginger, garlic, and whole peppercorns to the skillet and stir to allow the spices to bloom.

Step 3

Once the garlic changes to a pale brown hue, add in the vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. 

Step 4

Stir the sauce for 1 minute and add the dried bay leaves and seared pork belly to the skillet. If the sauce stops simmering, turn the heat up to high and then turn it down to low once it starts simmering.  

Step 5

As the cooked meat mix simmers, get parchment paper and cut a hole in the center of the paper. Afterward, cover the skillet with the parchment paper. This technique is known as cartouche, and it excellently controls the amount of liquid that evaporates while keeping the pork tender at all times. 

Step 6

Allow the pork adobo to simmer for 1 hour on low heat. You could also bake it in a preheated oven for 90 minutes at 325°F. Once the pork feels fork tender to your liking, turn off the heat and serve! 

Extra Cooking Tips

Here are a few additional tips to help you get tender and tasty pork adobo every time:

  • Make sure you cut the pork into uniform pieces so it cooks evenly.
  • When searing the pork, make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan so it gets a good sear and doesn’t steam. If necessary, use a larger pan or sear the meat in batches. 
  • Searing the meat properly before adding the braising liquid is critical because it gives the adobo a richer flavor and crust.
  • Allow the pork adobo to boil uncovered and without stirring for a few minutes before adding water and soy sauce to the skillet to remove the strong vinegar flavor.
  • If you want to add more salt to your adobo, I recommend adding it a few minutes before the end of the cooking session. That way, you’ll be able to properly gauge the taste because the flavor of the dish intensifies as it cooks.
  • If you want a more filling dish, consider adding potatoes and a hard-boiled egg. To keep the potatoes from falling apart, pan-fry them before adding them to the stew.
  • If your Filipino pork adobo is too sour, add sugar and water. Adjust the spices until the flavor is to your liking. If the adobo has too much sauce, add cornstarch to thicken it.
Spicy and Juicy Pork Adobo Dish

What is Adobo?

Adobo is a technique for cooking meat in a brine solution mainly containing soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns, and onions. Dried bay leaves and garlic are also commonly used to add more aroma and flavor. 

Adobo’s popularity grew due to its tasty flavor and preservation qualities. Because of the acidity of vinegar and soy sauce’s high salt content, adobo creates an unfavorable environment for bacteria.  

This dish can be made with a variety of meats, including chicken, pork, and even squid. This method is also used to cook vegetables like spinach, snake beans, and eggplant. 

Types of Adobo

Chicken Adobo

Chicken Adobo is one of the most popular variations of adobo. It’s typically made with braised chicken legs in white vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, black pepper, and onion. 

Chicken Feet Adobo

As the name suggests, this dish is made with chicken feet cooked in vinegar, soy sauce, ground pepper, garlic, and other spices. In my experience, chicken feet adobo is best served with leftover cold rice. 

Pork Adobo

Filipino pork Adobo is made with a tender pork belly that has been braised in regular soy sauce, white vinegar, onions, and minced garlic. This classic adobo recipe is a delicious balance of salty and savory flavors!

Crispy Adobo Flakes

Adobo flakes are the ideal dish for people who enjoy adobo but don’t like chewing on large meat chunks. This dish is made using fried shredded pork slices mixed in the delicious adobo sauce.

Squid Adobo

This type of Filipino adobo is made with squid, which lovers of seafood will enjoy. The squid is first boiled in vinegar and soy sauce before being sautéed in garlic and onions. It’s important to cook this Filipino food quickly over high heat to avoid eating rubbery squid.

Best Pork Cuts for Adobo

In case you didn’t know, you can use different pork cuts to make pork adobo. Let’s discuss four of my favorites:

  • Pork belly: Pork belly is the most popular cut of pork used for adobo because it contains the most flavorful fats. 
  • Pork shoulder: Pork shoulder is a tough cut with a lot of muscles and tissue that lends itself nicely to a slow cooking process.
  • Pork hocks: Hocks are a delicious combination of skin, flesh, and bones that complement every pork adobo recipe.
  • Pork ham: Ham is a great choice if you want a lean and fleshy meat that is suitable for slow cooking.
Deep Fried Pork Belly

How to Store Pork Adobo Leftovers?

Adobo is a great make-ahead dish that tastes even better after the flavors have melded for a day or two. That said, it’s important to know how to store the adobo until you’re ready to reheat it.

Firstly, allow the adobo to completely cool before transferring it into an airtight container. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To reheat your Filipino adobo, allow the contents to fully thaw before pouring them into a pan and heating it over low heat until the pork’s internal temperature reads 165 °F. You can also reheat the adobo in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes at a time, until completely heated.

Keep in mind that your adobo leftovers can also be transformed into delectable fried rice. Simply pour the meat into a heated pan, add a few tablespoons of the sauce and day-old steamed rice, and then stir.


Cooking adobo is that simple! Simply gather your pork and the spices you’ll need and cook for under 2 hours. Feel free to play around with the spices when making this delicious dish and serve them on their own or with sides such as steamed rice.