Here I am with another round of adobo. I was actually unenthusiastic about this recipe when my mom first saw it in our national daily. The recipe called for bagoong ( [bɐɡoˈoŋ] bah-go-ong; fermented shrimp fry), coconut milk and sugar. *unrelated: I hated transcription and phonetics in college*
First off, I’m partial to a simpler, more traditional adobo – more vinegar than soy sauce, with no sugar. I don’t enjoy eating “sweet adobo” because after a few spoonfuls I lose my appetite. The only way to get me to eat adobo with rice after rice after rice if it’s salty-sour.
Next, pork binagoongan is a recipe that calls for bagoong (shrimp paste) and sometimes even coconut milk. So why would I desecrate my adobo with coconut milk, bagoong and *shudder* sugar?
Looking back, now I understand why it’s called “Hybrid Adobo” – it blends together adobo and binagoongan, two Filipino favorites in one dish, creating something that plays like an incredibly satisfying tug-of-war in your mouth. This, right here, is delicious and it left the people around here craving for more. The enthusiasm that I get talking about this dish is off the roof!
Now my palate and appreciation for the humble adobo has definitely expanded. Sure, I might crave for the classic salty-sour, even the white (no soy sauce) variety from time to time, but this “hybrid”, is something else entirely.
Because it’s difficult for me to call it a “hybrid” without thinking of a Zebronkey (a cross between a zebra and a donkey), let’s just call it…
Adobong Binagoongang Baboy/ Binagoongan Pork Adobo (serve 6 – 8; adapted from The Philippine Daily Inquirer Lifestyle Section)
1 kg pork shoulder, cut to serving pieces
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 3 tablespoons liquid seasoning or soy sauce (I used 2 tbsp liquid seasoning and 1 tbsp soy sauce)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 heads garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- 2 pieces bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons shrimp paste
- 1 piece finger chili OR 1 tablespoon chili flakes (plus more for garnish, optional)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 200ml pack coconut cream
- Marinate pork with vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar for 30 minutes.
- Sauté garlic in a pan until aromatic. Add peppercorn, bay leaf and shrimp paste.
- Add pork belly (without the marinade) and cook until it changes color.
- Add marinade, chili/chili flakes and water. Simmer for an hour or until meat is tender.
- Add coconut cream and simmer for 15 minutes more. Garnish with chili flakes if desired. Serve hot with lots of steamed rice. Enjoy!