White Adobo (Adobong Puti) : How to Cook Adobo without Using Soy Sauce

There are as many recipes for adobo as there are Philippine islands. My two favorite recipes are the white adobo and the adobo cooked in coconut milk.

Food memories at my dorm in UP consisted of adobo that mom cooked for us. See in the dorm, we were not allowed to cook our meals. Mom’s adobo did not contain any soy sauce and I often wondered how she cooked it. I never got to ask my mom because she died while I was a teenager who was not yet eager to cook. I saw a recipe once in a newspaper column and the writer called it the white adobo or Adobong Puti because it does not contain soy sauce. This type of adobo is light brown due to the browning during the cooking process. It is a bit sour too. I forgot to clip out the newspaper article where the recipe contained. Fortunately, Sam read a comment I left in MarketMan’s blog. Here, she shares her Adobong Puti recipe which I have innovated and cooked but forgot to take pics.

Try it and let me know…

2 kilos pork (with some fatty parts, like butt, or belly)
8- 10 cloves garlic
1 tsp coarsely cracked pepper
2 pcs bay leaves
1 1/2 cups sukang puti (coco when available)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon sea salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a thick saucepan or kawali.

2. Cover and simmer over medium heat. Check occasionally and stir to prevent the meat from sticking to
the bottom of the pan.

3. Allow liquid to reduce. Cook until fully reduced and only the oil is visible, with the sauce dried into tasty bits clinging to the meat.

4. Turn up the heat to crisp the meat and cook until crispy golden brown.

5. Adjust heat occasionally to prevent the meat from scorching.

6. Serve warm over rice with achara or radish and tomato relish.You may keep the adobo in a clean
lidded jar. Allow to cool and store in refrigerator or cool dark part of pantry.

When submerged in pork fat and properly cooked , it will keep for several months in the refrigerator. You may even freeze the adobo up to a year. Sam has done the freezing a bit successfully, dividing the dish into tiny portions. Just Thaw and heat over stove or oven, never in a microwave.

When I cook Adobong Puti next time, I will post the photos here.

Update:

white adobo
Julius Mariveles calls this “NPA – Non Militant Pork Adobo or adobong puti. Naluto ko na gid man. Pork belly cooked adobo style without soy sauce. Simmered for two hours to melt-in-your mouth goodness, caramelized to savory perfection.” Photo via Julius.