Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I've been reading about this dish called adobo for several weeks, and then last week I couchsurfed with some wonderful people in Dayton, and they made bison adobo for dinner. Well then, of course I had to try it for myself! Adobo is a Filipino dish of meat braised in soy sauce and vinegar, and it's pretty damn delicious. Pork is probably the most common meat to use, but I had bought some chicken thighs earlier in the week, so that's what went in.

Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish - that's the meat waiting to go back into the sauce. If I remember tomorrow, I'll take a picture of everything on my plate.

Meat - I used about a pound and a quarter of bone-in chicken thighs
Vinegar - I combined balsamic and red wine, but I would have used rice vinegar if I hadn't dropped my bottle on the floor the other day *grumble grumble*
Soy sauce - I combined regular soy sauce and kecap manis to counteract the vinegar with some sweetness
Black pepper, cracked or ground - grinding it will save you the trouble of picking out peppercorns in the finished dish
Bay leaf
Onion, thinly sliced - I used one, but two would be better
Garlic, minced - four or five cloves

In a Dutch oven or other large pot, quickly brown the chicken on all sides, then add the garlic and onion. When the onion softens (just a few minutes), add the vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf, and black pepper, bring to the boil, and then simmer until the meat is cooked through. Reduce the sauce until it thickens slightly, and serve over rice.

Believe it or not, that's the basic recipe. I went further and fished out the chicken, then cut the meat off the bones and diced it into bite-size pieces, then added it back to the reduced sauce to glaze it. I just didn't want to be bothered with slicing meat off the bone while I was trying to enjoy my dinner!

As I noted above, I only used one onion tonight, but it gets so deliciously caramelized while simmering in the sauce that I'm definitely using two next time. The only problem with this dish as I made it tonight is the saltiness, brought on by all that tasty soy sauce. Next time I'm going to slice a potato and add it with the liquid, as I'm pretty sure potatoes can be used to absorb salt and then discarded.


Something else that I don't have a picture of is a great broccoli stir-fry that I made a few days ago. I used garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and doubanjiang, which is a Sichuan paste of fermented broad beans and chilis. The brand I have is Ming Teh, and it is pretty fantastic stuff.

Broccoli stir-fry
Heat a wok or cast iron pan (I don't have a wok) over high heat, and add about a tablespoon of oil - something with a high smoke point, like peanut or canola or corn. When it shimmers, add some minced garlic and ginger, and a couple tablespoons of doubanjiang. Stir-fry for about a minute, then add broccoli florets and stir-fry for another two minutes or so, until it's coated in the sauce. Turn off the heat, toss with a bit of sesame oil, and eat!

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