Friday, February 18, 2011

Spareribs Adobo

Before I grow antenna and tail in my sleep, lets  give the shrimp chronicle a little break. We're moving on to a shell-less but not less interesting topic.

Anyway, before I started drifting off again, I would like to express my respect and appreciation to the person who braved the unknown , looked at this creature and decided to make food out of it. The pig....

(Picture taken from

I loooove pigs. I even adore Babe! If it could talk my talk or if I could squeak or snort  like one, then we could even be best friends! Oh, I think George Clooney already did that! However,  unlike him, I don't look at my best friend's  behind thinking how good it looked and knowing it  would look even better on a hot grill. Sorry George, after all I might love pigs but I love pork even more.

 ( picture taken from

I don't know if it is the Filipino blood that runs in my vein which makes me revere pigs so much. It's probably the same awed devotion vegetarians feel while looking at their carrots.
Back home on festive occasions, pigs  have a special place on the spread. Usually put in the middle of the table ,like a throned  King in a hall, it is served whole, glistering in its own fat and charcoal grilled. Yes I'm talking about the sinful, artery clotting Lechon. The very  reason why a feast is called a feast. Since Filipinos value pigs so much, they make sure to use EVERY anatomical part of it. Yes, like innards and organs, its cartilage-y snout and ears .. everything. Hold on!  Before showing any aversion, think again, that wonderful thick and  fatty  sausage you just had for dinner is basically made  of the same stuff. ( hah! )

Let this picture tell you the rest of my story.
( Picture taken from

Don't worry, you won't be seeing any organs , tendons or cartilage in this post. What I cooked won't require you to go to the butcher on Friday at 7 in the morning when stocks are freshly slaughtered. It is something you could get at any supermarket at any given time.

Since I will sharing  something about my homeland.What could be more fitting than an Adobo recipe? There is sadly no Filipino restaurant in this region which  makes  Filipino cuisine here  almost non-existent  BUT somehow, a lot  foreigner already heard a thing or two about  Adobo . Heard perhaps, but getting to try it might  be a totally different story. So for those who already knew and cooked adobo, here is another version . To those who haven't got a clue what I am talking about, I guess it's about time to  give it a try. They said 2012 will be the end of the world so  why wait?( knock on woods!)

Here is a typical Filipino Adobo recipe. One could use any types of meat or even seafoods like squids,crustaceans or even vegetables. Chicken and pork meat are often used in this recipe, sometimes even combining these two. One can't have enough cholesterol  I supposed. Anyway, ribs is one of my favorite section in a pork. I somehow find it exciting, trying to take that flavourful meat off its bone. It's like digging a treasure!  Holding the bony part, nibbling on that meaty, fatty  goodness and licking  my fingers off after. Ok , I'm getting a little bit carried away here.

Adobo is simple enough to do. It's basically putting  everything in the pot and cooking it  until tender . Pork, especially ribs takes naturally a while longer to cook than chicken or seafoods.  Here's how I did mine:

Pork Spareribs Adobo

I marinated about a kilo of pork ribs ( each rib separated)  in  a cup of vinegar , 2 cups of chicken stock, handful of whole pepper corn, few bay leaves, quarter of a cup dark soy sauce ( some like their adobo darker so you can use more) , about half a cup  of  brown sugar, a bit of salt and crushed garlic. Lots and lots of garlic.   If you don't live in the Philippines and decided to cook this, then try making this dish when your nearest neighbor's on holiday. Filipinos like most Asian folks have a propensity to  pungent smelling dishes. Shrimp paste or  garlic and cooked vinegar might turn us into Pavlov's salivating hounds  but its akin to air pollution to foreigners. The last thing you want is eating your adobo while reading a protest letter from the people next door. Anyway, I marinated the meat for several hours, prepared it lunch time and cooking it in the evening. You can refrigerate it overnight .
Under low heat, I let the meat simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the meat starts to fall off  the bones and the marinade is reduced to less than half. Some like to have their adobo ''saucy'' so you can serve it at this point. I like mine dry . I turned the heat to high until the sauce almost dried out and then took the pot off the heat.  I then drizzled a heavy pan with a bit of oil and sear the ribs until it turned brown and its edges crispy. Another tip, you could put the ribs on the grill instead. It wil taste equally delicious. Serve with steamed rice and when nobody's looking, eat with your bare hands. Enjoy!

Hold that bone and never let go!!!

P.S. FF just told be I do snort.....sometimes. huh?!

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