Recipe: Pork and Chicken Adobo

Yesterday when I arrived in Southern California to visit my wife’s relatives, we were all treated to a classic Filipino dish, adobo, prepared by a family friend, Ronnie E. (His recipe for Bacon Bok Choy follows.) This particular dish, rather than being made with either chicken or pork, uses both, a recipe he learned from his mother. I’ve made adobo in the past. As tasty as they were, they were quite vinegary and a tad salty. Ronnie’s is more restrained and balanced, not as garlicky, even if a whole head is called for. The long simmering tames the stinking rose’s harshness, much like roasting garlic. And instead of incorporating vinegar at the start of braising, Ronnie finishes the adobo with a small amount.

Pork and Chicken Adobo

  • Servings: 6
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  • 1 1/2 lbs. bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, cut through the bone in 2″ segments
  • 2 lbs. pork shoulder (pork butt), cut into 2″ cubes
  • 1 head minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 cup soy sauce (depending on saltiness)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar

In a large pot, combine chicken, pork, garlic, bay leaves, 1/2 cup of soy sauce and black pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, adding more soy sauce to taste. Continue to simmer covered for about an hour until chicken and pork are tender.

Remove pot from heat, add vinegar and stir. Serve with steamed white rice.

Recipe: Bacon Bok Choy

Bacon tastes good with almost anything. By itself, bok choy is pretty bland, almost grassy in taste. While my wife loves the stuff, I find its sole redeeming feature is its crunchiness when not overcooked. Could the addition of bacon improve things? This recipe, prepared by Ronnie E., a friend of my wife’s family, convinced me that I could make more room for bok choy.

Bacon Bok Choy

  • 2 strips of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2″ slices
  • 1/4 of a small onion, cut crosswise into 1/2″ slices
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • Ground black pepper
  • 5 heads of baby bok choy, cut crosswise into 1″ slices

Over medium heat, fry bacon until almost crisp. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes until softened. Add pepper to taste and fish sauce, stir to combine, then bok choy. Toss the mixture occasionally until the bok choy is cooked but not overdone, approximately 5 minutes or so. Serve.