Adobong Tarlac Recipe

We can’t have a discussion about Filipino recipes without mentioning adobo. The typical Filipino adobo is this savory meat dish with a delicious sauce that’s primarily salty, sour, and a bit sweet in flavor. The chicken adobo is often referred to as the unofficial dish of the Philippines because of how universally loved it is amongst Filipinos.

Adobo isn’t merely a single recipe, rather it’s a specific cooking process where a choice of meat is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorn. The marinated meat is slowly cooked in a hot pat with its marinade until it’s cooked thoroughly and the sauce is reduced.

This process of cooking is what is generally referred to in the Philippines as adobo. And because it’s a process, the classic chicken adobo has evolved over the years into countless other adobo dishes all over the Philippines.

Adobo is actually a Spanish word that means “to marinate.” Despite its Spanish name which came from Spaniard colonizers back when they first came to the Philippine archipelago, adobo is an indigenous Filipino cooking process. You see, Spain already has a recipe called adobo where they also marinate their meat in a mixture. When they saw the indigenous people of the Philippines preparing their food in a similar way, they immediately dubbed the process as adobo.

However, the only similarities that the Filipino adobo has with the Spanish adobo is the marinating process and the use of vinegar and garlic. Indigenous Filipinos have been using this cooking method even before the Spanish arrived at the island. The ingredients used in Filipino adobo can all be found in Southeast Asia or traded with countries like China.

The original name that the indigenous Filipino gave to what we referred to today as the adobo is sadly lost in history. But the original cooking process using the same indigenous ingredients are alive and thriving to this day in the Philippines.

With adobo, other than the fundamental ingredients, we’re not limited to using a strict set of ingredients. The meat for adobo is typically chicken or pork, but ingredients like beef, seafood, and even vegetables and nuts can also be cooked via the process of adobo. Each household in the Philippines has its own version of the Filipino adobo and each household claims that they have the best one.

Other than the staple adobo varieties like adobong puti, adobong sa gata, and many more, each region in the Philippines also has its own specialty version of the ever-versatile adobo.

We recently visited and explored Tarlac here in the Philippines for our vacation. Tarlac is a beautiful place in the Philippines located in the plains of Central Luzon. The region is abundant with all kinds of plant produce, amazing sites, attractions, and has a fascinating but gruesome history. Tarlac also has some of the best food we’ve ever tried in the Philippines.

With each region we visited in the Philippines, we always make sure to try out as many local food specialties that we can. During our trip to Tarlac, we got to try and enjoy the delicious Adobong Tarlac. We didn’t even have to do much looking. We merely entered a local carinderia and ordered pretty much everything on the menu.

Upon first look, Adobong Tarlac looks like the typical recipe, but the pineapple bits in the dish indicated something special.

The first bite of my Adobong Tarlac dish really is something nothing short of great. It has all the flavor that was expected of the staple adobo recipe but the hint of pineapple flavor brings out a sweetness and acidity to the dish that I just love. Because of the pineapple bits, bites of the savory dish can become less in your face with flavor.

I asked the server of the carinderia the recipe and learned that other than the pineapple chunks, Adobong Tarlac simply added pineapple juice to the typical adobo recipe. It’s amazing what one ingredient can do to a dish.

We left that carinderia full with some of Tarlac’s best dishes, the highlight of them all the Adobong Tarlac.

Today, we’re going to recreate our own version of Adobong Tarlac. This dish has a mix of chicken and pork in it to make it a tad bit more special. This recipe is our go-to adobo recipe only with the added pineapple juice and pineapple chunks that we’re going to add at the end.

Cooking any type of adobo is a simple process, albeit somewhat time-consuming. But the results are always worth it. Just serve your adobo with a platter of steamy white rice and you’ve got a typical delicious Filipino meal.

All of the ingredients for our Adobong Tarlac recipe are all listed down below as well as the step by step cooking instructions. Even first-time cooks can recreate this recipe in their kitchen to get a taste of the delicious Adobong Tarlac. Enjoy!

 

 

Adobong Tarlac Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 1 k. pork piqué
  • 1 k. chicken
  • ½ liter pineapple juice
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tbsps. Black pepper
  • 1 cup sliced pineapple
  • 1 head garlic chopped
  • 3 onions chopped
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • 1 laurel leaf

Instructions
 

  • Marinate the pork and chicken pieces in pineapple juice, soy sauce, vinegar, laurel leaf and pepper for 2 hours.
  • Remove the pork and chicken and set  aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and onion.
  • Add the marinated pork and chicken along with the marinade. Allow to simmer until the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve topped with pineapple slices.

 

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22 Comments

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